Watch: Yared Zeleke’s Drama ‘Lamb’ ( Film Trailer )

(Screenshot from Yared Zeleke’s new film “Lamb.”)


By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

Making its World Premiere at the ongoing 2015 Cannes Film Festival is Yared Zeleke’s coming-of-age drama, “Lamb,” which marks the very first time in Cannes Film Festival history that an Ethiopian film has screened as an “Official Selection.” The country doesn’t have as rich a cinema history as one might immediately assume, with really 3 key filmmakers dominating the landscape – Haile Gerima likely being the most internationally-known, as well as Yemane Demissie and Teshome Kebede Theodros, all combining for about 10 feature films made between the mid-1970s through just before the turn of the century.

Although, as covered on this blog in recent years, there continue to be young up-and-coming Ethiopian filmmakers, embracing the opportunities to create that come courtesy of the democratization of the production process, provided by evolving technologies – Yidnekachew Shumete (“Nishan”) and Zeresenay Mehari (“Difret”) are just 2 of the most recent, whose films have traveled, and that we continue to follow. And then there are co-productions like “Crumbs,” the Spanish-Ethiopian post-apocalyptic feature film that will be making ts North American premiere at the LAFF in June. There is also “Beti and Amare,” the part sci-fi/fantasy, and part historical romantic drama set in World War 2-torn Ethiopia, directed by German filmmaker Andy Siege, which continues to tour the international film festival circuit.

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And there are several others…

Yared Zeleke and his 2015 Cannes selection, “Lamb,” can now be added to that growing list.

The film hails from Slum Kid Films, an Ethiopia-based film production company co-founded by Ama Ampadu, which aims to discover and nurture emerging talent in Ethiopia, as well as to support the development of Ethiopian filmmaking.

“Lamb” tells the tale of nine-year-old Ephraim and his constant companion, a sheep named Chuni. Ephraim’s affection for Chuni deepen after he loses his mother to famine. Consequently, his beloved father sends him and Chuni far away from their drought-stricken homeland, to live with distant relatives in a greener part of the country. Ephraim soon becomes a homesick outcast who is always getting into trouble. When his uncle orders him to slaughter Chuni for the upcoming holiday feast, Ephraim devises a devious scheme to save the sheep and return to his father’s home.
Watch: Yared Zeleke’s Lamb trailer

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