Kickstart This: Biopic on Ethiopian Nun & Acclaimed Compo

The project hails from the Emahoy Tsege Mariam Music Foundation, and their goal is to raise $50,000 in the next 45 days. So far, almost $3,000 has been contributed; still a long way to go before mission accomplished, so check out the pitch text and video below, and if you’re sold, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page to chip in. I most certainly will.


The Emahoy Tsege Mariam Music Foundation is producing a biopic of the nun musician. Emahoy’s life spans three continents and nine decades, a study in Europe, the Italian occupation of Ethiopia during WWII, preparing to be a concert pianist and a call to monastic life. It is epic. Little is known about her journey both as a musician and as a spiritual figure. Although she had published vinyl records in the 70s it was her solo compositions in Ethiopiques 21 published by Buda Musique that made her world famous. She was 85 years old then, and at the age of 93 she continues to play music and has a sharp mind.


Phase I: Pre-Production: This entails location scouting and determining production schedule. We have already identified key participants to appear in the film and are critical for the success of this film. At this stage we are also researching archival footage and pictures that reflect Ethiopia during the early, mid, and late 1900’s that are pertinent to Emahoy’s story. These include archival materials that tell Emahoy’s early childhood both in Ethiopia and Switzerland when she was a student, as well as her life in the monastic realm. This is where we continue to count our blessings and acknowledge your your generous support and well wishes!!!


Phase II: Production: We will travel to Israel to film Emahoy at the Monastery. We will film Emahoy playing piano for the film as well as events depicting her daily life. This may also includes footage of Emahoy playing live at concerts. We also plan to travel to Ethiopia to capture present moments of the Gishen Mariam Monastry in Gondar where Emahoy became a nun at the age of 21. While in Ethiopia, we will also interview family and friends of Emahoy who will reminisce on the life of this incredible nun . Fun job, plenty of work, your contribution will have a tremendous impact!


A documentary feature project certainly worth getting behind, on the life of Ethiopian nun and composer, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, a survivor of Italian occupied Ethiopia, who, at 85 years old, became an internationally acclaimed, though still unknown to many, musician with an incredible life story to tell.



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