Jessica Beshir

Jessica Beshir



Jessica Beshir is an Ethiopian-American filmmaker, best known for her award-winning documentaries. Born in Ethiopia in 1988, Beshir moved to the United States in 1997. She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she received her bachelor's degree in film and digital media.

In 2016, Beshir wrote, directed, and produced her first feature film, “Faya Dayi” (“Endless”). The documentary follows the struggles of a rural Ethiopian community facing the effects of climate change. The film was a critical success, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Film Festival, and the Grand Prize at the Cinéma du Réel.

In 2018, Beshir released her second feature documentary, “Haraaz” (“The Pain”). The film follows the story of a young Ethiopian girl in search of her identity and her place in the world. It won the Grand Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, and has been praised for its sensitive and powerful storytelling.

Beshir’s other works include “The Mulatu Project” (2016), a short documentary exploring the life of Ethiopian jazz musician Mulatu Astatke; “The Passagers” (2017), a short film about a group of Ethiopian immigrants living in the United States; and “The Unseen” (2018), a documentary exploring the life of a blind Ethiopian girl.

In addition to her filmmaking, Beshir is an active member of the creative community. She has served as a mentor to young filmmakers in the United States and Ethiopia, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Beshir’s commitment to the craft of filmmaking is matched only by her passion for social justice and her commitment to telling stories that bring awareness to the plight of marginalized communities. She has been praised for her sensitive and powerful works, and has shown a remarkable ability to tell stories that move and inspire audiences.

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