Maji-da Abdi est née en Éthiopie mais elle a grandi au Kenya puis au Canada avant de revenir dans son pays natal où elle a réalisé The river that divided (2001), un documentaire sur l'expérience des femmes dans la guerre en Éthiopie.
Par ailleurs productrice, elle a notamment produit Heremakono (2002), En attendant le bonheur (2003) et Bamako (2006) d'Abderrahmane Sissako. Elle est l'initiatrice du premier Festival international de courts-métrages en Ethiopie (première édition : avril 2010).
[...] Born in Diredawa [Ethiopia] on October 25, 1970, Maji grew up in Addis until she was 4, when her mother, by then divorced from her father, took her and her brother to Nairobi, Kenya, to escape the aftermath of the revolution that occurred in 1974. After completing primary and most of her secondary school in Nairobi, Maji moved to Canada for her 12th grade year and beyond, completing 12th grade in Montreal and 13th grade in Toronto and then enrolling in the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario to study business and literature. Though she enjoyed her studies, she was acutely aware that most of the other students were hoping to land jobs on Wall Street in the investment business, but her interests lay elsewhere. Though she completed her degree in business, she also did an honors program in French literature, which she adored.
Maija-da Abdi was born in Ethiopia but raised in Kenya and later Canada, where she studied literature and business. She returns to her native Ethiopia in documentary films such as THE RIVER THAT DIVIDES (2001), which explores the wartime experiences of Ethiopian women. As a producer, Abdi has supervised many projects, including the multi-award-winning film HEREMAKONO by Mali's Abderrahmane Sissako. She has also consulted with the African Union on African cinema and International Advisors 2008 - 2009 for Ethiopian Film Initiative. She established IMAGES THAT MATTER, the first short film festival in Ethiopia (14-19 April 2010).
Owner of the Paris-based production company Chinguetty Films with her partner Abderrahmane Sissako, they have produced multiple award-winning films'Bamako' and'Waiting for Happiness' by A. Sissako,'Abuna' and'Daratt' by Haroun m. Salleh among others. After her studies at the University of Western Ontario she worked for a Japanese T.V station 24HTV then returned to Ethiopia to produce various documentaries for European television. She directed the documentary'The river that divides'. Her first fiction production was the Ethiopian short film'The Father' by Ermias Woldeamlak. She is also the east African regional representative for FEPACI (Federation of pan-African filmmakers).
Mit der Regisseurin und Produzentin Maji-da Abdi ist eine Vertreterin der jungen Generation afrikanischer Filmemacher in der Jury vertreten (Berlinale 2004). In Äthiopien geboren, wuchs sie in Kenia und Kanada auf und kehrte in ihre Heimat zurück, um Dokumentarfilme zu drehen. Ihr Film "The River that Divides" (2001) berichtet von den Kriegserfahrungen äthiopischer Frauen. Als Produzentin betreute Maji-da Abdi u. a. den mehrfach prämierten Film "Heremakono" von Abderrahmane Sissako aus Mali