Reflections on my Fulbright Specialist Program in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia – Teaching Film Studies

By Lucy Gebre-Egziabher

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In October 2015, I went to Ethiopia as a Fulbright Specialist to teach Film Studies at Rift Valley University, Bole campus. For 45 days I taught both the creative and technical  elements of Film to 130 day & evening students.

Ethiopia has a growing film industry. However due to a lack of formal education in this field, many films are made without proper training. Although the industry has become a viable business, it is outputting “formula films” that seem more driven by business demand.

My primary objective was to instill in these young students the notion that cinema is an academic field of study that requires both theory as well as practice. I delivered a series of lectures on Screenwriting, Directing, Film History, Theory and Criticism.  Lectures were accompanied by film screenings, followed by discussions.  The next phase was to go into the practical side of filmmaking – a “from Script to Screen” workshop.  Students who have never made films before walked through the various stages of the filmmaking process and produced short films that were screened to an audience.

After the program, I encouraged students to organize themselves as a film group, the “Ethiopian New Wave Filmmakers,” in order to continue working together and supporting each other’s productions. I committed to continue working with them as a mentor/advisor. I also identified a venue where they can screen their films and hold monthly short film screenings.  While the program delivery was a success, I believe that setting up the means through which these students can continue to make films and screen them in the coming future was as valuable a contribution.

Another priority for me was to recruit, train and empower women in this field.  I worked to ensure, before the start date, that extra efforts were made in recruiting female students for the program. As is the case in many developing countries, male students have a tendency to be larger in numbers in film classes and tend to dominate the discussion in class. I made this a top priority in talks with the host institution. A good number of female students were recruited.  While at first their participation was at a minimal, as the program went on, my female students started to take leadership roles and became more active in class discussions as well as on production sets.

To read the full report on my Fulbright Specialist Program, and watch a short film made by my students documenting our journey together please visit: http://blogs.nvcc.edu/lgebre/?page_id=838

Lucy Gebre-Egziabher is an award winning Filmmaker and Fulbright Scholar, who teaches film at Northern Virginia Community College – Alexandria Campus.

በፊልም መምህርነት  የፉልብራይት እስፔሻሊስት ሆኜ በአዲስ አበባ ያደረኩት ቆይታ ትውስታ

 በሉሲ ገብረእግዚአብሄር

 SAM_1748

በጥቅምት ወር 2008 ዓ.ም. በፉልብራይት እስፔሻሊስት ፕሮግራም የፊልም ጥናት መምህር በመሆን ወደ አዲስ አበባ ተጉዤ በሪፍት ቫሊ ዩኒቨርሲቲ፣ቦሌ ካምፓስ ለ45 ቀናት ሳስተምር ቆየሁ፡፡ በነዚህ በቆየሁባቸው ቀናትም በፈጠራ ጥበብ ብቻም ሳይሆን በቴክኒክ አላባውያን ላይም በማተኮር ለ130 የቀንና የማታ ተማሪዎች ትምህርቱን ሰጠሁ፡፡

በአሁኑ ጊዜ በኢትየጵያ የፊልም ዘርፍ በማደግ ላይ ይገኛል፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ በመስኩ መደበኛ ትምህርት ባለመሰጠቱ፤ አብዛኛዎቹ ፊልሞቹ በዘልማድናበቂ ሥልጠና ባልወሰዱ ሰዎች እየተሰሩ ነው፡፡ ዘርፉ አዋጭ ቢሆንም፤በገበያው ላይ የሚፈለጉት የተወሰኑ ዘውጎች ብቻ መሆናቸውም ሌላው ጉዳይ ነው፡፡

