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Ethiopian cinema, like the rest of Ethiopia’s film industry, is a relatively new phenomena. However, a variety of roadblocks have prevented Ethiopia’s film industry from attaining its full potential. Only a few notable actors have emerged from Ethiopia’s passion for live theater. Ethiopian films began to modernize in the 2000s with the addition of Amharic language, however copyright infringement and piracy stunted their growth. This decreased as a result of government involvement and policy imposition in the early 2010s. Despite recent advances, Ethiopian film production remains low-budget and amateurish in comparison to international premieres. Ethiopian cinema debuted in 1898, three years after the world’s first film premiered on December 25, 1895. The rate of growth has slowed significantly as a result of socioeconomic insecurity. Since the 1970s, Ethiopia’s film industry has been focused on historical and documentary films with cultural, religious, and national roots due to government pressure.’ According to Berhanou Abebbé, the first cinematic artifacts were brought to Ethiopia by a Frenchman in 1898 and sold to the Italian minister Federico Ciccodicola in Annales d’Ethiopia in 2003. Ciccodicola then presented Emperor Menelik II with an item. According to historians Berhanou and Richard Pankhurst, the Majesty saw a wide range of films in the decades preceding the first public film screening (1909–10).

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