Staying Put

Staying Put

While his friends are dreaming of a modern and better life in Europe, Abebe travels through ancient Ethiopia, trying to find crucial answers and a way towards a meaningful life. In an observational style, we follow the young Abebe in his personal quest.


The future is uncertain, his journey erratic. The centuries-old scenery of impressive landscapes, monasteries and rock-hewn churches is undisturbed. The reality of daily life (the threat of war, famine, the fun they have together) and Abebe’s magical dreams merge into each other. 


Filmmaker Nico Bunnik shot and developed this film over a period of 5 years together with Abebe and his friends. Close to the bone, from Abebe's perspective we follow him in his thoughts and quest.

On August the 6th 2021, Lalibela (his home town) is attacked and taken by the rebels from Tigray. Almost all the young men flee from the city. Abebe chooses to stay put.

Director / Camera / Sound:     

Nico Bunnik


Nico Bunnik, Marion van der Gun

Cast / Crew / Story:

Abebe Efrem Walle

Wogen Tsegaye Endeshaw

Abush Zekarias

fixer / driver / translator:

Abrham Tsegaye Endeshaw


deBun Studio

Language: Ahmaric, English

length: 120 min

Budget: €20.000 (crowdfunding and private)

Shot in Ethiopia, 2016-2020

subtitles: English, Dutch, Azerbaijani

"The film clarifies and humanises the subject of poverty, drought, future prospects and migration in a penetrating way that really appeals to the imagination."

deBun Studio