Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – To say that The Addis International Documentary Film Festival founder Kebour Ghenna and his team at Initiative Africa of young graduates and professionals have another mammoth film program on their hands is certainly stating the obvious. This Friday the organizers of the Addis Film Festival announced, that the Sixth Edition is set to screen over 50 local and foreign documentaries from May 1- 6, 2012 at the Martyrs Memorial in Meskel Square, Alliance Française, the British Council, the Italian Institute, the Addis Ababa University, the Bole Youth Center and universities in Mekele and Hawassa.
Faben Getachew, in her first festival as artistic director and coordinator said that the 50-strong lineup, include hotly anticipated new films like the Force of nature from David Suzuki, Town of Runners from Daniel Demissie, Waste Land by Lucy Walker and many more. In all films from over 40 countries will be screened with some half a dozen short films from Ethiopia. She also said that the Festival is hosting film directors and producers including Carl Angus (Waste Land), Eli Cal’el (The Name my Mother Gave me), Neveen Shalady (The Agenba and I), Nina Kusturica (Little Alien). These and others will be present during the screening of their films and participate in Q & A with the audience. Faben indicated that many of the films are winners of prestigious awards including: the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Documentary at the Sundance Festival, Berlin Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sydney Film Festival.
According to Kebour, the Addis Film Festival has gained greater name recognition, with locals as the main target audience. He said that the Festival gives the city something to be excited about and adds to the character of Addis Ababa. The film festival will grant three types of awards namely, best documentary, best Ethiopian film and best audience awards. The first two will be selected by a jury while the last will be selected by the audience.
Kebour indicated that the program for 2012 looks set to reflect a variety of cinematic genres from across the globe and urged the media to publicize the event to the wider community. He however, acknowledged that there might be difficult for non-English speakers to fully enjoy the films; but he said, this is a problem we recognize and we need to work on to add Amharic subtitles in the films.
In describing the program and introducing a short documentary by John Pilger to the audience, Dr. Girma, the Technical Advisor of Initiative Africa, remarked that “this is just a cross-section and a taste of what we have in store, and that you can already see the extraordinary diversity in subject, style and geography that makes a great international film festival memorable and thought-provoking.”