Hermon Hailay (Ethiopia)
The filmmaker
Hermon Hailay, is one of Ethiopia’s leading female film writer/directors, with several critically and commercially successful films to her name: Baleguru (2012), Yaltasbew (2013). In 2014 she was one of the five young Ethiopian filmmakers chosen to attend the Cannes Film Festival “From Addis To Cannes Workshop”. The filmmakers were chosen from a significant group of applicants from Ethiopia’s promising film community through a targeted search focusing on emerging and mid-career filmmakers looking to further their careers and create international partnerships.
Price of Love tells the story of a young Addis Ababa taxi driver who gets caught up in the dark side of love, causing his taxi to be stolen. He finds himself stuck in a relationship with a prostitute, making him confront his past and discover what is the ultimate price of love.
Interview with Hermon Hailay by Olivier Barlet
O.B. : Hermon Hailay, your are one of Ethiopia leading female filmmakers and writers. Can you tell us a little more about that? About your background?
H.H. : You know, I’m a filmmaker. This is my dreamwork, I love filmmaking, and I spent the last 10 years doing that. I filmed two feature films, which have been released in the local market, and I am working on the third now.
O.B. : For a filmmaker, it is already a career. You began filming a long time ago?
H.H. : Yes, when I was a teenager. After high school I went to a theater school and I had some training in camera filming and movie editing in Addis Ababa. Then I made short dramas for Ethiopian television. And eventually I made feature films.
O.B. : So your third project is a feature film which tells us the story of a young Addis Ababa taxi driver who gets caught up in the dark side of love, causing his taxi to be stolen. What is the “dark side of love”?
H.H. : It means that sometimes love mixes with your life, with your background. The main character is born from a prostitute mother. Because of that he was in the dark side of love. He has grown up with that image of prostitution life. He has not the brightest image of love. And more, he’s struggling to survive since his mother’s death. He’s driving a taxi for a living, the small kind of taxi that you can find in the city. To him, his taxi is his life. During his work, he meets a beautiful prostitute and he falls in love with her. But because of her his taxi is stolen. So they are stuck together in the quest for his taxi.
O.B. : So “the dark side” means that you are no longer in control?
H.H. : Yes. He has to save her if he wants her to be his wife, or even girlfriend. That’s the dark side of love.
Photo: © Courtesy IEFTA
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