Private Project

My Love, Ethiopia

Set during the time of the Red Terror war in 1970’s in Ethiopia, the country’s political tyranny has created huge population of refugees searching for an escape. Based on a true story, Yene Fikir, Ethiopia, meaning ‘My Love, Ethiopia’, follows the turbulent and mystical journey of a young girl searching for freedom after being separated from her family. As she embarks on a painful migration through the scorching desert, magical guardian angels are sent to aid her by a mysterious and ancient Goddess in the skies, holding the secret to heal her homeland. With the presence of her angels, and the power of her magical krar, she discovers hidden powers within herself she was unaware of before.

  • Gabrielle Tesfaye
  • Gabrielle Tesfaye
  • Tensae Fayise
    Musical Composer
  • Haile Supreme
    Music Composer
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Yene Fikir, Ethiopia
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 9, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
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  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Milwaukee Film Festival
    United States
    October 21, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Alliance Ethio-Française
    Addis Ababa
    January 22, 2020
    African Premiere
  • BlackStar Film Festival
    United States
    August 24, 2020
    Official Selection
  • CinemAfrica
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
  • DC Black Film Festival
    Washington DC
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Film Africa
    United Kingdom
    October 30, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Leeds International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 3, 2020
    Official Selection
  • New Orleans Film Festival
    New Orleans
    United States
    November 6, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Gabrielle Tesfaye

Gabrielle Tesfaye is an interdisciplinary artist versed in painting, animation, film, puppetry and interactive installation. Tesfaye is raised in the US as a first-generation, to an Ethiopian father and mixed-heritage Jamaican mother. Her research is rooted in African diaspora, Afro-futurism, ancient puppetry practices and cultural storytelling.

Her background in film started at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and continued at the Mahidol University International College in Bangkok, Thailand. Tesfaye obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Peck School of the Arts, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tesfaye has been internationally recognized in online and printed publications such as Majestic Disorder Magazine (UK) and Vogue (USA). Tesfaye has exhibited at The Crypt Gallery (London), Gallery X (Dublin), and Thapae East Venue for Creative Arts (Thailand).

She is the recipient of a series of scholarships and awards, including two Frederick R. Layton Scholarships, Robert A. Nelson Film Scholarship, Cream City Cinema College Filmmaker Award, and Mary Nohl Suitcase Export Fund.

Tesfaye is currently expanding with her art through international travel, film and guest speaking at schools, universities and artistic organizations.

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Director Statement

Ethiopia is proudly known as the country in Africa that wasn’t colonized, basking in untouched rich history and cultural traditions. However in more recent times, the country has also experienced political tyranny after the overthrow and death of King Haile Selassie. This has created a huge population of refugees fleeing the country, and the Ethiopian diaspora. Immigration is a pressing topic in current politics. The inner landscapes of emotional and mental psyches existing within the realm of leaving one’s country of birth, to start life in an afar land, is cryptic and not commonly understood. This film aims to reveal the story of these inner turmoils, providing African diaspora communities an expression of themselves not seen in current media. However, this film is not a disaster narrative supporting the seemingly small portrait past media outlets have tried to paint of the country, as a famished land. This films serves to express history, both modern and extremely ancient, and give Ethiopians an expression of themselves which encompass all of what we are- Magical. Power. Overcoming of all.