Ethiopia and Amharic Cinema


This toolkit explores Ethiopia’s key Amharic films.


A commercially viable Amharic-language film industry emerged in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2002. The industry depends on theatrical releases inside Ethiopia to make viable profits. This economic model encouraged the opening of privately-run, single screen cinemas across the country, all devoted to screening the latest locally produced films. The centrality of cinemas in the industry sustain a diverse cinemagoing culture drawn from young adults who make up the urban lower/middle classes in Ethiopia. Roughly 60% of these cinemagoers are women and this gender dynamic is reflected in the films themselves, which often follow the stories of female protagonists.


Author: Michael W. Thomas

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