One of my favorite groups of Young filmmakers still in high school who made a creative short film shot using a cell phone.

 I’ve been part of the summer film-making workshop in Eritrea in East Africa since 2016. It is the most challenging, but rewarding to be able to do the workshop and share my experience with 80 to 90 young & older Eritrean filmmakers every summer to train them for 12hrs a day for 30 days. Also, I created a course to maintain a remote continuing year long film screening and film study program center around world cinema, cinematic language and to establish film culture.

Sharing my experience of D.I.Y. techniques & how to capture images using available lighting during the outdoor demo in an Expo in Asmara, Eritrea.

The newspaper article below is about the progression of the Eritrean summer film-making workshop written by Journalist Billion Temesgen who has been reporting closely since the beginning. In the third workshop she participated as a student and wrote summery report articles for the newspaper and an interview article about Sara Tracy Mihretab a young filmmaker who came to teach in the workshop with us.

You can read the articles online at by clicking the links below or click the newspaper image to download PDF of the Eritrean Profile news paper.

“Work on Progress” - Eritrean Film Workshop.
by Billion Temesghen - Eritrean Profile - Spotlight 

“Eritrea’s Authentic Stories of People Will Have Appeal In International Cinema” - by Billion Temesghen - Eritrean Profile

More detail information & video clips of the workshop will be posted in the future. In the meantime, check out the link for behind scene photos & brief report on the 2018 summer Eritrean intensive film-making workshop written by my co-workshop conductor filmmaker Issayas Tesfamariam on his website.

A Brief Report on the Intensive One-Month Summer: Filmmaking Workshop in Asmara, Eritrea.

Aug 08, 2018:
Pictures: from an intensive one month summer filmmaking workshop in Asmara Eritrea


The challenges with African cinema are still the same or maybe morphed into newer and bigger problems, but there is hope with the new generation of innovative filmmakers who are using available technology for advanced storytelling. In the last few years my attitude towards the challenges of African films specifically Eritrean films have completely changed.

So, when I had the opportunity of doing a film-making workshop in Africa, I decided to do something about it instead of talking, even if I had to put my career on hold. I took the advantage and run with it putting my heart where my mouth is, however, imperfect it may be, it allowed me to directly help and engage constructively

Billion Temesghen a journalist at the Eritrean Profile English newspaper interviewed me twice at the end of the first and second summer intensive workshop, both times I was exhausted a little cranky.

You can read the interview online at by clicking the link below or download the full Eritrean Profile newspaper PDF by clicking the newspaper image.

Aug 2017:
Ambessa Jir’s saga workshop: the second account. - by Billion Temesghen - Eritean Profile Q&A

Sharing Ideas from Howard University to Cinema Asmara! by Billion Temesghen - Eritrean Profile Q&A


A while back when I was in film school, I did an interview for a blog. The comments were mostly encouraging and few treble which were funny to me, because I don't think that my answers were bad I was a know it all who had a lot of questions with a limited experience and no practical answers.

When I look back now there was something off about that interview, not in a bad way, but the discussion was about completely two different types of cinemas. I was comparing the art of world cinema,  with everything, but the questions were about a few films and a small group of filmmakers in a new country figuring out the film art and business with meager resource.

The interview was for a blog called which recently changed its name to to It is owned by Issayas Tesfamariam who also a decade later co-coordinates the summer film-making workshop with me in Eritrea since 2016.

Here is the link for the interview, check it out.



I am not usually comfortable being on TV programs. I like keeping a low profile doing behind the scene works, but this was important to the profile of the workshop and the filmmakers' works. so I agreed to do the interview on the English language interview program of the National Eritrean Television Network Eri-TV - Open Mic hosted by Raphael Giuseppe.

Originally it was aired on Aug 2017 in two parts, each section a half hour length which covered detailed multiple topics. Then rebroadcasted on Aug 2018 as one half hour part a shorter version edited out some of the points which made some of my answers little confusing. They also misspell my name, that was funny, I mean its not a big deal, I am used to it. In the west someone always misspells or mispronounces my name, but I did not see that coming in my country.

Overall, it was a good experience. Raphael had good questions and I tried my best to answer it. check it out at least to see at around 13th minute one the student’s short film.

Interview with Filmmaker & Assistant Prof. Ambesaggir (Ambessa Jir) Berhe - hosted by Raphael Giuseppe - Eri-TV Open Mic - distributed by Denden Media

youtube transcript: