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Ethiopian tourism delegate to grace Cannes film festival

Ethiopian tourism delegate to grace Cannes film festival

Ethiopian Tourism is set to take part in the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, led by CEO of Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO), Lensa Mekonnen.

With the intention of promoting Ethiopia as a filmmaking destination, the delegates are said to offer a number of incentives for filmmakers to choose Ethiopia as a favorable destination, as Bombay, Toronto and Los Angeles have achieved some successes and helping create thousands of local jobs in the process.

This comes as the government agency has had a lukewarm performance, including being absent at a number of international tourism gatherings, most recently the African Tourism Investment Summit in South Africa and facing a slew of backlash from stakeholders, including tour operators and a number of resignations from its senior executives for its lack of promotion of Ethiopia as a tourist destination.               

Ethiopia is little known as a destination of filmmakers and it’s hoped, the 11 day festival would offer Tourism Ethiopia a chance to market the nation.

There has also been grumbling with the leadership of Lensa, since she ascended to her current position as the first woman to lead the organization last year after the sudden firing of Yohannes Tilahun, who was accused of double dipping his pay from the federal government as well as from the UNDP, at 14,000 Birr and 8,000 USD concurrently and accusations of negligence of duty.

The last international movie which managed to acquire place at Cannes film festival from Ethiopia was Difret, a movie loosely based on the effort of lawyer, Meaza Ashanaffi, to free a young abused woman and since appointed as the head of Ethiopian Federal Supreme Court. It was co-produced by Mehret Mandefro (MD), an employee of Kana TV and part of the delegate to Cannes.

The international event is set to take place starting on May 14th and is to run until May 25th.