DOCU/KIDS

Anbessa

Year
2019
Country
Italy, USA, Ethiopia
Duration
86’
Director
Mo Scarpelli

Ten-year-old Asalif and his mother have been displaced from their farmland on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the construction of a condominium. To fight back against those casting him out and those threatening his mother’s safety, Asalif taps into a fantasy of becoming his hero: the lion (anbessa in Amharic). His newfound power and fantasy take him to places he never imagined inside and out of the condo, until finally Asalif must find the strength that resides in him as a boy, and shed the lion persona in order to deal with the tides of change and violence that are usurping a community, a country, and his own identity.

 

Recommended age 9+

CREW
Director: Mo Scarpelli
Producer: Caitlin Mae Burke
Cinematographer : Mo Scarpelli
Editor: Nico Leunen, Thomas Pooters
Sound : Mo Scarpelli
Production
Rake Films
Sales
Sweet Spot Docs
Awards
2019 – Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, Best Director and Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature; Durban International Film Festival, Honorary Mention for Best Documentary; Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People, European Children's Cinema Award for Feature Documentary
Director
Mo Scarpelli

Mo Scarpelli is an Italian-American director and cinematographer of non-fiction cinema. Her work seeks to capture the innate poetry of human life while allowing observation to poke holes in prevailing myths or ready-made assumptions of the world. Anbessa is her debut solo-directed film, which world premiered at the Berlinale 2019 in the Generations KPlus competition, and was nominated for the Glashütte Documentary Award. Her feature documentary Frame by Frame (co-directed with Alexandria Bombach) screened at SXSW, Hot Docs, BFI London Film Festival and 100+ other festivals, gathering 15+ jury and audience awards as well as a Cinema Eye Honors nomination. Mo is a selection of Berlinale Talents 2018 and a recipient of the Speranza Female Filmmaker Award.

 

Selected Filmography

Surviving Kensington (2014), Frame by Frame (2015), El Hara (2017), Anbessa (2019)

17 INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
20–29
March 2020
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