Ethiopian Film Industry Booming in Quantity, Not in Quality: Study

The wide expansion of cinemas, job creation potential and the availability of huge audience are some of the factors for the growth of the Ethiopian film industry in quantity, not in quality.

By Fanuel Lakew |

Study reveals that Ethiopian film industry is booming in terms of number not quality. Establishing strong training institutions would help make the industry more competitive and attractive.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism co-organized a consultative forum Tuesday with the Ethiopian Film Professionals Association with the theme: “Films with Cultural Values for Renaissance.”

Presenting a paper on Ethiopian Films Prospects and Challenges, Wossenyeleh Tilahun noted that currently over 100 movies have been produced in a year thanks to the technology and the economic growth the country registered. The wide expansion of cinemas, job creation potential and the availability of huge audience are some of the factors for the growth of the industry, he added.

However, the films are produced without detail research, casting system, professional filmmakers and conducting feasible and risk assessment. Lack of attention and viable support from the government is also the other major hindrance, according to Wossenyeleh.

According to the study, some 60% of the respondents believe that the film industry has been growing in quantity but not in quality. Some 20% on the other hand say the industry is growing and the remaining have an opposite view.

Almost half of the films made this year are waiting to be released for long period of time due to lack of cinema houses and alleged corruption by managers. Some films have been released instead of the quality ones for some officials are allegedly receiving bribes.

“Ethiopian filmmakers have been invited to take part in various international film festivals but they fail to do so as they could not meet the international criteria,” he noted.

He recommended that government need to enact laws and establish special government institution that directly governs and supports the industry. The association must be strong in providing support to professionals in the sector.

According to the study, forums need to be organized to have discussion between the government and pertinent bodies to identify challenges and address them. Filmmakers are also expected fulfill their responsibility.

Currently, there are about 300 filmmaker enterprises and 39 cinema houses in Addis Ababa with the number of films showing 10 per cent growth..

Thorough discussion was held with participants on ways of improving Ethiopian film industry and overcoming the challenges and fulfilling responsibilities for a better future. The event was attended by various film professionals, directors, senior government officials and other pertinent bodies.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald