Ethiopia / Italy / USA
World Premiere at the 69th Berlinale
* Crystal Bear nominee (Generations KPlus)
* Glashütte Documentary Prize nominee
A boy caught between the ancient and the new navigates modernization on his own terms. By becoming a lion (anbessa) he can fight back against the forces outside of his control.
Directed by Mo Scarpelli
Producers - Caitlin Mae Burke, Mo Scarpelli
Exec Producers - Danielle Perissi, Gelila Bekele
Assoc Producers - D.D. Wigley, Pierce Varous
Dir of Photography - Mo Scarpelli
Editors - Nico Leunen, Thomas Pooters
Music - Erik K Skodvin
Produced by Rake Films
in association with Moby Group
additional festivals + awards
+ Hot Docs
+ Rooftop Films
+ Human Rights Watch FF London
+ Durban Intl Film Festival
+ MiradasDoc (El Mirador Award for Best Documentary Feature)
+ MountainFilm Telluride (Best Director Award)
+ DocPoint Helsinki
[ more below ]
SWEET SPOT DOCS
NORTH AMERICA SALES
"ANBESSA does not play tricks... the movie is beautiful, humorous and thought-provoking. ANBESSA provides a portal into what makes human experiences universal."
"A closely observed documentary with a few surrealistic flourishes...
Scarpelli holds both fear and hope in her hands, refusing to pick a side."
also follow screenings via our Facebook page here >
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
Tumbleweeds Film Festival
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
DC Environmental Film Festival
Washington DC, USA
Pripovedovalski Festival / Storytelling Festival
MARCH 25 - APRIL 5
Cleveland Intl Film Festival
Cleveland, OH, USA
MARCH 26-APRIL 5
RiverRun International Film Festival
Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Fresno State University, USA
Dept of Anthropology + Center for African Studies
University of Florida, USA
Murray Center for Documentary
Univ of Missouri-Columbia, USA
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Ashland, OR, USA
PREVIOUS FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
+ 69th Berlinale International Film Festival
*Crystal Bear Nominee (Generational KPlus)
*Glashütte Documentary Prize Nominee
+ Human Rights Watch Film Festival London
+ Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival
*Kids & Docs Competition Nominee
+ Olympia Intl Film Festival for Children & Youth
*ECFA Award for Best Documentary
+ Durban International Film Festival
*Special Mention for Best Documentary
+ MountainFilm Telluride
*Best Director Award
*Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature
+ MiradasDoc - Tenerife, Spain
*El Mirador Award for Best Documentary Feature
+ DocPoint Helsinki
+ Rooftop Films
+ DOC NYC
+ Maryland International Film Festival
+ Rome Independent Film Awards
*Best National Film Nominee
+ Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
+ Berkshire International Film Festival
+ San Francisco DocFest
+ Woods Hole Film Festival
*Runner-up for Best Documentary Feature
+ Port Townsend Film Festival
+ Take One Action Film Festival - Scotland
+ FlyWay Film Festival
+ Heartland Film Festival
+ Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
+ New Hampshire Film Festival
+ UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival - Florence, Italy
+ Cucalorus Film Festival
+ Ljubljana International Film Festival
+ This Human World Film Festival - Vienna, Austria
+ London Migration Film Festival at Bertha DocHouse
PREVIOUS OTHER SCREENINGS
+ Olafur Eliasson Studios
*Special screening for the artist's studio in Berlin
+ Other Cinema series, The Yellow at Wembley Park - London
+ FilmScene - Iowa City, USA
+ Art of Buna - Cologne, Germany
+ Doctober at the Pickford Film Centre - Seattle, USA
+ Copenhagen Architecture Festival
in collaboration with the 2019 C40 World Mayor's Summit
hosted by Luskin School & African Studies Center
"A masterful work of sensory ethnography."
— Film Stage
"Visually arresting... incredibly fascinating, thought-provoking, and absolutely worth watching."
— Film Threat
"Beautiful, humorous, and thought-provoking."
— Little Village
"Eloquent... a tender portrait"
— Sight & Sound Magazine
The 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2019
— Filmmaker Magazine
"Hope and despair intermingle in a profoundly cinematic mix."
— Hammer To Nail
"A touching document that leaves us pensive in the face of our overconsumption society.
The realization is very neat and so very successful."
— Télécable Sat
"Between real and imaginary, a beautiful portrait of a child... which gives shape to his inner universe
while exposing the difficulties of its existence."
— Télérama France
"Radiates an uncommon lightness and a deep sense of harmony with the world around us."
— MyMovies Italy
Anbessa, the strength of the lion in the Ethiopia of change
— Cinecittà News
16 Great Documentaries from 2019
Fairytales from the In-Between
— Feminist Dispatch Magazine
Growing Pains in Ethiopia: Film Spotlights
Hidden Cost of Urban Growth
— Voice of America
Berlin 2019: Screen's guide to the Special,
Generation and Forum titles
— Screen Daily
Stolz like a lion
— Der Taggespiegel
Berlin: First Generation Section Films Unveiled
ANBESSA in La Lucarne
— ARTE Magazine
Ranked in Top 20 of all Berlinale Films
— Cannes/Berlinale Critics Rankings
REQUEST A SCREENER
ANBESSA is currently showing at festivals, cinemas, universities and other venues around the world.
Please email hello [at] rakefilms [dot] com for a private screener + to set up a screening.
Download it here >
Asalif, the young protagonist of this film, is a genius.
If you feel moved by the film and want to contribute to him + his future, you can here:
All the money in this PayPal account is sent to Asalif's bank account in Ethiopia.