EFI International Advisors

Ethiopian Film Initiative
International Advisors 2008 - 2009

Owner of the Paris-based production company Chinguetty Films with her partner Abderrehmane Sissako, they have produced multiple award-winning films 'Bamako' and 'Waiting for Happiness' by A. Sissako, 'Abuna' and 'Daratt' by Haroun m. Salleh among others . After her studies at the University of Western Ontario she worked for a Japanese T.V station 24HTV then returned to Ethiopia to produce various documentaries for European television. She directed the documentary 'The river that divides'. Her first fiction production was the Ethiopian short film 'The Father' by Ermias Woldeamlak. She is also the east African regional representative for FEPACI (Federation of pan-African filmmakers).

Salim Amin is CEO of Camerapix, founder and Chairman of The Mohamed Amin Foundation and Chairman of A24 Media. As Executive Producer and Presenter, Salim finished a documentary chronicling his father's life in March 2006 entitled "MO & ME" which has to date won nine Awards including the Grand Jury Award at the New York International Film Festival.  In December 2005, Salim Amin began work on the launch of the first 24-hour pan-African News and Current Affairs Channel. A24 Media, a precursor to the Channel and Africa's first online Agency for video and stills content, is set to launch in July 2008.  In January 2007 Salim Amin was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos.


Originally a lawyer, specializing in Entertainment and Media consulting, Michael Auret is a serial entrepreneur having started and built an advertising agency, TV production company and radio station in his native Zimbabwe. He was from 2001 until 2007, the Festival Director of the Cape Town World Cinema Festival as well as CEO of the Sithengi Film and TV Market which were the biggest Film and TV events in Africa. He is now the Joint Managing Director of Spier Films which is a boutique sales, distribution and production company based in London and Cape Town.

Keith Bowers works as a broadcasting consultant and teacher/trainer in a number of countries including the UK, Ethiopia, Kosovo and Spain. He has been teaching television production on the Masters course in Journalism and Communication at Addis Ababa University since the program began. Before his freelance career Keith Bowers worked as a journalist, including a 20-year stint at the BBC where he was the executive producer of two acclaimed international television documentary series, Assignment and Correspondent.


Chairman and Professor of Literature and Film in the Department of African Studies at Howard University, Washington, D.C. In addition to numerous essays and chapters in books on African and Caribbean literature and film, he is the editor of EX-ILES: Essays on Caribbean Cinema (1992), and co-editor of Blackframes: Critical Perspectives on Black Independent Cinema (1988) and African Experiences of Cinema (1996). Dr. Cham's research and writing focus on oral traditions, film, literature and society in Africa and the Caribbean. He was a lead scholar for the first African Film Summit held in Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa in April 2006.

Arijit Dutta is the head of Priya Entertainments Pvt. Ltd. (P.E.P.L, an Entertainment Company, which has been successfully operating, managing and programming various cultural centers, theatres and cinemas in Kolkata and districts of West Bengal.  Joint Venture Partner  for Eastern India since 1994 with Columbia Tristar Films, Walt Disney , Beuna  Vista , Sony Pictures.  In the production sector, his Group Companies have produced quality films in the past like "Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne","Aranyer Dinratri","Pratidwandi" directed by Satyajit Ray,  "Chhuti"-the first movie directed by Arundhati Devi and "Hatey Bajare" directed by Tapan Sinha.

Trey Ellis is a novelist, screenwriter, essayist and professor. His work for the screen includes the Emmy nominated Tuskegee Airmen, and Good Fences starring Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg which was shortlisted for the PEN award for Best Teleplay of the year. His first play, Fly, was produced and performed at the Lincoln Center Institute. He is a regular blogger on the HuffingtonPost.com and Babble.com and lives in Manhattan with his two children where he is an Assistant Professor of Film at Columbia University.


Filmmaker Samson Giorgis is an Ethiopian filmmaker living in Paris.  His films include "The Return of the Obelisk", "Rethinking Justice, imprisonment in Africa", "The Djibouto-Ethiopian train, stories of a return", among others.  He has a MA in cinematography from the Sorbonne and has worked as the Coordinator of Cultural co-operations projects between Ethiopia and France.  In addition he was the founder of the cultural center "La Bizz'Art" in Drome.

Vice President of Pipedream Productions overseeing development. Moira Griffin has produced short films including the award winning "Night Magic" by Bernardo Ruiz and has worked in production management for a variety of companies including NBC, VH1 and Mega Entertainment. She is the co-founder/ curator of Rooftop Films a non-profit film festival and production collective. Moira Griffin created "Universal Soul", which focused on bringing new music and art that crosses genres exposing new artists to a wider audience.  Independently, through her company Melana Entertainment, she is producing "Apache", in association with David Koh of Arthouse Films, and is currently filming the documentary "The Love Project" about black women, spirituality, and HIV in the USA.

