Difret
    Amharic with English subtitles, 2014, 99 minutes, color, Ethiopia, World Dramatic
    Three hours outside of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave Hirut grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions.

    Meaza Ashenafi, an empowered and tenacious young lawyer, arrives from the city to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza boldly embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, risking the ongoing work of her women’s legal-aid practice to save Hirut’s life.

    Beneath the layer of polite social customs, an aggressively rooted patriarchy perpetuates inhospitable conditions for women in this engrossing and significant film, based on a real-life story. Ethiopian-born writer/director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari portrays, with panoramic beauty, the complexity of a country’s transformation toward equal rights, featuring the courageous generation that dares to own it.
    - C.D.

    About the Director

    Zeresenay Berhane Mehari is a writer/director with more than a decade of experience making films. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Mehari moved to the U.S. to attend film school. He founded Haile Addis Pictures to produce his first narrative feature film, Difret. He has a bachelor of arts degree from USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

    Cast and Credits

    Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

    Screenwriter: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

    Producers: Mehret Mandefro, Leelai Demoz, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

    Executive Producers: Angelina Jolie, Julie Mehretu, Jessica Rankin, Francesca Zampi, Lacey Schwartz

    Cinematographer: Monika Lenczewska

    Editor: Agnieszka Glinska

    Production Designer: Dawit Shawel

    Composers: David Schommer, David Eggar

    Principal Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere

    Contact: Mehret Mandefro / Haile Addis Pictures / info@haileaddis.com / (646) 845-9302