2014 Addis to Cannes End










Programs & Activities Organized in Monte Carlo & Cannes

ADDIS ABABA / MONACO / CANNES 25 May, 2014 Five talented young Ethiopian filmmakers have returned home after an extraordinary, week-long visit to Monte Carlo and the Cannes Film Festival, which they attended as special guests.  In addition to seeing films and meeting filmmakers, they participated in industry-related meetings, workshops and seminars and were feted at dinners and parties, culminating in the presentation of their own film work at a special screening event in Monaco.

Filmmakers Adanech Admassu, Hiwot Admasu Getaneh, Hermon Hailey, Yamrot Nigussie and Daniel Negatu participated in this year's Addis To Cannes event, an educational program created by The International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) and the Ethiopian Film Initiative (EFI), along with new partner and sponsor, the Better World Film Festival.  The filmmakers were selected from a sizable pool of applicants from Ethiopias resurgent film community after a targeted search for emerging and newly established filmmakers eager to further their careers, create professional networks internationally and develop their own indigenous film industry. 

The filmmakers followed a full, thoughtfully programmed schedule from the moment they landed in Nice.  After orientation and sightseeing in Monte Carlo, home of the IEFTA,  it was off to Cannes early the next day to register, pick up badges and experience the 67th Festival de Film as qualified participants.  After exploring the Palais and International Pavilions, the 5 filmmakers  headed to the Majestic Hotel Beach for a photo session with Getty Images.  Then they raced off to a Producer's Network party sponsored by Scandinavian Locations and New Nordic Films.  Program mentor, U.S. trained Producer/Consultant Moira Griffin explains that introductions and networking were the focus of the evening, with the filmmakers engaging producers and industry executives, seizing the opportunity to make and improve acquaintances in a relaxed but rarified social atmosphere.

The next day, the Ethiopian visitors returned to Monte Carlo for training in what Griffin and other mentors call "Cannes networking boot camp."  Activities included pitching sessions (for the next film they want to make), finance seminars, screenwriting master-classes and technical filmmaking workshops.  That evening at the Columbus Hotel in Monte Carlo the filmmakers introduced themselves and their upcoming projects, prior to presenting clips of their existing work to an audience of local cineastes, IEFTA supporters, benefactors and international media.

Back to Cannes the next morning, the filmmakers were guided through press interviews by the Ethiopian Film Initiatives Ragnhild Ek and Moira Griffin, then taken on a tour of the Marche before meeting with various film organizations, including an extended discussion with Sundance Film Festival representatives.  That evening, a Gala Benefit featured prominently on their itinerary, this one hosted by IEFTA President Marco Orsini at the Villa Nocturne, his home in Monte Carlo.   Among those addressing the  revelers at the Gala was Better World Film Festival founder and new sponsor of the Addis To Cannes event, Manuel Collas de la Roche, who introduced special guest, the Venerable Thamthog Rinpoche,Abbot of Namgyal Monastery, His Holiness The Dalai Lamas personal Monastery.   In Cannes to attend a special screening featuring the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan monks interaction with the Ethiopian filmmakers was especially noteworthy. 

Early the next day, the filmmakers were back at Majestic Beach in Cannes where they took part in directing and producing a webisode about financing independent film.  Meanwhile, they themselves were the subjects of a French television crew; later in the afternoon they gave a long interview about their Cannes experience to a US/UK television network.  The Ethiopian filmmakers closed the day as guests of IEFTA Vice-President Noriko Katayanagi Bonafede at a reception honoring emerging Japanese filmmakers.  The two groups of ambitious filmmakers had much in common to talk about despite--or perhaps because of--their cultural differences.

The rest of their time in Cannes was spent immersed in the event itself.  From morning to night they explored the Festival, attending screenings and meeting with critical industry executives, including Film Fund representatives from France and Norway (whose programs specifically target their region) and film commissioners, festival directors and programmers from Scandinavia, Europe, India, Canada, US and elsewhere, key sources of co-production opportunities and gatekeepers to the public.  They met with distributors and acquisition executives who explained what they sought in the global marketplace for their regions and audiences. They met with public relations and marketing executives about publicity and promotion, and shared stories and experiences with other filmmakers--beginning and established--from around the world.   Built into their agenda were numerous opportunities for networking and socializing;  receptions where the real work of the festival is done allowed time and occasion for conversation, laughter and partying with members of the global film industry at its most glittering event of the year.

Commenting on their experience,  filmmakers has this to say: These were among the most fruitful and beneficial days of my career. It was a magnificent experience. (Daniel Negatu)  This trip to Cannes and Monaco was very inspiring, and the experience has raised my confidence as a filmmaker. (Adanech Admassu)  This visit inspired me and was incredibly valuable to me as a filmmaker and as a person.  I hope that the IEFTA/EFI/BWFF program is around a long time to help benefit other emerging filmmakers from Ethiopia and other countries. (Hermon Hailey)  Thank you to everybody who helped make this a memorable time in my life and career. (Yamrot Nigussie) It was amazing! said Hiwot Admasu Getaneh,  neatly summarizing everyone's reaction. 

The IEFTA and EFI together form an international / Ethiopian partnership committed to developing and improving the professional standards of the Ethiopian film industry. The EFI provides capacity building support for Ethiopian documentary and feature film producers and directors as well as encouraging and training local and international entities to use local Ethiopian filmmakers. Please visit www.ethiopianfilminitiative.org for additional information.

The IEFTA through its Global Film Expression effort and partnerships with organizations such as the Ethiopian Film Initiative is dedicated to the discovery, nurture and promotion of filmmakers throughout the developing world.  The IEFTA has been supporting Emerging talent since 2006 and has been specifically supporting Ethiopian film since 2008.  www.iefta.org

Better World Film Festival is a program of the Films For Peace Foundation which is committed to the development of a dialogue and exchanges between academics, scientists and professional humanitarians on the one hand and the general public on the other, to promote peace throughout the world, a healthy environmental approach and understanding among cultures. The Foundation wishes to focus primarily on filmmakers, while still supporting all other forms of artistic expression that carry a message of peace.  To do this, the Films For Peace Foundation supports game changers by producing documentaries and feature films destined for the general public. The Foundation also finances specific projects initiated by NGOs that follow these very principles.  Our ambition is that each ray of peace, however modest, be capable of casting its light on the world.  http://filmsforpeacefoundation.org/

Press Contact For IEFTA/EFI/BWFF Initiative: Gary Springer, +1.914.659.4802 (mobile) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact in Ethiopia for EFI: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -

+251-913550201, www.ethiopianfilminitiative.org

Contact in Monaco For IEFTA: Marco Orsini, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+33.607.93.92.45 (mobile), www.iefta.org