Ethiopian actress Kidist Siyum,(L) actor Rediat Amare (C) and director Yared Zeleke (R) pose during a photocall for the film Lamb at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeast France, on May 20, 2015 (Photo/AFP/Loic Venance)

Africa's "fragile" cinema has kept a toe-hold at the Cannes Film Festival, with a veteran Malian director and the first-ever Ethiopian as the continent's only entries in the official selection.

Birth of original talent, the African continent challenges the notion that global fashion starts in the northern hemisphere. (Photo: Time)

The lights dim on the catwalk as a capacity crowd quiets in anticipation. A pounding drum rhythm builds suspense as, backstage, stylists swarm the waiting models, applying last-minute dabs of foundation, glittering lip-gloss and bursts of hair spray. Next to the catwalk, professional photographers jostle for space with fashion bloggers preparing to snap candids with raised iPhones.

People gather at a market set up in front of the Shoa Gate, one of the five historic gates of the ancient walled city of Harar, Ethiopia, on August 3, 2014 (AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

Hyenas howl and feast on flesh every night outside the ancient walls of Harar -- one of Islam's holiest cities that is holding out against the pressures of the modern world.

But change is coming, and campaigners are working hard to preserve the gated Ethiopian city's unique history, cultural and religious traditions.

Ethiopian Orthodox Christians dance near to the rock-hewn church Bete Giyorgis during the annual festival of Timkat in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Bete Giyorgis is one of the 13th century-era medieval, monolithic cave churches in Lalibela. (Image - Getty Images)

Checking off the world's most important natural and cultural wonders can be a herculean task.

The World Heritage List -- that most lauded and recognizable of preservation lists -- includes nearly 1,000 sites all over the world.


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