SOAS University of London

Centre for Creative Industries, Media and Screen Studies

Love and Laughter in Amharic fictional feature films – A question of two genres?

Speaker: Michael W. Thomas

Despite the relatively short existence of the Ethiopian film industry, to date it is already possible to note a shift from the early successes of የፍቅርፊልም - yäfïqïr film / love film” type films (such as the 2003 release of Täwädros Täshomä’s ground-breaking ቀዝቃዛወላፈን - Qäzïqaza Wälafän / Cold Flame”) to the recent domination of the አስቂኝየፍቅርፊልም - “assïqiñ yäfïqïr film / humorous love film” since the success of Henok Ayälä’s የወንዶችጉዳይ - “YäWändoch Gudday / Men’s Affair” in 2007. The continuous interest in romance (or emotional issues) and the change from more serious drama to comedy will be central to this study, noting influences from Bollywood, Hollywood and soap operas as well as more local ones. Acknowledging the processes of change which occur within genres as they develop will prompt closer examinations of the structure, form and themes of films. An investigation into the historical, market and industry circumstances which also influence the shifting forms and popularity of film genres will accompany textual and intertextual analyses of specific films.