Sandscribe started by sending educator/filmmaker teams to Ethiopia for short-term forays. Each year we have expanded our support of Ethiopia’s filmmakers on an ongoing basis. Our goal is to develop our in-country base into a year-round academy and ultimately a fully accredited program.
Here’s what’s happening at our Addis Ababa base now. Our in-country faculty and staff maintain our small office, give lectures and seminars, and organize production. We’ve also welcomed visiting teachers from Ethiopia’s media and arts communities. Rift Valley University’s Bole campus generously donates classroom space to us. Meet our Addis team here.
DISTANCE LEARNING & THE TRANSNATIONAL CLASSROOM
Since December 2012, Sandscribe has linked classrooms in Ethiopia to classrooms in the United States. Dr. Steven Thomas collaborated with our Addis team to utilize video conferencing software, a weblog, and an on-line course management platform, so that his students at Wagner College in New York and Sandscribe’s students in Addis Ababa could study the same subject, watch the same movies, and exchange ideas with each other. The spring 2013 semester course was titled “Movies, Media, and Global Citizenship” and the spring 2015 course was “African Cinema.”
At left, the House Blend Media team of Josh Soskin and Grace Jackson skype with Sandscribe students about directing actors and producing short films. We are currently approaching other film programs interested in participating in on-line educational programs. If you are affiliated with a film program or school and interested in partnering with us, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.
January 2016 launched our mentoring program. House Blend Media organized this new venture, pairing a professional in the US with a Sandscribe student in Addis. Each mentor advises the student and his/her team through all aspects of production. By the end of the 11-week term, we will have a crop of new short films. Find out more about the mentor program here.
MONTHLY FILMMAKERS’ ROUND TABLE
Our Addis office has recently launched a filmmakers roundtable discussion. Once a month our students meet people who are working in Ethiopia’s film business. This builds relationships and future work opportunities. Several of our alumni return to Sandscribe for round tables or to volunteer-teach. Our alumnus, Kelbessa Megersa, created the serial drama, “Dheebuu” which airs twice a week on Oromia TV. Read more about Kelbessa.