German Feature Film Starring Girley Jazama Starts Production In Namibia

The production of Ein Platz an der Sonne (A Place in the Sun), starring award-winning actor Girley Jazama as the female lead, has started production at the coast.

Shooting will take place until mid-October. The film, directed by German filmmaker, Lars Kraume is set in former German South West Africa at the time of the Herero/Nama genocide.

Jazama stars alongside German actor Leonard Scheicher, who plays Hoffmann is an ambitious ethnology student in Berlin.

Ein Platz an der Sonne follows a young German anthropologist (Scheircher) on a study mission in the midst of a war, through the then German South West Africa, in an attempt to disprove the race theory. His journey becomes one of trying to find a young Herero woman (Jazama) he met in Berlin, during a colonial exhibition. When it comes to the civil war, the anthropologist is on the ground, travelling around and collecting artefacts that will form part of the collection of the modern-day Berlin Ethnological Museum. Hoffmann witnesses the cruelties of war, but he himself crosses moral boundaries when he agrees to collect Herero and Nama skeletons for research purposes.

According to Namibian Co-Producer and Facilitator of Ein Platz an der Sonne, Joel Haikali, over 1644 Namibians are employed on the production in front and behind the camera. This includes award-winning actor Girley Jazama, who plays the female lead alongside German actor Leonard Scheicher.

Haikali said it took two years of pitching against South Africa to convince German executive producers to pick Namibia as a location.

Haikali highlighted the challenges faced by local facilitators to attract more foreign investment into the sector with a lack of incentives and benefits to investors. He indicated a need to find best collaborative models amongst the various government agencies to smooth processes and ensure that most of the budget spent remains in Namibia and not in South Africa as has largely been the case for years.

This is the first large scale production in Namibia since the advent of Covid-19. On Monday, 13 September, the minister of information and communication technology, Peya Mushelenga, led a ministerial delegation to the production site of the film in Arandis.

The ministerial delegation during the site visit in Arandis (©Namibia Film Commission)

During the visit, Mushelenga said he now has a clearer picture of the foreign direct investment attracted to the country by film industry players, adding that there is a need for the government to look critically into this sector.

“The importance of collaboration to ensure that we have incentives for foreign producers cannot be overemphasized,” Mushelenga said.