The Ethiopian film industry has been suffering from manpower shortage. To play its role in supporting the development of the country's film industry with trained film professionals, Addis Ababa University (AAU) has started offering a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Film Production five years ago, the first and only graduate degree program in the country. The primary mission of AAU's film program is to provide excellent graduate teaching in the study of cinema and the practice of creating films-- on the principle that the study of cinema and the artistic production of moving images complement one another.
Unlike other mediums of art, film making does not just require imagination to bring an idea to life. Paper and pen might allow one to write a book, and paint and paintbrush may produce a painting, but to make a movie, it requires the collaboration of professionals from different disciplines. In an effort to teach its film students the industry-standard film production workflow, AAU's film department has organized the first Pitch Day on June 30, 2018, at Matti Multiplex Cinema, one of the major movie theaters in Addis Ababa.
To make the Pitch Day a success, AAU's film department has invited 135 selected students from the following eight colleges to participate in its fall 2018 production course and work in collaboration with film students on 12 film projects:
- College of Performing & Visual Arts
- Yared Music School
- Yoftahe Nigussie School of Theater Arts
- School of Law
- Addis Ababa Institute of Technology
- Ethiopian Institute of Architecture
- Building Construction & City Development
- AAU College of Business and Economics
Students who come from colleges listed above were offered training in:
- Production Design
- Film Scoring
- Costume Design
- Visual Effect
- Graphic Design
- Production Management
- Production Accounting
- Film Marketing
- Copyright Law
Following the industry-standard workflow, students have prepared 12 pitch packages for 12 story ideas they've developed in the collaboration process. The pitch packages were presented on Pitch Day to local producers, financiers, distributors, and other stakeholders within the Ethiopian film industry. The implementation of this initiative has offered a strong foundation in understanding the industry-standard production workflow to students as well as the broader film making community.
As a result of the success of this initiative, five graduate film students were selected to participate at the 75th Venice International Film Festival which was held from 29 August to 8 September 2018. The initiative has given the opportunity to introduce film students to the local film industry. The Pitch Day has also served as a networking event that allowed film students to meet producers, film financiers, distributors, and exhibitors who were interested in collaborating with them. Students who were offered the opportunity through this initiative are now working in the film industry. Thus, the initiative has contributed to the development of the Ethiopian film industry by providing trained film professionals. Moreover, the students have learned how to get into the local film industry.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Addis Ababa University Department of Film
Alatinos Filmmakers Association
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Italian Cultural Institution
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Matti Multiplex Cinema