Iraqi-born filmmaker Parine Jaddo studied film at Howard University. She has worked in film and television in the capacity of writer, producer and director. Her latest film "Rasta's Paradise", a 50 minute documentary, was shot in Ethiopia and is presently in distribution. Parine Jaddo worked as writer for 100 episodes on women for Arab Satellite MBC during 2006. She also taught film production courses at Howard University in Washington DC and The Lebanese American University in Lebanon. She presently resides in Accra Ghana where she is writing and teaching film.

Gaston Kabore received his degree in Film Production in 1976.  He returned to his native country to be director of the Centre National du Cinéma. His film Wend Kuuni was only the second feature film produced in Burkina Faso.  His work for the screen, focusing on his country's rural heritage, has received numerous international awards, including a French César award.  In 1997 he won the first prize at the 15th Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) with the film Buud Yam. From 1985 to 1997 he was the ll as Secretary-General of Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers. In 2005 he created the program Imagine, in Ouagadougou, which trains professionals for the television and cinema industries.


Eddie Mbalo is the CEO of The National Film and Video Foundation, whose mission is to create an environment that develops and promotes the South African film and video industry domestically and internationally.  He is a qualified television engineer, but his widest experience is in television production, having established the first black production company in 1984. He has freelanced for the world's leading television news agencies and produced many documentaries, and other television programs. He launched e.tv's first current affairs show, e.files and lectured part time at the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA).

Salem Mekuria is Associate Professor of Art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and an independent film producer, writer, director, originally from Ethiopia. For a number of years, she worked with NOVA, Public Television's premier science documentary series, a production of WGBH-TV, and with numerous international film productions focusing on issues of African women and development.  Salem Mekuria is the recipient of numerous awards, production grants and fellowships. Her films have been broadcast internationally and have screened at venues all over the world.

Kaare Melhus whose background includes broadcast reporting with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, is currently an Assistant Professor at the Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, Kristiansand, Norway.  He lead the Extension and Consultancy department, which cooperated with the University of Addis Ababa in the establishment of the Faculty of Journalism and Communication. He was also instrumental in starting the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication in Pristina.

Marco Orsini is the Executive Director of the International Emerging Talent Film Festival (IETFF) and resides in Monaco. He has close to 100 hours of Prime time television programming as a Producer and Director in both English and Spanish language networks. As an award winning filmmaker, Marco's work has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, his script writing was accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival inaugural "All Access" program and he was acknowledged by NALIP as an up and comer Latino Director in the States. His latest project, "The Reluctant Traveler", shot in Ethiopia, will be released in January of 2009.

Don Palmer has worked at the New York State Council on the Arts since 1986 where he is currently Director of the Individual Artists Program, supporting media artists' productions and theatre and composer commissions. He also worked as a Program Associate in the Presenting and the Museum programs.  He has written extensively on music, including blues, jazz, African and Caribbean, for national publications.

Keith Shiri is a film curator and founder/director of Africa at the Pictures a festival of African cinema based in London. He is a programming advisor to the London Film Festival and has been a trainer for ESODOC European Social Documentary a EU's Media Plus training initiative that encourages documentary filmmakers to work in the areas of human rights, social justice and environmental protection. From 2004 - 2007 Keith Shiri was a member of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund which was set up to provide production and distribution support to projects from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and the Caucasus. He is also on the advisory board of Focus Features Africa First Short Film Program, which provides production support for young African filmmakers.

Rod Stoneman is the Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was Chief Executive of Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board until September 2003 and previously a Deputy Commissioning Editor in the Independent Film and Video Department at Channel 4 Television.  He has made a number of documentaries for television and written on film in various magazines including: Screen, Sight and Sound, Kinema and Film Ireland.

Metasebia Woldemariam, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Plymouth State University in Plymouth , New Hampshire . She is a Member of the Board of ORBICOM, the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication. Her publications and research interests are related to media representations of Africa as well as on gender issues related to media, Africa and the African Diaspora.

Abiyi R. Ford is a senior consultant to the office of the President of Addis Ababa University. He is a former Dean of the faculty of Journalism and Communication at Addis Ababa University and as well a former Coordinator of the Graduate Film Studies program at the John H. Johnson school of communications at Howard University. An independent filmmaker and a founding chairman of the department of Radio, T.V. and film at Howard University, he studied film at Columbia University.

Nicole U. KALISA is the Executive Assistant of Rwanda Film Festival, Initiative of Rwanda Cinema Centre, first Cinema Organization in Rwanda.   She is a Member of the Film Festival Programmers & Film Selection Committee.  She is in the Coordination of the Women Panorama, an Actress and First women Filmmaker trained In Rwanda. She Initiated a Rwanda Women in Film Network working under the umbrella of Rwanda Cinema Centre

A Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Wales Newport since 1999, Philip Cowan also works as a Script Editor and Cinematographer.  He has two BAFTA ‘Best Short Film’ Awards for “The Confectioner” & “The Separation”.  He has been training film makers in Ethiopia since 2005, and recently directed his own film “Reflections of Ethiopia”, which was screened for the first time at the Addis International Film Festival in April 2010.  He is currently helping a number of Ethiopian writers develop their feature drama scripts, through the Ethiopian Film Initiative.