Home > City Journal > Notes From The Indian Film Festival

Notes From The Indian Film Festival

The Indian Film festival is here.

It was kicked off yesterday at the National Theatre at 6.30 P.M. And It would go on the whole week.In case you are wondering about the lingua, be assured that all the movies have English subtitles.

Last Friday, there was also arelated event of the festival, a  full-day symposium at the Hilton Hotel with a title, ‘Cinema Now: Here and There’, organised by the Indian Embassy.

It was wonderful… a real treat for film lovers.I have never attended an event on Ethiopian films the mood so positive or the excitment so high.It was very invigorating.

I encourage those of you who have not attended, to contemplate for next year.

There were lots of presentations and discussions on topics like present conditions and future prospects of Ethiopian film industry, the challenges of feature film making in Ethiopia, the role of goverment in the film industry and stereotypes and popular cinema.

As I listened to one of the presentations on Indian cinema in Ethiopia, I was having memoreis of Indian films I have watched while I was a child, like Mother India, Disco Dancer, Waqt.It is a shame that I am not taking time to watch some of them now.

Events like this are fun as you read the name tags and realize that you finally are face to face with a name you have heared so much about.During the breaks, I caught up some Ethiopian filmakers.I met Leelai Demoz, a New York-based actor and filmaker, whose documentary On Tip Toe was an Oscar nominee, but regrettably did not have much time to chat with him.He was leaving for South Africa the following day and he said I could reach him through e-mail.

Haimant Alemu, a veteran stage actor and now a film director, gave me an invitation card for his new film, Girdosh( The first Ethiopia film adapted from a novel) which was premiered yesterday at Alem Cinema.I would blog about it in the weeks to come, Ensh Allah. 

I also met Tesfaye Mamo, screen writer and film director. We talked about films for a while  and in the course of the  conversation, I asked him for an interview, for which he readily agreed.Birhanie Nigussie, director of Love and Dance, told me he had seen what I wrote about his movie in this blog and he said he was extremely happy about it.

More about the festival as the weeks rolls on.Chaw for now.

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Categories: City Journal
  1. Yaya
    December 14, 2006 at 12:06 pm

    Arif, I thought this would interest you.
    Indian films charm Ethiopia
    New Kerela

    Addis Ababa, Dec 14: Did you know that Indian cinema has a large fan following in Ethiopia? At the Indian film week underway here, leading Ethiopian filmmakers found themselves recalling their favourite Bollywood movies and calling for closer cooperation with the Indian film industry.

    At a symposium “Cinema Now: Here and There”, organised by the Indian embassy in association with the ministries of culture, tourism, trade and industry of Ethiopia and the city of Addis Ababa, many film personalities suggested enhanced cooperation with India’s fraternity to learn from the global success of Indian films.

    Ethiopia’s State Minister of Culture and Tourism Tadelech Dalecha also encouraged the Ethiopian film industry to draw the best practices from India to embellish the cherished relationship between the two countries. He congratulated the embassy for organising the symposium as it provided “a platform for exchange of ideas among various stakeholders in the film industry”.

    Several speakers recalled the impact made by Indian cinema on their lives, especially films of the 1950s and 1960s.

    Eminent Ethiopian filmmakers including Tatek Tadesse, Surafiel Wondimu and Berhane Negussie talked about the impact Indian films like Mehboob Khan’s legendary “Mother India” and Yash Chopra’s “Waqt” made on them. Haiyamanot Alemu spoke on the challenges of feature filmmaking in Ethiopia. His film was being premiered this week.

    Renowned screenplay writer Tesfaye Mamo discussed historical aspects, present conditions and future prospects of the film industry in Ethiopia. Ramendra Shah, a long time distributor of Indian films here, gave an overview of the history and impact of Indian cinema in Ethiopia while Indian scholars Neeti Sethi Bose and Heroy Arefe-Aine made a presentation on stereotypes and popular cinema.

    State Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Tusa, an alumnus of India’s Hissar Agriculture University, appreciated the embassy’s initiative in trying to create a forum for discussion among filmmakers of Ethiopia and government bodies. The symposium also discussed the role of film festivals, capacity building for cinema, emulating the model of India’s government-funded National Film Development Corp (NFDC) and using Ethiopian cinema to promote the country’s identity and image overseas.

    Indian Ambassador Gurjit Singh announced that the embassy would continue to encourage cinema in Ethiopia and assist in whatever manner possible including supporting a forum of filmmakers, for interaction on good cinema and its impact in Ethiopia.

    “Impact of Indian Cinema on Ethiopia”, a documentary produced by the Ethiopian Television, was also screened at the symposium. It included interviews with filmgoers who watch Indian films at home – many of them said that while they do not understand Hindi but have seen some Hindi films often enough to provide simultaneous translation into the local language for others.

    The documentary also featured many video parlour owners who said they had better turnout for Indian films than for Hollywood films.

    A week-long festival of award-winning Indian films, currently underway here, is drawing film buffs. The films being screened include “Massey Sahib”, “English August”, “Train to Pakistan”, “Vastupurush”, “Shubho Muhurat”, “Baghban” and “Manthan”.

    — IANS

  2. April 20, 2007 at 2:34 am

    very very good

  1. August 4, 2007 at 12:18 am
  2. February 9, 2008 at 7:00 pm
  3. March 4, 2008 at 8:39 am

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