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African films big shot at Ethiopian film festival

posted 12 Nov 2012, 08:04 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Nov 2012, 08:05 ]

Ethiopia-African Cinema -- African films big shot at Ethiopian film festival

 China Central Television (CCTV) - Dozens of African films premiered in Ethiopia over the past week, as filmmakers across the continent gathered in Addis Ababa for an international film festival.

The Colors of the Nile International Film Festival, which lasted from last Wednesday to Sunday, attracted 58 film submissions from 28 African countries.

The screenings at the Colors of the Nile, ranging from feature films, documentaries, to short movies, are all locally financed and featured all-African casts. Eleven awards were given out, including The Great Nile Award for Best Feature Film Director.

Films entered in competition were from AlgeriaBurkina FasoCameroonCongoEgyptEthiopia,GhanaKenya, Cote d'Ivoire, MaliMoroccoRwandaSenegalSouth Africa and Tunisia.

"In the past, Africa used to go to the rest of the world to give us an opportunity to make our films. Now we don't do that anymore. Now we make our own films and we show it to the rest of the world. This can only be a good thing," said Don Omope, a film critic based in Nigeria.

The festival also included a range of activities and training workshops aimed at developing talents for Ethiopian film makers.

"We don't have film schools, we don't have artistic schools, everybody is trying from scratch. Everybody is trying from the books, Google, and from the experience of foreign filmmakers. So I figure, as beginners, they are doing good," said one local cinema-goer.

An Ethiopian filmmaker pointed out that finance remains the the biggest hindrance for African cinema.

"Most of the Ethiopian filmmakers are funding their films themselves. They don't get fund from other sources. Fortunately, I can proudly say that we have audience, we have film-goers that appreciate their own language films, their own culture, films made with their own values," said Ethiopian filmmaker Theore.

The Blue Nile Film and Television Academy, a pioneering training institute in Addis Ababa, co-organized the festival with the Ethiopian Filmmakers Association.

"This is the first time in my life that I've participated in an event like this," said veteran Ethiopian actressAlmaz Haile.

"I've been in the show business for 42 years but this is a first for Ethiopia. I admire very much what the organizers have done for this event," added Haile.

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