No trailer yet, but here are 2 clips from the Sundance Film Festival award winning feature film from Ethiopian filmmaker Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s, titled “Difret” (his feature directorial debut).
Soon after its Sundance premiere (where it picked up the Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic), Angelina Jolie attached her name to the project in an executive producer capacity, which should dramatically help raise the film’s profile, and maybe even assures that it’ll get some kind of a distribution deal here in the USA (it hasn’t yet that we know of).
A project we first alerted you to during the summer of 2012, writer/director Zeresenay Mehari’s “Difret” is a feature length scripted film based on the true story of the legal-precedent-setting court case that outlawed the practice of abduction for marriage in Ethiopia – also referred to as “Telefa.”
It tells the story of a 14-year old girl named Aberash Bekele who was accused of murder after killing the 29-year old man who raped, beat, and abducted her in an attempt to marry her. Aberash was charged with murder and kept in prison without bail until a female lawyer named Meaza Ashenafi heard about the case and decided to represent Aberash. With immense odds against them, the 2 women fought a harrowing drawn-out legal battle over a two-year period that would eventually change the lives of Ethiopian women forever.
It was last summer (2013) when the filmmakers raised close to $30,000 via Kickstarter to complete post-production on the film, which was shot in Ethiopia last year on 35mm film (a rarity these days, especially when it comes to indie filmmaking), thanks to support from a production package from Panavison Cameras, Pipeline Production, the Ministry of Culture Ethiopia, and others, including a previous successful Kickstarter campaign that raised almost $40,000 of the film’s mid-6-figure budget.
“It is inspiring to see such an important story so beautifully illustrated with such creative talent. It draws out the richness of Ethiopian culture and shows how important legal advances can be made while respecting local culture,” said Angelina Jolie in a statement, adding, “It is a story that gives hope for Ethiopia’s future, and for other countries where countless girls grow up without the protection of laws that shield them and their bodies, and shows how the courage of brave individuals can awaken the conscience of a society.”
The film stars Meron Getnet and Tizita Hagere.
By the way, it’s worth noting that Jolie’s adopted daughter Zahara is Ethiopian. She and hubby Brad Pitt have also given millions of dollars to help fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in the country.
Watch the 2 clips below: