12th Addis International Film Festival is Here!!

The Addis International Film Festival is proud to announce the 12 edition of film festival to be held from May 1 to 6, 2018. We hope to see you at the Festival.

Submissions 2018

Films for the Addis International Film Festival 2018 can be sent in until March 15, 2018.

You are required to fill in the entry form prior to submitting your film to our festival.

Film Criteria:

  • Only films completed after January 2015 are eligible to apply.
  • AIFF accepts shorts (under 30min) and Feature length films (over 50min).
  • Genres shown at AIFF include Documentary, animation, experimental and narrative.
  • Films made in languages other than English should have subtitles in English.
  • No film selected may be withdrawn from the festival program after its publication.
  • AIFF no longer accepts DVD submissions. All films must be submitted digitally via the online submission form located at www.addisfilmfestival.org

Interview with “Heaven and Earth ” Director, Mackonen Michael

1.     Tell us a little bit about your background and how long you have been in documentaries?

I am an Ethiopian British, documentary film maker and freelance art reporter at the British media network BBC.  I studied Journalism and African studies at SOAS university of London and worked in different media production companies as broadcaster and producer. I am now the CEO of the newly established African Renaissance Television Services in Ethiopia.

I have won prestigious awards including BBC Skillset millennium award for my radio documentary ‘Bridging the Gap’ about the lives of immigrants in the UK and other awards as a Journalist.

2.     Can you give us a brief description about the documentary and how you came to produce it?

Heaven & Earth’ is a documentary film that tells the story of an ancient civilization’s religious tolerance, covering a millennium of Ethiopia monastic culture and ecclesiastical education.

Presenting the development of indigenous Christianity in an African setting, the film provides a corrective to still prevalent stereotypes of Africa as a dark continent in need of enlightenment by outside forces.

The film has been screened and archived at the Library of congress.

3.    What were you trying to achieve with the film, and how much did the documentary affect you personally?

The film is mainly dealing with African, Ethiopian cultures and philosophy. I believe the young generation should look to the roots of African cultures in order to achieve and create authentic stories that tell the beautiful falklares and narratives of Africa. In my many screenings and Q&A sessions I came across with brilliant young film makers and producers from the continent whom totally agree with the concept and debate thoroughly during the show.

4.     How widely is the documentary distributed? Any Awards?

The film has been screened in several countries and institutions, The library of Congress, Washington DC ( patented and archived), The royal Geographic Society London, Haward Sankofa DC, Liverpool, Birmingham, UK Best independent African documentary, nominee, Afro Latino film festival, Costa Rica.

 5.    What challenges did you face in the course of producing the documentary?

Funding, time laps with my permanent job and lack of professional crew.

6.     What would you like to do next?

I am now head of the newly established Television service called ARTS TV. I am also working on other documentary scripts dealing with Music history of Ethiopia. 

Interview with “Future Baby” Director, Maria Arlamovsky

1.     Tell us a little bit about your background and how long you have been in documentaries?

 I live and work in Vienna, Austria. I studied at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna (M.A. 2000) and the Donau University in Krems (MA, 2011).

I am married and have 2 grown up children and 1 adopted son and 2 foster children.

My documentary line ups includes ‘Rubber Chicken Born at Home’, a documentary about a woman who decides to give birth at home; ‘Loud and Clear’, a documentary about survivors of sexual abuse; ‘A White Substance’, about rape as a weapon of war; ‘Looking for QI’, about Zhineng Qigong, China and others.

2.     Can you give us a brief description about the documentary and how you came to produce it?

FUTURE BABY is a film about the future of human reproduction as it is happening right before our eyes. FUTURE BABY explores all around the world—patients and researchers, egg donors and surrogate mothers, laboratories and clinics. The hopes and wishes of future parents mesh with research on how to "upgrade" human embryos in the face of an ever-accelerating rate of medical progress. The question is: how far do we want to go?

In this documentary I am focusing on the female body and the hardships that come with it. Reproduction was and is always a burden for women – to be barren can be a very deep trauma for women and naturally also for men. A trauma, a lot of people don’t want to talk about. This is why I wanted to make a film about the topic to provoke a more open and honest discussion about it.

3.     What were you trying to achieve with the film, and how much did the documentary affect you personally?

Children are an important part of my life, a part that despite the effort I would not want to miss. I understand why people want to have and raise children and want to live as a family.

With FUTURE BABY, I wanted to explore where the rapidly developing fields of reproductive medicine, genetics, and birth control are taking us. We can understand that reproductive medicine offers a lot of chances but also comes with a lot of burden. More and more it becomes a slippery slope and I believe we have come to a point where it is imperative that we ask ourselves, “how far do we want to go?”

