Watch this fashion film delving into the millennial African diaspora experience in New York via Addis Ababa and Marrakech

 
 

Young filmmaker Edelawit Hussien debuts this fashion film exclusively with Nataal. Addis Africana explores the nostalgia of an African woman living in New York, caught between cultures and feeling both a sense of belonging and displacement. Inspired by the works of 1970s actress Zeudi Araya, 1990s supermodel Anna Getaneh, artist Hassan Hajjaj and director Djibril Diop Mambéty, the short has a hazy, retro pop quality. Model Alewya Demmisse playfully acts out imagined memories of laying in a field of daisies in Awasa, wandering through the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh and tackling the chaos of Addis Ababa’s Merkato.

A deeply personal work, Hussien was herself born in Addis Ababa and migrated to the US aged seven. She studied at NYU and cut her teeth in production at Milk and Matte studios as well as working on films for Dazed and Vogue Italia with photography duo Wiissa. Now making the natural transition into directing, this, her first film, comes from the heart. “Growing up, I never saw girls who looked like me on TV or film. Addis Africana is a step toward reclaiming that representation and identifying what it means to be an African woman in an increasingly globalised environment,” Hussien says. “Blurring the line between reality and fantasy, the film acts as a reversed longing for the memories of our immigrant parents’ youth.”

 

 
 

 
 

Directing Edelawit Hussien
Featuring Alewya Demmisse
Additional cast Brandon John, Saleh Ramazani
Cinematography Josh Herzog
Production Blair Cannon
Editing Chiao Chen
Hair Nigella Miller
Make-up Rachael Krutchkoff
Production design Zachery Fortin, Maria Marrone
Set design Lydia Yemene
Music How To Save A Life (Vector Of Eternity) by Mikael Seifu
Special thanks to Ludlow Studios, Women Management and RVNG Intl