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Blue Nile Film and Television Academy is a pioneering professional institution in Ethiopia offering high quality filmmaking training. So far, there has been no institution offering such training in the country. Founded by the award winning cinematographer Abraham Haile Biru in 2009, the school aims at bridging the gap of skilled professionals in the Ethiopian film and television industry.  BNFTA aspires to enable young Ethiopians to effectively use film as an instrument of expressing and communicating their opinion, culture, history and day-to-day life for the Ethiopian and international audience.


BNFTA’s curriculum is carefully designed and tested through an experimental program. BNFTA offers a regular one year filmmaking programme and several demand based tailored short courses.  The regular programme offers specialised training in Camera, light, sound, directing, scriptwriting and editing.  Our teaching method highly emphasises hands-on learning balanced with sufficient theoretical backing. The school offers actual production experiences to its students in order to build their professional skills and confidence. 

The school engages established Ethiopian filmmakers to teach on regular and short-term bases.  Due to the short supply of qualified trainers and filmmakers in Ethiopia the school brings international trainers and filmmakers on short term bases to share their experiences.   Since its establishment, BNFTA hosted short-term international trainers from France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and South Africa.  On top of filling the gap of qualified trainers the visit of these international filmmakers has a great value of exposing students with international perspectives of filmmaking.


BNFTA provides a unique, relaxed but professional learning environment for its students. The Academy accepts only 25 students per year. This will greatly enhance the learning process by providing a personal and intensive contact between students and instructors.  Half of the seats of the school are reserved for talented female students who also receive further encouragement from the academy in a form of financial scholarship.

Admission to the BNFTA is supervised by a selection committee who will review all applications and admission assignments.  The school has a scholarship programme to enable talented young people from the lower income group of the society join the academy and receive professional filmmaking training. The scholarship also makes the students socially engaged and responsible to articulate and voice the concern and issues of their community in their films.


One film school will not fully address the problem of Ethiopian cinema. But it will supply few well-trained filmmakers to the market, who can set an example and transfer their knowledge to others.

By enhancing the quality of the training it offers, the vision of Blue Nile Film and Television Academy is to constitute itself as a highly qualified and internationally recognised filmmaking training institution in East Africa.