African and African American Studies and Visiting Filmmakers Series: Yared Zeleke with Lamb

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 4:30 PM EST
Johnson Center, Cinema

Lamb hills


Join us for a screening of Lamb (2015), the first feature from Ethiopia officially selected in Cannes Film Festival. The film screening will be followed by an in-person discussion with filmmaker Yared Zeleke. 

This remarkable feature debut tells the story of young Ephraim, a half-Jewish, Ethiopian boy who is sent by his father to live among distant relatives after his mother’s death. Ephraim uses his cooking skills to carve out a place among his cousins, but when his uncle decides that his beloved sheep must be sacrificed for the next religious feast, he will do anything to save the animal and return home.

Drawing amazing performances from his cast of professional and non-professional actors, first-time filmmaker Yared Zeleke tells his deceptively simple story with a refreshing honesty and naturalness. Beautifully shot against the majestic backdrop of Ethiopia’s southern mountains, Lamb is an affecting tale about what people will risk in order to take charge of their own destinies.

Yared Zeleke earned his MFA in Writing and Directing from New York University where his thesis short film, "Lottery Boy," earned him an award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Agency in 2012. Zeleke’s first feature, Lamb, screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. It was the first out of his native Ethiopia to be in the "Official Selection”. The film garnered positive reviews, including from the New York Times, BBC, CNN, PBS, Guardian, Financial Times, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel. The North American premier for Lamb was at the Toronto International Film Festival. Variety featured Zeleke among the “10 Screenwriters to Watch”. In 2016, Lamb made the shortlist for the Oscars Best Foreign Language Film Award. Zeleke's second feature script, Sunbirds, was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and a San Francisco Film Society grant.

In addition to his own projects, Zeleke is a script consultant as well as a university lecturer on both screenwriting and directing.

Read: Neyat Yohannes, "Cinema Africa: Yared Zeleke On Making 'Lamb', The First Ethiopian Official Selection At Cannes." Okay Africa. 

See Lamb's website.

LAMB (Official Trailer) from KimStim on Vimeo.

This event is presented by Visiting Filmmakers Series; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Visual and Performing Arts; Film at Mason; African and African American Studies; English Department; Global Affairs; History and Art History;  University Life; and Women and Gender Studies.


#VisitingFilmmakersSeries #FilmAtMason #AAAS 

For more information: 

Anjuli Singh,, Exhibitions and Office Coordinator, Film at Mason

Cynthia Fuchs, Director, Visiting Filmmakers Series at Mason; Director, Film at Mason

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