Brooklyn-based KimStim has acquired distribution rights to the film in the U.S. and plans a theatrical release in Spring 2016.
A brilliant drama about an Ethiopian boy and his pet sheep, Lamb became the first Ethiopian film to be screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival as an “Official Selection,” and won “Best Feature Film” at the 2015 Milan Film Festival.
Its U.S. premiere in California was followed by a New York debut at Lincoln Center’s New York Jewish Film Festival last week (See Lamb‘s 2016 screening and festival dates).
A North American premiere was made at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival before the film hit French theaters through distributor Haut et Court.
Lamb follows nine-year-old Ephraim (Rediat Amare) and his constant companion, a sheep named Chuni.
Ephraim’s affection for Chuni deepens after he loses his mother to famine. Consequently, his beloved father sends him and Chuni far away from their drought-stricken homeland, to live with distant relatives in a greener part of the country. He soon becomes a homesick outcast who is always getting into trouble.
When his uncle orders him to slaughter Chuni for the upcoming holiday feast, Ephraim devises a devious scheme to save the sheep and return to his father’s home.
The Los Angeles Times describes Lamb as “a vision of Ethiopia that the average American might not expect: craggy emerald peaks, picturesque villages, a priest blessing a family for a festive religious celebration.”
On his decision to shoot the film in his native land Zeleke said: “I wanted to do it in Ethiopia because it was my home. Despite the dictatorship and war and famine and poverty — I had even grown up in a slum — I still feel I had a fairy-tale childhood. There was a lot of love and good food and colorful characters and incredible Christian festivities that I’d grown up with. In Ethiopia, there is no colonial legacy. The culture is untouched. It’s a dream for a filmmaker and storyteller. Beauty and heartache, it’s there.”
Lamb is Slum Kid Films production, and was co-produced by Film Farms and executive produced by Dublin Films in association with Wassakara Productions.
Watch the English-subtitled trailer and see screening and festival dates below.
2016 Lamb Screening & Festival Schedule
TIME & SPACE LIMITED
Jan. 21-31, 2016
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center
New Orleans, LA
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4, 2016
New York, NY
Cascade Festival of African Films
Feb. 1-3 & 5, 2016
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Santa Barbara, CA
Feb. 3 – 13, 2016
THE PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Los Angeles, CA
Feb. 4-16, 2016
Portland International Film Festival
Feb. 16-17, 2016
New African Films Festival at AFI
Silver Spring, MD
Mar. 19, 2016
Apr. 7, 2016
African Film Festival
New York, NY
May 1, 2016
Washington Jewish Film Festival
Jun. 28, 2016