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Ethiopian cinema, like the country’s whole film industry, is a very recent development. The film business in Ethiopia is thriving, but it has experienced obstacles that have prevented it from attaining its full potential. Ethiopians used to enjoy live theater, which produced a small number of successful actors. Ethiopian films have been modernizing in the 2000s, incorporating Amharic language, although copyright infringement and piracy have hampered their progress due to widespread home video and DVD distribution. As a result of government engagement and policy imposition in the early 2010s, this decreased. Despite recent progress, Ethiopian film production has remained low-quality in comparison to international premieres due to a low-budget, amateurish approach. Ethiopian cinema began in 1898, three years after the world’s first film, which premiered on December 25, 1895. However, the rate of expansion has slowed significantly as a result of ongoing geopolitical unrest. As a result of political pressure, Ethiopia’s film industry has advanced historical and documentary films that have been associated with cultural, religious, and national backdrops for decades. Ciccodicola then presented Emperor Menelik II with a gift. The Majesty witnessed a variety of films over the course of decades before the first public film screening in (1909–1910), according to historians Berhanou and Richard Pankhurst’s works. In 1923, Ethiopians finished and built the first cinema. According to Berhanou, MM. Baicovich owned the first cinema, Pate, from 1909 to 1910. In the early days of cinema, many individuals were dissatisfied with what they saw. In Impressions d’Ethiopie, Berhanou quoted French historian Merab as saying, “People clearly didn’t like to entertain themselves.” According to Pankhurst, a prominent historian who produced his book Economic History of Ethiopia in 1968, the Armenians attempted to project in 1909–10, but were only intrigued by a fleeting fascination and abandoned it soon after. Some locals mistakenly equated filmmaking with “devil labor.” The locals dubbed the cinema “Ye Seytan Bet” (“devil’s home”) after protesting against the first house, which opened in 1923. Ethiopia and Eritrea, according to Chris Prouty, are the only African countries that are uninterested in Western cinema. Charles Martel directed the first Ethiopian film, au de Menilek, which was released in 1909. To mark Empress Zewditu’s coronation, the first short film was shot in 1916 in 16mm black-and-white. Emperor Haile Selassie’s coronation was also videotaped.

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