Ethiopian cinema, like the country’s film industry in general, is a relatively young phenomenon. The Ethiopian film industry is thriving, but it has been hampered by problems that have prevented it from attaining its full potential. In the past, Ethiopians preferred live stage theater, which produced a small number of relatively successful stage actors. Ethiopian cinema first launched in 1898, three years after the world’s first film premiered on December 25, 1895. However, the rate of expansion has slowed drastically as a result of ongoing social upheaval. Due to political pressure, Ethiopia’s film industry has advanced historical and documentary films, which have been associated with cultural, religious, and national backdrops for decades. Prior to the 1990s, little was known about overseas box office success. Among the most well-known people who have helped Ethiopian films attain international acclaim are Haile Gerima, Salem Mekuria, Yemane Demissie, and Teshome Gabriel. The usage of the Amharic language in Ethiopian films in the 2000s was remarkable. However, numerous filmmakers were afraid that DVD distribution would lead to piracy. A substantial percentage of Ethiopia’s film industry is based in Addis Ababa.