10.02 Alessandro Jedlowski; Teferi Nigussie

Ethio-cinema: Making and watching films in Ethiopia, past and present

Up to recent years, the study of the history and development of Ethiopian cinema have attracted little scholarly attention outside the country. In fact, while a few books about Ethiopian cinema exist in Amharic, almost no mention of Ethiopian films and filmmakers appears in the numerous monographs and essays dedicated to the analysis of film production in sub-Saharan Africa published over the past few decades in English, French or Italian, with the only exception of the work of the US-based diasporic director and activist Haile Gerima. Nevertheless, the history of filmmaking in Ethiopia is rich and complex, and with the introduction of digital technologies, cinema production is today booming. Almost 600 films have been released over the past ten years, a fifth of it only during 2013. Crowds of people can be seen queuing in front of Addis Ababas theatre halls, waiting to buy a ticket to watch one of the most recent local releases. And ambitious young artists and newcomers spend their little economies trying to build a name for themselves in the upcoming local stardom. Hence this panel invites scholars on all aspects of Ethiopian film history, aesthetics, production, distribution, and reception, in order to open a debate around the artistic, sociological, historical, political and economic dimensions of the boom in local film production and consumption outlined above. Papers dealing with film production, distribution and consumption of Ethiopian films within Ethiopia will be privileged, but contributions which highlight also the connections existing between diasporic film production and consumption, and local film culture will be taken into account. In general terms, the panel is aimed at providing a platform for scholars from around the world to examine and think critically about production, dissemination and consumption of Ethiopian films.


Mr ABONEH ASHAGRIE Ethiopian Cinema:The Socioeconomic and political impacts on the Development of Screen Media 
Ms. BITANIA TADESSE The Political Economy of Film Distribution in Ethiopia 
Ms. CHALTU NIGUSE The Scene Does not Speak Female and the Ethiopian Cinema 
Dr. JEDLOWSKI Alessandro Ethiopian cinema and the politics of migration: The work of Tewodros Teshome and Dagmawi Yimer
Dr. MESELE MENGSTEAB HABTU Prospects of the Ethiopian Cinema for Social Transformation: Representational Change from Poverty to Prosperity 
Mr TEFERI NIGUSSIE Struggle for survival in twenty first century; Global migration in Ethiopian films : The case of Teza, Yeger Ita, Vacation from America and Agratuu Barraaqaa
Mr THOMAS Michael W. From የሰይጣን ቤት (Yäsäyt’an bet – ‘Devil’s House’) to 7D: the multi-dimensional implications of the cinematic space in Ethiopia from its inception to the present-day 
Mr YIRGASHEWA TESHOME Film history in Ethiopia