Gelila Bekele is a model, social activist, and a documentary filmmaker. Born in Ethiopia, she spends most her life shuttling between Europe and the United States. Gelila’s modeling career began in 2006 working with Ford Models, New York and Paris. Currently represented by Elite Model Management (New York) and Premium Models (Paris). She is featured in several fashion and beauty campaigns including those for Levi’s, Diesel, Tory Burch, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Mikimoto, H&M, Pinko, Nespresso, Pantene and L’oreal, and has appeared in leading magazines as well as numerous other publications.
She is a devoted advocate for young girls' right to equal opportunities in her homeland of Ethiopia, as well as globally. In her advocacy, she focuses mainly on the issues of fundamental rights, particularly access to clean water and education. She began her narrative and documentary film career in 2013. Her most recent releases at the Cannes film festival, American Museum of Natural History, DOC NYC and Berlinale include: MAi: Life is not Honey (Director), Anbessa (Executive Producer) and The Model Activists (Director).
Gelila is the author of the book Guzo! (2018) which documents the daily lives of native Ethiopians.