በዚህ ፕሮግራም ዋና ዓላማዬ የነበረው እነዚህ ወጣት ተማሪዎች የፊልም ጥበብ ራሱን የቻለ የትምህርት ዘርፍ እንደሆነና የንድፈ ሐሳብም ሆነ የተግባር ዕውቀት የሚጠይቅ መሆኑን ማሳወቅ ነበር፡፡ ይህንንም አስተሳሰብ ለማስረጽ በፊልም ድርሰት፣በዳይሬክቲንግ፣በፊልም ታሪክ፣በንድፈ ሐሳብና በሂስ ዙሪያ ተከታታይ ትምህርቶችን ሰጥቻለሁ፡፡ በእያንዳንዱ ክፍለ ጊዜ ፊልም ከታየ በኋላ ውይይት እናካሂድ ነበር፡፡ ይህንንም ተከትሎ የተግባር ልምምድ አካሂደን፤ከእስክሪፕት እስከ እስክርን በሚል ዐውደ ምክክር አዘጋጀሁ፡፡በዚህ ሂደት ውስጥም ፊልም ሠርተው የማያውቁ ተማሪዎች የተለያዩ ፊልም የመሥራት ደረጃዎችን በማለፍ ፊልም ሊሠሩ ቻሉ፤የሠሯቸው አጫጭር ፊልሞችም ለእይታ ቀረቡ፡፡

ፕሮግራሙ ከተጠናቀቀ በኋላም ተማሪዎቹ ቡድን ፈጥረው እርስ በርሳቸው በመተጋገዝ “የኢትዮጵያ አዲስ የፊልም ባለሙያዎች” ጎርፍ ልትፈጥሩ ትችላላችሁ” ስል ተማሪዎቼን አበረታታኋቸው፡፡ እኔም አማካሪያቸው/አሠልጣኛቸው መሆኔን እንደምቀጥል ቃል ገባሁላቸው፡፡ በዚህ ብቻም ሳላበቃ በየወሩ ተገናኝተው ፊልሞቻቸውን ማየት የሚችሉበትን ሥፍራ መረጥኩላቸው፡፡ በአጠቃላይ ፕሮግራሙ የተሳካ ነበር ማለት ቢቻልም፤ እንደትልቅ አስተዋጽዖ የምቆጥረው ተማሪዎቹ በቀጣይ ፊልሞችን መሥራትና ማሳየት የሚችሉበትን መንገድ መፈጠሩ ነው፡፡

ሌላው ቅድሚያ የሰጠሁት ጉዳይ ሴቶችን መመልመል፣ማሠልጠንና ማብቃት ነበር፡፡ ፕሮግራሙ ከመጀመሩ አስቀድሜ ሴት ተማሪዎች የፕሮግራሙ አካል እንዲሆኑ ከፍተኛ ጥረት አደረግሁኝ፡፡ በበርካታ አዳጊ ሀገሮች እንደሚታየው ሁሉ ወንድ ተማሪዎች ቁጥራቸው በርከት ይላል፤በክፍል ውስጥ በሚደረጉ ውይይቶችም ግንባር ቀደም ተሳታፊዎች ይሆናሉ፡፡ ከዩኒቨርስቲው ጋርም ይህንን ጉዳይ ቅድሚያ ሰጥቼ ፕሮግራሙ ከመጀመሩ በፊት ተነጋገርንበት፡፡ በዚህም የተነሣ ቁጥራቸው በርከት ያለ ሴት ተማሪዎች ፕሮግራሙ ላይ ለመሳተፍ ተመለመሉ፡፡ በመጀመሪያ ሴት ተማሪዎቹ በክፍል ውስጥ የነበራቸው ተሳትፎ ውስን የነበረ ቢሆንም፤ ከጊዜ በኋላ ግን በይበልጥ የግንባር ቀደምትነቱን ሥፍራ በመያዝ ውይይቶቹን ሊመሩና ፊልሞቹንም በመሥራት ረገድ የመሪነቱን ሚና ሊጫወቱ ችለዋል፡፡

በዚህ ፕሮግራም ላይ ያቀረብኩትን ሪፖርትና ከተማሪዎቹ ጋር ስለነበረን አጠቃላይ ቆይታ ቀጥሎ የተቀመጠውን የድረ-ገጽ ማስፈንጠሪያ በመጫን መመልከት ይችላሉ፡- http://blogs.nvcc.edu/lgebre/?page_id=838

 

ሉሲ ገብረእግዚአብሄር ሽልማት አሸናፊ የፊልም  ባለሙያና የፉልብራይት ስፔሻሊስት ስትሆን በአሁኑ ወቅት   በኖርዘርን ቨርጂኒያ የኮምዩኒቲ ኮሌጅ-የአሌክሳንደሪያ ካምፓስ የፊልም መምህርት ነች፡፡

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