Cine-Ethiopia cover
The History and Politics of Film in the Horn of Africa
Over the past decade, Ethiopian films have come to dominate the screening schedules of the many cinemas in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa, as well as other urban centers. Despite undergoing an unprecedented surge in production and popularity in Ethiopia and in the diaspora, this phenomenon has been broadly overlooked by African film and media scholars and Ethiopianists alike. This collection of essays and interviews on cinema in Ethiopia represents the first work of its kind and establishes a broad foundation for furthering research on this topic. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the topic and bringing together contributions from both Ethiopian and international scholars, the collection offers new and alternative narratives for the development of screen media in Africa. The book’s relevance reaches far beyond its specific locale of Ethiopia as contributions focus on a broad range of topics—such as commercial and genre films, diaspora filmmaking, and the role of women in the film industry—while simultaneously discussing multiple forms of screen media, from satellite TV to “video films.” Bringing both historical and contemporary moments of cinema in Ethiopia into the critical frame offers alternative considerations for the already radically changing critical paradigm surrounding the understandings of African cinema.
Subjects: Film Studies | Art
Publication Date: August 1st, 2018
316 pages| 6 in x 9 in
MICHAEL W. THOMAS is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Film Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.  

ALESSANDRO JEDLOWSKI is a Belgian Scientific Research Fund (F.R.S.-FNRS) postdoctoral fellow in Anthropology at the University of Liège, Belgium, and a former Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions research fellow.  

ABONEH ASHAGRIE is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at Addis Ababa University.  

Early Praise

“A magnificent collaborative contribution to African cinema and global cinema studies, involving scholars from both Ethiopia and beyond. At last we have a book exploring the richness of the cinemas and screen media of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia—cinemas that fully reveal the diversity and complexity of Africa itself.”
Lindiwe Dovey, reader in Screen Arts and Industries, SOAS University of London, author of African Film and Literature: Adapting Violence to the Screen and Curating Africa in the Age of Film Festivals
“This volume charts the rich and fascinating but previously hidden history of Ethiopian cinema, taking us through the eras of Emperor Menelik II, Italian occupation, and Haile Selassie, to the current proliferation and popularity of Ethiopian television and video-film production nationally and abroad. As a discussion of an African country with a unique historical trajectory and an international image limited by lazy stereotypes, this book is essential reading for scholars and cinephiles who want to understand world cinema beyond the Western mainstream.”
Lizelle Bisschoff, Lecturer in Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, founder of the Africa in Motion Film Festival, and coeditor of Africa’s Lost Classics: New Histories of African Cinema
Cine-Ethiopia alters the map of African cinema scholarship by providing the first comprehensive account of a flourishing but little-known film industry. The editors have assembled a well-coordinated series of chapters, rich in expertise and various in perspective. The book’s subject is framed with intelligent sophistication and broadly construed: it provides substantial historical and cultural background and extends to several Ethiopian ethnicities, the rest of the Horn of Africa, and the important role of the diaspora. This volume is a sustained revelation. I believe it will become a standard text instantly and hold that position for a long time to come.”
Jonathan Haynes, author of Nollywood: The Creation of Nigerian Film Genres

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