Since my eldest son was the DOP of the film, we have been discussing a lot about how in future all the new medical technology , especially with gene selection or gene editing will become ‘obligatory’ for young intended parents and if this is an ethical way to embrace new life.

4.     How widely is the documentary distributed? Any Awards?

Festivals the documentary screened includes:

·        Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival Toronto (2016)

·        Diagonale, Festival of Austrian Film, Graz (2016)

·        Docaviv International Film Festival, Tel Aviv (2016)

·        Zurich Film Festival (2016)

·        Reykjavik International Film Festival (2016)

·        Cambridge Film Festival (2016)

·        International Contemporary Science Film Festival 360°, Moskow (2016)

·        DokLeipzig. International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (2016)

·        Marda Loop Justice Film Festival, Calgary (2016)

·        Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, Colorado Springs (2016)

·        One World, International Human Rights Festival, Prague (2017)

·        Academia Film Festival Olomuc, (2017)

International Awards includes, Silver Punt AUDIENCE AWARD, CAMBRIDGE Film Festival (2016) and SPECIAL MENTIONING, Zurich Film Festival (2016).

5.     What challenges did you face in the course of producing the documentary?

Intended parents don’t like to talk about their misfortune, so it took a lot of work to find people willing to talk. The same for egg donors or surrogates, they prefer to hide since their ‘job’ is not accepted by most societies.

Since I was filming a lot of footage the editing process of course was challenging to reduce the material to it´s most important parts and to get the film dramaturgy right.

(But I have to confess, that I was able to edit a second, shorter part out of the left over footage and that film is about grown up children from donor-sperm or eggs.)

6.   What would you like to do next?

The film I have mentioned above - is called: ’Father, Mother, Donor, Child’ – it is about the hardship as a child, not to be told the truth about your own identity. It will come out next month as Video on Demand and the film I start to research now is about futuristic Robot-Human Relationships.

Interview with “Death by A Thousand Cuts ” Producer, Juan Yepes

1.      Tell us a little bit about your background and how long you have been in documentaries?

I am a film producer focusing on documentary film making and short films with social impacts with ample experiences in business management and entrepreneurship.

I have been working in documentaries for over ten years. As a producer and co founder of Human Pictures I have been involved in production and post-production of documentaries, including roles as an executive producer, production coordinator, field producer, and location coordinator.

2.     Can you give us a brief description about the documentary and how you came to produce it?

In ‘DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS’, Eligio Eloy Vargas, alias Melaneo, a Dominican Park Ranger in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park was found brutally murdered by machete. At the time, he was believed to have been on patrol investigating an illegal charcoal production site often run by Haitians coming across the border into protected Dominican forests. This murder becomes the metaphor for the larger story of increasing tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over illicit charcoal exploitation and mass deforestation.

Our approach was to reveal the topic from the personal story of Melaneo and his family to eventually bring in the big picture story in the island of Hispaniola and the environmental issues they currently face.

3.     What were you trying to achieve with the film, and how much did the documentary affect you personally?

The main objective of the film is to show how deforestation is affecting the island and how this is an example for the world to take care of natural resources. By comparing the dynamics between Dominican Republic and Haiti, we see how this is a very delicate situation that needs collaboration from both sides. The personal story of the park ranger we used is to show how global issues could affect all of us at a personal level.

The film affected me at a personal level; having spent time at the border between Dominican Republic and Haiti, it made me think how these situations are very delicate, and how we need to make an effort to communication and collaboratively find solutions to environmental problems. As documentary filmmakers we play a key role in investigating and bringing to light problems that we need to resolve together.

4.     How widely is the documentary distributed? Any Awards?

The Documentary premiered at HotDocs in Toronto, Canada and has been featured in festivals in different parts of the world. ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’ was awarded the Audience Award at Doc NYC and the Grand Jury Prize at The Seattle International Film Festival. The documentary is going to be broadcasted in the US by the TV station Uni vision in 2017

5.     What challenges did you face in the course of producing the documentary?

Producing half of the documentary in Haiti was the main challenge, since Haitian Creole is not our main language. This made building relationships and looking for characters to tell the Haitian side of the story a complicated task. In the end by doing several trips with a focus on Haiti and building those relationships with the help of a local fixer, helped us give a voice to the Haitian community to understand their needs and how any solution will need to take their needs into account. 

6.     What would you like to do next?

As a producer at Human Pictures we are working on new projects and developing new documentaries. At the moment the main topics we are focusing includes the United States criminal justice system and transgender rights in US. We are developing a couple of documentaries that we hope we can start producing later in 2017.