The Women Blowing Up Ethiopia’s Film Industry

Successful Female Writers, Directors, and Producers Set the Nation Apart From Hollywood, Bollywood, and the Rest of World Cinema

Among the many stories about Ethiopia’s long, multifaceted past and politically complicated present, an extraordinary transformation that has received less media attention is the dramatic leap forward in its movie industry. Before 2004, Ethiopia was producing only a few movies from time to time. But, by 2015, almost 100 locally produced new features were hitting the theaters in its capital city, Addis Ababa, each year. Local television has also grown and diversified.

Behind the rise of Ethiopian cinema is an even more remarkable tale of the women who—as writers, directors, producers, …