Stanford University

News Service


NEWS RELEASE

2/23/00

Saba Bireda, (650) 736-4500
e-mail: sbireda@leland.stanford.edu

Filmmaker Haile Gerima to speak at screening of his latest work

Haile Gerima, an Ethiopian-born filmmaker, producer and Howard University professor, will introduce his latest film, Adwa: An African Victory, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in Kresge Auditorium on the Stanford University campus.

Gerima's presentation will be the keynote event of a larger celebration, ADWA 2000, commemorating the Ethiopian victory over Italian colonial aggression at the Battle of Adwa on March 2, 1896. The film traces the history of the battle through the voices of historians, poets and others familiar with the Battle of Adwa.

Gerima is the first major director to bring the story of Adwa to the screen. The celebrated filmmaker and scholar of the African Diaspora attended the University of California at Los Angeles and completed bachelor's and master's degrees in film studies. Currently, he is a professor in the radio, television and film department at Howard University.

Gerima is best known for his provocative and innovative style of filmmaking that incorporates aspects of historical accounts with traditional forms of storytelling. He came into prominence with his film, Harvest 3000 Years, that focused on the struggles of the Ethiopian peasantry. Since the release of that film in 1976, Gerima has made seven more films that have earned him international notoriety and acclaim. With the release of Sankofa in 1993, Gerima established himself as one of the most prominent and revered independent black filmmakers of his time. Sankofa was hailed as a monumental achievement in the realm of both film and historical representation. The film won the Best Cinematography Award at the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso, first prize in the African Film Festival and the Oscar Micheaux Award.

Gerima will spend March 2 as a guest of the Stanford Ethiopian Student Union (SESU) on campus.

"As Stanford students concerned about the representation of African history in Black Liberation Month," said SESU President Abel Bogale, "we are very interested in celebrating the history of Ethiopia with the Stanford community and the larger Bay Area community."

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