Thursday, March 10, 2011

New African Film Festival opens March 10, with feature film based on legendary Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila's life

Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefooted Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon. Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a sports legend. A hero in his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first African to win a gold medal, and four years later in Tokyo would become the first person in history to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the marathon. This soldier and quiet son of a shepherd would be acknowledged by many as the greatest long distance runner the world had ever known. Rasselas Lakew depicts the life, dramatic athletic success, and tragic life events of this Ethiopian hero in his debut film “Atletu”. Radio Diaspora Today interviewed Rasselas–who wrote the script for the film and played major roles in the film as lead actor, co-director & co-producer –to talk about his film, about the athlete Abebe Bikila, and about the state of film making in Ethiopia. [click on the underlined text above o listen to the interview.] “Atletu” will screen once only in the DC area, namely on Thursday 10 March at 7pm, at the American Film Institute (8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring MD). “Atletu” is showing on the opening night of the New African Films Festival 2011, a film festival sponsored by TransAfrica Forum & afrikafe. Writer & star of 'Atletu' Rasselas Lakew will be in person on the opening night of the Film Festival alongside David Frankel who also wrote, directed & produced the film as well as others who participated in making the film . Screening of the film will be followed by reception courtesy of Abol Ethiopian Cuisine (www.abolethiopiancuisine.com). Source ( TransAfrica Forum )

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