Angelina Jolie produces an Ethiopian movie ‘Difret’

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THU, 16 JANUARY 2014

Angelina Jolie has a new credit to add to her resume – executive producer of the Ethiopian movie Difret!

The film will be heading to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival this week as an entry in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition and now it has one of the world’s biggest stars putting her support behind it.

Angelina will be taking a presentation credit on the film and there is no word yet if the title will be changed, according to Deadline. The movie tells the story of a girl and a female lawyer who take on the Ethiopian tradition of “telefa,” which means marriage by abduction.

“This film is a strong moment for art in Ethiopia”, Angelina said in a statement. “It is inspiring to see such an important story so beautifully illustrated with such creative talent. It draws out the richness of Ethiopian culture and shows how important legal advances can be made while respecting local culture. It is a story that gives hope for Ethiopia’s future, and for other countries where countless girls grow up without the protection of laws that shield them and their bodies, and shows how the courage of brave individuals can awaken the conscience of a society.”

Angelina Jolie has joined Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s feature directorial debut Difret, which will have its world premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition category at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

Centering around a young Ethiopian girl who challenges the tradition of “telefax,” the practice of abduction in marriage, usually of young girls, Jolie describes the film as “a strong moment for art in Ethiopia.”
Difret will premiere at Sundance on Saturday, January 18 at 9:00pm at the Egyptian Theatre, with more screenings throughout the week.
Three hours outside of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave Hirut grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions.Meaza Ashenafi, an empowered and tenacious young lawyer, arrives from the city to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza boldly embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, risking the ongoing work of her women’s legal-aid practice to save Hirut’s life.Beneath the layer of polite social customs, an aggressively rooted patriarchy perpetuates inhospitable conditions for women in this engrossing and significant film, based on a real-life story. Ethiopian-born writer/director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari portrays, with panoramic beauty, the complexity of a country’s transformation toward equal rights, featuring the courageous generation that dares to own it.

About the Director

Zeresenay Berhane Mehari is a writer/director with more than a decade of experience making films. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Mehari moved to the U.S. to attend film school. He founded Haile Addis Pictures to produce his first narrative feature film, Difret. He has a bachelor of arts degree from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Cast and Credits

Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Screenwriter: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Producers: Mehret Mandefro, Leelai Demoz, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Executive Producers: Angelina Jolie, Julie Mehretu, Jessica Rankin, Francesca Zampi, Lacey Schwartz

Cinematographer: Monika Lenczewska

Editor: Agnieszka Glinska

Production Designer: Dawit Shawel

Composers: David Schommer, David Eggar

Principal Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere

Source : compiled from agencies

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