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Haile Gerima debuts Teza in MD 2/26

02/13/2010

Heli Gerima writer, producer, director, brings...

The name Haile Gerima does not immediately ring the bells of many of the young African minds of our generation quick to spout Malcolm X quotes and lavish praises on Bob Marley, Angela Davis or Marcus Garvey. But once you mention his independently released tour de force, Sankofa, may more light bulbs switch on. Haile Gerima is the writer, producer and director of the 1993 film Sankofa which chronicles african resistance to slavery. The film won first place in the African Film Festival in Milan, Italy that year and is a testament to Real Africans making Real Films, not about anything in particular but films from an African perspective that we can, as americans, only guess about.

Gerima is a professor of film at Howard University who’se film career did not start or end at Sankofa. Later this month Gerima is premiering his newest film Teza at the Regal Entertainment’s Royale Stadium 14, at the University Town Center, in Hyattsville, Maryland.

TEZA, “morning dew” in Amharic, depicts the ways in which the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie affected Ethiopia’s history and society. The film, set in Germany and Ethiopia, examines the displacement of African intellectuals, both home and abroad, through the story of a young, idealistic Ethiopian doctor – Anberber. The movie chronicles Anberber’s internal struggle to stay true, both to himself and to his homeland, but above all, TEZA explores the possession of memory – a right humanity mandates that each of us have – the right to own our past. TEZA, according to actor, Danny Glover, is a “film that people of all cultures and background should
see.”

“Historically, we have found that the success of our most widely distributed films has been largely attributable to grassroots support from organizations like ATHA and the Hyattsville CDC,” said filmmaker Gerima. “Engaging with communities and groups that are large and small, and that are reflective of the full cultural spectrum is the most powerful tactic in our specific methodology of distribution. This intimate and accessible approach is also symbiotic with my vision of what independent cinema should be.”

The film has received the most critical acclaim, from the film establishment, than any of his other films garnering over 20 awards, nominations and distinctions.
wikipedia lists the following:

2008 – Venice Film Festival Special Jury Prize and Best Screen Play Award – Teza
2009 – Jury Award at the 18th International Film Festival Innsbruck/Austria – Teza
2009 – Golden Stallion of Yennenga at the Fespaco African Film Festival – Teza http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/111/article_3102.asp
2009 – Dioraphte Award Hubert Bals film in highest audience regard at the Rotterdam Film Festival
2009 – Golden Tanit/Best Film Award for its “modesty and genius,” Best Music(Jorga Mesfin Vijay Ayers), Best Cinematography(Mario Massini), Best Screenplay(Haile Gerima), Best Supporting Actor Abeye Tedla at the Carthage/Tunisia Film Festival for Teza (film)
2009 – Golden Unicorn and Best Feature Film at the Amiens/France International Film Festival France for Teza
2009 -The Human Value’s Award at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece for Teza
2009 – Best Composer (Jorga Mesfin) at the Dubai International Film Festival for Teza
2009 – Official Selection at the Toronto Film Festival for Teza

Starting Friday, February 26th there will be four screenings of TEZA daily at Hyattsville’s Regal Royale. The filmmaker will take part in question and answer session opening night at the Regal Royale Stadium 14. Show times are as follows: Fri., Sat. & Sun. at 11:30AM, 2:30PM, 5:30PM and 8:30PM; Mon., Tues., Wed., Thur. at 1:00PM, 4:00PM, 7:00PM & 10:00PM.

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