Ajyal Competition - Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2015
As ‘Lamb’ opens, nine-year-old Ephraïm (an affecting As ‘Lamb’ opens, nine-year-old Ephraïm (an affecting performance by Rediate Amare) is beset with a series of hardships. His mother has died as a result of the drought that has plagued his northern Ethiopian village; his father must go to Addis Ababa for work; and Ephraïm himself is packed off to stay with his great-aunt Emama and his stern and disapproving uncle Solomon, faraway in the south. The youngster’s lone comfort is his late mother’s golden-fleeced sheep Chuni. Inseparable from the docile animal, Ephraïm is distraught when Solomon announces that Chuni must be slaughtered in order to feed his dangerously malnourished young daughter. With that, the boy devises a plan to return to his village and save his friend.
Set against the magnificent mountains of southern Ethiopia, this first feature by Yared Zeleke is a finely tuned coming-of-age chronicle. Faced by the harshness of nature and the perennial tug-of-war between generations, Ephraïm wends his way along a sometimes rocky path between the comfort of the past and the uncertainty of the future. Inspired by the director’s own childhood, ‘Lamb’ is a clear-eyed look at a youth's struggle to find his way in the world.
About the Director
Yared Zeleke holds an MFA in Writing and Directing from New York University. He worked for various NGOs in the USA, Ethiopia, Namibia and Norway before pursuing filmmaking. Zeleke has written, produced, directed and edited several short documentary and fiction films, among which are ‘Housewarming’ and 'Lottery Boy'. He worked for director Joshua Litle on his award-winning documentary ‘The Furious Force of Rhymes’. In Ethiopia, he edited documentaries for UNIDO.
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