R2X Speaker Spotlight #2: Yemane Demissie


Yemane Demissie teaches film, television and documentary production, writing and cinema studies classes at NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at the Tisch School of the Arts. An independent writer, producer, and director, Yemane has received numerous awards for his work including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Berlin Prize, and the California Arts Council Artists Fellowship. His work centers around the history of Ethiopia and modern life of Ethiopians. Yemane’s narrative and documentary films have been released in theaters in the United States, Canada, Germany, and in Britain. They have also screened in over fifty international film festivals.

Yemane is currently in postproduction for “The Quantum Leapers: Ethiopia 1930-1975,” a social history documentary series that explores and analyzes the efforts of three generations of western educated Ethiopians to transform their country “from an ancient medieval empire into a modern nation state”.  He is also developing “…and then the rains return” a narrative feature about the struggles of survivors in a small rural community in Ethiopia during the catastrophic influenza pandemic of 1918. (Source: NYU Tisch )

Find out more about the Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context II – New York Dialogue here and RSVP to attend here

Here is a short video of Yemane talking about his most recent series.

Also read an interview with Yemane on his 2011 film on Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia during the Italo-Ethiopian war

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