Festival President

Abraham Haile Biru

Abraham Haile Biru is one of the very few Africans in the cinematography profession. He received his degree from the "Netherlands Film and Television Academy" (NFTA) where he specialized in camera and light. Over the last several years, Abraham has shot a number of films (documentaries and features) in over 25 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States.

Abraham Haile Biru is a two times winner of the "Best Cinematographer" award at the Fespaco International Film Festival in 2007 and 2003 for the films Darrat (Dry Season) and Abouna (Our Father) respectively.

Abraham is one of the founders of Music Mayday, an initiative to promote communication, respect and peace among youth through music and cultural exchanges. Abraham also founded the Black Lion of Africa Association which was committed in reflecting and introducing the culture of the African people through films. 

During his stay in the Netherlands, Abraham served on the jury of the "Rotterdamse Kunst Stichting" (Rotterdam Art Foundation), selecting film projects that qualify to receive production grants from the Rotterdam Art Foundation.

Returning to Ethiopia, Abraham established ’Blue Nile TV’ in 2006. Blue Nile TV produced and broadcast a twice weekly entertainment programme targeting the youth. Despite the success of the programme, Blue Nile TV was terminated by the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency a year after its launch.

Abraham Haile Biru is also the founder and director of Blue Nile Film and Television Academy, a pioneering film school in East Africa. The school was established in recognition of the increasing demand for well trained and qualified film and TV professionals in the Ethiopian film industry. The Academy provides quality training in film-making for up to twenty talented young Ethiopians every year.

Parallel to presiding CNIFF, Abraham is also launching EthioCinema – a collaborative investment of filmmakers and the business community towards a quality oriented, profitable and internationally competitive film industry in Ethiopia.