HIGHER 15 is the story of Kiflu Ketema, a former Ethiopian revolutionary, turned lead witness in an FBI investigation against his murderous prison guard in war torn Addis Ababa. This deeply personal film intimately captures Kiflu’s remarkable story - from idealist revolutionary conspiring against a brutal regime, to indefinitely imprisoned and tortured inmate, to escaped prisoner and smuggled refugee, to forced migrant and United States citizen. Far from his past in Ethiopia, Kiflu settled in to a new life in the suburbs of Denver, working at the US postal service and raising a family – until a phone call sends him to a local cafe and brings him face to face with the prison guard who tortured him, and others, decades earlier. As the first and only film to document an Ethiopian refugee’s collaboration with the FBI to convict a war criminal, HIGHER 15 presents a stunning portrait of a determined refugee and his relentless hunt for justice for those who suffered torture, rape, and death during Ethiopia’s Red Terror.


THE FILMMAKERS:

Ameha Molla (Director) is a creative and marketing professional with experience across production, advertising and brand strategy. He directed six short films before beginning production on his first feature film, HIGHER 15. Ameha is the nephew of the main character in HIGHER 15, Kiflu Ketema.

Rajal Pitroda (Producer) is a producer working in both documentary and narrative films. She is currently producing a feature documentary on race and the criminal justice system and is in development on a documentary series on young women based on a New York Times bestselling book. Rajal was the Founder and CEO of Cinevention, a media company focused on marketing and distribution, where she designed and executed the distribution strategy for feature films, including “Outsourced” which was developed into an NBC sitcom. Prior to starting her own business, Rajal was a partner at Beyond the Box Productions, creating and running marketing campaigns for independent films. She is a Firelight Impact Producing Fellow and a resident at SFFILM FilmHouse.