Ethiopia takes Africa film honour
Written by BBC   
Sunday, 08 March 2009

Haile Gerima An Ethiopian film about the regime of the country's former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam has won the chief prize at Africa's main movie awards ceremony.

Teza was the unanimous winner of the Golden Stallion of Yennenga at the event in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Director Haile Gerima's award was accepted by his sister Selome, who also co-produced the film.

The silver award went to South African film Nothing But The Truth, and Algerian comedy Mascarades was third.

The audience award went to Burkina Faso film Le Fauteuil, while Moroccan film-maker Leila Kilani's documentary about political oppression in her country won its category.

Selome Gerima said during the week-long Fespaco event in the west African city that their film had taken 14 years to bring to the screen.

She added it made Ethiopians remember what like was like under Mengistu, who ruled the country from 1974-91.

The film focuses on a scientist who goes back to Ethiopia under the dicator after living in Germany.

It covers the issues of dictatorship, emigration, war and the position of women in Ethiopian society during the period.

It has proved a huge hit in Ethiopia since its premiere on 3 January.

At the Venice Film Festival, Teza won best screenplay and was given a special jury award.

Source BBC