ENCHAINED is the First Film To Be Presented On New Streaming Platform

By: Apr. 09, 2020

ENCHAINED is the First Film To Be Presented On New Streaming Platform

One of the most successful Ethiopian film releases of 2019 - domestically and internationally - Enchained (Quragnaye), is set as the first feature to screen online on a new movie channel from the already established subscription-based habeshaviewTV, which since 2014 has offered Ethiopian and other international television programs to the world-wide diaspora.

Enchained will be presented starting April 18th, 2020. The film runs 90 minutes in Amharic with English subtitles and is unrated. To screen Enchained, available world-wide except for Ethiopia, there is a one-time $5.99 fee for 48 hours, or subscribe to habeshaview monthly or annually to access all its programming, visit: www.habeshaview.com

Collaborating with habeshaview for this, and other, presentations is The International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), a Monaco-based, non-profit, non-governmental organization that organizes, finances and promotes festivals, exhibition, education and development. IEFTA's mission is to discover, nurture and empower budding filmmakers from emerging economies, and to help present their work to a global audience.

Written & Directed by Moges Tafesse and produced by Synergy Habesha Films, Enchained premiered in Ethiopia in 2019 and quickly became one of that nation's leading film releases winning the 2019 Leza Award for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress, and Alem Cinema's 2019 Best Film Award. The film made its international premiere in London in December 2019 with a successful theatrical run; and made its US debut at NY's African Diaspora Film Festival, followed as the Opening Night film of AFI's New African Film Festival and other stand-alone screenings around the country.

Gobeze is a timid, peace-loving, young man who lives with THE FAMILY of his betrothed, his childhood sweetheart Aleme, until one day she is abducted and disappears. Consumed by his love, Gobeze becomes a wanderer student who dedicates his whole life to "Sem Ina Werq" riddles - riddles with dual meaning - and searches for her for seven years. When he finally finds her, the two young lovers decide to run away together but are soon caught by her husband, Gonite. Neighbors stall the ensuing fight and an elder binds together the two men's clothes, symbolically chaining them, and sends them to stand trial in the queen's court. Both rivals set off on a long journey to the royal court. "Enchained" during their long journey, the two men encounter a number of challenges including keeping each other safe so that the experienced litigator Gonite and the inexperienced student Gobeze can stand trial before the new ruler, Queen Zewditu. It will be she who decides if Gobeze will be convicted for seducing Gonite's wife or will be able to reclaim his love and get justice.

Set in 1911, Enchained is a story that delves into an extraordinary traditional law that was abolished during modernity in Ethiopia. Until the early and mid-20th century in Ethiopia, institutional punitive prisons did not exist, and the justice process was restorative. Enchained illustrates the old oral all-encompassing system, which included not just legal process but also social life, culture and politics. The current justice system has a lot to learn from the past. The story takes place in Ankober, the old capital city of Ethiopia, and the nearby town Debre Sina. Fortunately, many of the irreplaceable spaces like traditional church schools, the old palace and court, rural farms and the breathtaking landscape still exist today as they did then.

"As a filmmaker and as someone living in a culture where oral tradition is still prominent, my heart is full and I am excited to bring the movie to the public," says Moges Tafesse. "Celebrating underrepresented African narratives through story, sound and picture is extremely important and should be encouraged today."

Moges Tafesse is a filmmaker and TV producer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His documentary film "Dancing for Unity" was screened in Monaco in a side event presented by IEFTA during the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. He also produced and directed a weekly TV show "Ene 'Miteyekew (My Quest)". He has recently completed a documentary film on interracial adoption entitled A Season for Dancing. Currently, he is preparing his next feature, the historical drama Yimut Beka (Born to Die), about an Ethiopian bishop who, during WW II, confronts the Italian fascists' atrocities and fights to conduct his last liturgical prayer before his execution. He established and has been running Synergy Habesha Films and Communications with the motto "Empowering Community through Media" for the past ten years.


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