“Nishan” is a story about a young Ethiopian lady named Nishan who is pursue by the mischievous son of her boss who wants to marry her for ill reasons. Desperate to leave her hometown in search of a better life, she strikes a rare deal to obtain a visa to go abroad. But this opportunity comes under threat when in a bizarre twist of fate her father brings home an antique golden gun he won in a gambling session. Unknown to her, the gun is being frantically hunted by a son of a former war hero, and a gang of thieves. Engda, the son of Nishan’s boss, takes advantage of this intrigue to try to force her into marrying him. With help from a new acquaintance and love interest, Ashenafi, Nishan unwittingly becomes entangled in this unhappy web of deception and has to endure various dramatic and testing ordeals in a struggle to get her life back on track.
As a writer/director of this film, one of the main reasons I wanted to tell a story about a young lady who is desperate to leave her birth place without any pressing reason, like poverty; health; education…, is because I wanted to address the many young men and women, or I should say the majority of city dweller in my country, who are desperate to leave their home town to a well developed country even though they are from a well to do family or they can afford living here.
I can mention my younger sister for instance; she is one of the emerging young actresses here and she makes a living on acting. She never had any problem paying her bills and she loves her job. But ever since she was a kid she always wanted to leave to the States, and she will grab the opportunity if she has it. Almost everybody I know either has tried and failed leaving or is still looking for the opportunity to leave without the urgency.
My character Nishan is one of these people who just want to leave without knowing what waits for them at the destination. Even when she is reminded about her well to do life she defends her desire to leave by saying “I will not prosper working in this country”. So she learns the hard lesson till she realizes there is nothing like HOME.
Awards and Festivals
- FESPACO Burkina Faso 2013 (Premiere)
- Seattle IFF 2013
- Imagem dos Povos Brazil 2013
- Festival cinémas d'Afrique Lausanne 2013
- Afrika Filmfestival Köln 2014