About The Movie

Drawn from Water takes you to Ethiopia's Omo River Valley revealing the tragic destiny of the mingi children. Mingi, a bad omen or curse which is thought to bring drought to the land, presents an epic life struggle for families of children bearing certain characteristics.

An estimated 1,000 children are killed each year due to harmful tribal practices in this region and Mingi is believed to be caused by various conditions such as being born out of wedlock or by children having common types of dental formations.

The film tells the story of one courageous tribal member, and a small group of photo-journalists, who were challenged to act on behalf of the mingi children. The 30 minute documentary tells their collective story, embracing a shared vision for a future free from mingi practices.


Lale's vision to end mingi in his tribe came to fruition in 2012, when Kara tribal elders officially agreed to end the practice. The struggle continues to maintain a growing orphanage and ultimately to end the practice of mingi in the remaining tribes of the Omo River Valley. The orphanage now houses over 50 children and was officially renamed Omo Hope. Lale and the children need our support more than ever.

For More Information

To find out how you can join the cause, please visit the Omo Hope site today.


Director's Statement

When I first learned about the tragic fate of Mingi children, I was devastated. It absorbed my thoughts daily and I was haunted by the image of a child being rescued on the very river in which she was scheduled to be drowned. When the opportunity to go to Ethiopia arose, it wasn't a difficult decision to make. Camera in hand, I had no idea where this journey would lead. From that moment I arrived, I felt like my camera was a tool to witness this moment in time, a very brief glimpse into a much grander story. I am honored to have been part of this project. I hope you will make a similar decision to become involved in whatever way you can.

- Nick Kalbach Co-founder Compathos Foundation

About the Soundtrack

This score is inspired by the indigenous music of Ethiopia and the colorful and traditional sounds of Africa. It is a sensitive, haunting and eclectic musical journey.

Award-winning, Hollywood composer Eric Hester speaks about the score, "Never before have I been involved in a project that I felt this connected to. The story of Drawn from Water is true. This quickly turned from a scoring gig to something that weighed heavily on my heart."

"Before I began writing I spoke with Elias Negash who served as the Music Advisor on the film. Elias is from Ethiopia and he provided a wealth of knowledge from regional musical differentiations, scales, traditional arrangements and instrumentation. I also studied native folk and indigenous music from Ethiopia, various tunings and the like. This was an amazing experience for me and I am truly honored to have been part of this project."

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Recent News

  • 9 December 2013

    2013 Film Festival Awards

    Winner Award of Merit Short Documentary – The Accolade Competition, Best Short Documentary – Utopia Film Festival,Washington, D.C., Official Selection Chain Film Festival, NYC, Official Selection – Underexposed Film Festival

  • 26 June 2013

    Drawn from Water main character Lale Labuko becomes National Geographic Explorer

    Lale Labuko becomes an emerging National Geo Explorer. “As a result of his impassioned advocacy efforts with the tribal elders, Labuko’s greatest accomplishment came in July 2012 when his own tribe, the Kara, officially banned mingi. “We completely changed the … Continue reading

  • 1 April 2012

    Special Cover Story on CNN

    CNN article By Matthew D. LaPlante –Is the tide turning against the killing of ‘cursed’ infants in Ethiopia? Some interventions for children have been made but does the fear that fuels the killing of still exist?

  • 7 November 2011

    Music Awards – ISC & John Lennon Songwriting

    Drawn from Water musical score by award-winning Hollywood composer Eric Hester with lyrics and performance by Lale Labuko – receives Honorable Mention in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) with over 15,000 entries from 115 countries.  Drawn from Water musical score … Continue reading

  • 7 November 2011

    John Lennon Songwriting Contest – Winner

    Drawn from Water musical score by award-winning Hollywood composer Eric Hester with lyrics and performance by Lale Labuko – was the finalist in the “World” category of John Lennon Songwriting Contest. The song not only received the honor of winning … Continue reading

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