A video competition launched by the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa announced the winners this Monday at the National Theater.
This fourth installment of US Embassy’s video challenge was on the theme of ‘Our Ethiopia’. They had received 189 entries from filmmakers in different regions of the country. Previous themes included women’s issues, disability inclusion and diversity. These themes were selected to encourage constructive conversation around social issues in Ethiopia.
US Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor expressed that they were concerned for the future of Ethiopia when they launched the competition in January. The ‘dizzying and concrete changes’ in Ethiopia since then have highlighted the importance of tolerance, rule of law and peaceful conflict resolution. He added that change process takes time and affirmed the embassy’s support in helping the country reform.
The ambassador applauded the artistry of the video entries, adding they were ‘aesthetically thoughtful’ and ‘unmistakably Ethiopian‘ in their aesthetics, values of sharing, unity and diversity as well as their hopefulness.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Fazia Ahmed acknowledged the importance of these videos in giving a voice to the voiceless, creating harmony and expressing diversity. She encouraged the youth to engage aggressively in filmmaking and create an ever-thriving Ethiopian film science.
Joseph Ebongo’s ‘Our Ethiopia’ was awarded first place prize and a desktop iMac computer. His video was a lovely story of inclusion and tolerance featuring children with disabilities, made under the theme of ‘wisdom is tolerance’. Habtegebriel Abebe’s ‘What’s my Ethnicity?’ received second place and Kidsane Tadesse’s ‘Medemer/Synergy’ placed third. The winners expressed their delight at the award and shared their enthusiasm in using the arts to further understanding and highlight the diversity of Ethiopia.