“Everyone chews to get away. Their flesh is here, but their soul is gone.” Jessica Beshir’s haunting feature documentary debut is a spiritual, dreamlike and hypnotic journey into the highlands of Harar.
Nominated for Editing
Nominated for Directing
Nominated for Sound
Nominated for Cinematography
Original Title: Faya Dayi Director: Jessica Beshir Country: Ethiopia & USA Year: 2021 Duration: 120 min Producer: Jessica Beshir

SPECIAL SCREENING - We will be screening Faya Dayi complimented by an Ethiopian coffee ceremony before the film starts + a conversation with the director Jessica Beshir (USA), who is nominated for this years MIRAGE Cinematography Award.

Shot by Beshir herself in delicate and evocative monochrome black and white, Faya Dayi is immersed in the rituals of khat, an addictive leaf Sufi Muslims chewed for centuries for religious meditations in order to reach a euphoric high known as ‘Merkhana'. Currently it is Ethiopia’s most lucrative cash crop and is widely used by everyday citizens.

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Jessica Beshir has blown us away with her delicate eye and care for details. Faya Dayi is an immensely impressive work, that defines her artistry both as a cinematographer and a unique storyteller, deeply rooted in a puristic cinematic tone, but also with a very personal unique voice.

She is a Mexican-Ethiopian filmmaker, and received her B.A in film studies and literature at UCLA. She recently directed the short He Who Dances on Wood and is currently producing her first feature film set in Harar. Jessica is based in Brooklyn, NY.

"Even though there is beauty in the shots and the sound design, underlying it is a political provocation—specifically to the governments that have oppressed, marginalized, and land-grabbed from Oromo communities."


Hairat (2017)
Heroin (2017)