Dir. Melissa Donovan (68min, USA/Ethiopia, 2014)
English and Amharic with English Subtitles
Mid-Atlantic Premiere 

An inspirational story of hope, love and unimaginable possibilities. We follow a spirited 10-year-old Ethiopian girl, Zemenework (Zemene), as she fights to keep hope alive and survive her lifethreatening and severe curvature of the spine. With no health care in her village, Zemene travels to the city of Gondar, where she is told no medical treatment can save her.

A chance encounter with Dr. Rick Hodes – medical director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee – takes Zemene down a new path, giving her hope for the future.

Co-presented by The Documentary Center at GWU.

Wednesday, February 25, 6:30 pm
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC


Thursday, February 26, 7:30 pm
JCC of Greater Washington (Rockville)
6125 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD

Speaker & Events
Director Melissa Donovan and film subject Dr. Rick Hodes in conversation after the screening.

Melissa Donovan has worked in the commercial, independent and documentary world as a cinematographer for over 15 years. A native of Boston, Melissa started her career as a camera assistant to many well-known filmmakers, including Robert Richardson and Carolyn Chen. She went on to be a director of photography and most recently the director of her own feature length documentary, Zemene.

Melissa received critical praise from the New Haven Film Festival for the short film “Freebox”, that won the Kodak Award in Cinematography. She served as a DP on the Peabody Award winning documentary Between the Folds as well the award-winning feature An Unreasonable Man. She has filmed numerous multi-camera productions for PBS including Finding Billy Elliot, the musical, A Tale of Two Cities and Jesus and the Awakening to God-Consciousness with Deepak Chopra.

Melissa lives in New York City where she continues to work as a cinematographer. She looks forward to sharing Zemene in film festivals throughout the world.