FILM FESTIVAL Will Open with 'HEAVEN AND EARTH', and 'ZEMENE'
The Addis International Film Festival (AIFF) is not a red carpet festival, but is instead largely defined by quality and seasonal timing. The Addis Festival was launched in 2007 by Initiative Africa, a local NGO, to promote cultural exchanges and mutual understanding among nations and to develop further cooperation among filmmakers of the world. Here is a look at some of the films to be introduced by the film makers themselves next week in Addis Ababa, at Hager Fiker Theater and the Italian Cultural Institute.
· In his terrific new documentary, ‘A Revolution in Four Seasons’, Jessie Deeter , largely tells the story of two women with opposing political views fighting for their different versions of a democratic future for Tunisia, the country that sparked the Arab Spring. Journalist Emna Ben Jemaa envisions a country governed by free speech and without corruption of the former regime. In contrast, Jawhara Ettis of the Islamist party Ennahda works towards a Tunisia guided Islamic principles.
· Mackonen Michael, an Ethiopian film maker, will present 'Heaven and Earth' the story of Ethiopia’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 Salt of the Earth', an Oscar nominated documentary by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders embarks on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty.
· 'Roaring Abyss', produced in Addis Ababa, showcases a sound journey across the mountains, deserts and forests of Ethiopia and its cultural universe. Roaring Abyss will take your through an inedit collection of invaluable importance for the transmission and preservation of the African heritage.
“We may not be able to promise glitz and glamour, but as a small independent film festival we will feature some of the best documentary films of recent years, including Fire at Sea the 2016 Oscar nominated film by Gianfranco Rosi , or the winner of the Zurich Film Festival, Future Baby”, says Kidist Getachew, this year’s AIFF coordinator. It’s a small festival, but with its army of dedicated staff and pleasant volunteers the Addis International Film Festival has built an ecosystem unto itself to succeed, for the eleventh times in a row, in putting together the Festival.
Supported by the Packard Foundation, the festival this year is also organizing a workshop on ‘Gender Reproductive Health and Media’ for some 40 media professionals, young filmmakers and communication experts on field on two rounds on the 1st-2nd May, 2017.
The AIFF is now the oldest continually running film festival in Ethiopia, drawing its standing to consistently present abundant programmes of new documentaries, panel discussions, entertainment and educational workshops. This year’s festival is from April 28th through May 3rd 2017.