Ethiopian cinema is a relatively new development, much like the rest of Ethiopia’s film industry. The Ethiopian film industry has faced a variety of challenges that have prevented it from growing to its full potential. Ethiopians have a passion for live theater, although very few of them have become famous actors. Amharic language was added to Ethiopian films in the 2000s as they started to become more contemporary, although copyright violations and piracy have stunted their development. This decreased in the early 2010s as a result of government engagement and policy imposition. Contrary to overseas premieres, Ethiopian film production continues to be low-budget and incompetent despite recent improvements. Ethiopian cinema made its debut in 1898, three years after the world’s first motion picture appeared on December 25, 1895. The growth rate has significantly slowed as a result of socioeconomic instability. Since the 1970s, Ethiopia’s film industry has concentrated on historical and documentary films with cultural, religious, and national roots as a result of government pressure. The first film-related items were brought to Ethiopia by a Frenchman in 1898, and they were later purchased by the Italian minister Federico Ciccodicola at the 2003 Annales d’Ethiopia. The Emperor Menelik II was then given a gift by Ciccodicola. The Majesty watched a variety of films over a number of decades before the first public film screening (1909–10), according to historians Berhanou and Richard Pankhurst. Ethiopians finished and constructed the nation’s first movie theater in 1923. MM. Baicovich allegedly owned Pate, the first movie theater, from 1909 to 1910, according to Berhanou. Many people were first unimpressed by the movies they watched. In Impressions d’Ethiopie: African Impressions, the historian Berhanou quoted French historian Merab as remarking, “People obviously didn’t like to have fun” (1922).
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