Ethiopian Coming-of-Age Drama ‘Lamb’ to Get U.S. Theatrical Release in Spring 2016

Lamb (2015) – 6b

Rediat Amare in 'Lamb' (2015)

Rediat Amare in ‘Lamb’ (2015)

After making its U.S. debut at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival in California earlier this month, Yared Zeleke‘s award-winning Lamb (2015) has found a U.S. distributor.

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 (2015)

Rediat Amare in ‘Lamb’ (2015)

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.

'Lamb' (2015)

‘Lamb’ (2015)

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


Hudson, NY
Jan. 21-31, 2016

Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center
New Orleans, LA
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4, 2016


Jan. 13 – 26, 2016

Cascade Festival of African Films
Portland, OR
Feb. 1-3 & 5, 2016

Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Santa Barbara, CA
Feb. 3 – 13, 2016

Los Angeles, CA
Feb. 4-16, 2016

Portland International Film Festival
Portland, OR
Feb. 16-17, 2016

New African Films Festival at AFI
Silver Spring, MD
Mar. 19, 2016

African Film Festival
New York, NY
May 1, 2016

Washington Jewish Film Festival
Washington, D.C.
Jun. 28, 2016