On 30 November, Adriano Visagie won the Sotigui Award for Best Actor: Southern Africa for his stellar deliverance of ‘Carlito’ in Philippe Talavera’s Salute!
Visagie was nominated alongside South Africa-born, Canadian-based actress Kandyse McClure, for her performance in Sew The Winter To My Skin and Emmanuel Mbirimi from Zimbabwe for The letter.
A first for Namibia, Visagie shares the title with Munya Chidzonga from Zimbabwe (winner 2018) and Fulu Mugovhani from South Africa (winner 2017). Visagie shares the cinema is huge in West Africa, adding he felt like he belonged to a greater part of African cinema.
“The people there believe that they are responsible for creating their own industry and I feel like that is such an important narrative Namibian and the rest of SADC needs to incorporate in order for us to effectively share our collective skills in a collaborative manner. This is what West Africa is doing and that’s why their film industry is booming,” Visagie said.
Feeling honoured for scooping his first international award, Visagie urged fellow actors to look into collaboration and always work hard to fine-tune their craft. Visagie further said based on the attention to detail the organisers put into the award show, they are striving at building a strong film academy.
While accepting the award, the actor exposed Namibia’s growing film industry by talking up recent films such as The White Line, Baxu and the Giants, and #LANDoftheBRAVE who have been making waves locally and internationally.
“Namibia and the rest of Africa should invest in the arts as it does not only create jobs but also exposes African culture to the world. Personally, as an actor, this award means a lot to me, it is a true honour,” Visagie said.
The Sotigui Awards are organised by the Sotigui Academy to promote cinema from Africa and the Diaspora, in partnership with the FESPACO. The award aim at celebrating the work of actors from Africa and the Diaspora.
PICTURES: See Adriano at the 2019 Sotigui Awards held at Canal Olympia Ouaga 2000, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. (Images: Experienced_Portraits)
Namibian feature film, The White Line has been nominated for Best Sound and Best Cinematography at the 7th African Emerging Filmmakers Awards, slated to take place on 16 November 2019 at the Greyville Race Course, Durban, South Africa.
In the Best Sound category, The White Line is pitted against Ibala, Imvelaphi and Verloop, while being up against Verloop and Ibala in the Best Cinematography category. The film is directed by Desiree Kahikopo, with a screenplay by Micheal Pulse.
Starring Girley Jazarama, Jan-Barend Scheepers, Sunet van Wyk and Mervin Uahupirapi, The White Line won Best Film Script, Best Director and Audience Choice Award at the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards in October.
Set in 1963, after the Old Location uprising which shook South West Africa, the film follows a black domestic worker, Sylvia (Jazama), whose life is changed when she encounters an Afrikaner police officer, Pieter (Scheepers) on a routine passbook check. Their illicit love for each other grows over time through the letters they write to each other, as they encounter obstacles brought forth by the pigment of their skin.
Mervin Uahupirapi in The White Line.
Sunet van Wyk in the White Line.
Joalette de Villers and Scheepers in The White Line.
The African Emerging Filmmakers Awards are hosted by Ethekwini Filmmakers Association, with the assistance of the Durban Film Office, Kwazulu Natal Film Commission, and KZN EDTEA.
Update: 17 November- The White Line won Best Feature Film and Best Cinematographer at the Awards.
Director Florian Schott’s short film, Baxu and the Giants, had its world premiere in September 2019 and has already won awards for Best Foreign Narrative in San Francisco, 3 Namibian Theatre & Film Awards (Best Female Actor, Best Editing, Best Production Design), 2 monthly international Cinematography Awards (at the Canadian Cinematography Awards and the European Cinematography Awards) and 2 Awards at the Knysna Film Festival for Best Cinematography for a Short Film and Best Supporting Actor for a Short Film.
The film is proving to be favourite with international film festivals having already screened at the San Francisco Independent Short Film Festival in the United States, the Wallachia International Film Festival in Romania, and the Knysna Film Festival in neighbouring South Africa.
Next week, the film will screen at the 2019 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Nigeria. According to Schott, Baxu and the Giants has confirmed screenings at the AfryKamera African Film Festival in Poland in December 2019, at the Barbados Independent Film Festival in January 2020, at the Cape Town International Film Market & Festival in October 2020 as well as screenings in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley in the USA sometime in 2020 and still awaiting a number of decisions from various film festivals around the globe.
Schott talks more about the international success of the film:
Baxu and the Giants is doing really well internationally, with three international wins so far. Why do you think the film is performing so well?
I had the privilege to watch the film with audiences in three different countries so far and everywhere we go our story really seems to connect emotionally with the people watching it. I think that no matter where you come from you can easily understand Baxu’s motivations and connect with her moral dilemma.
The film has screened at a number of festivals and is scheduled to screen at more festivals over the next few months. What is the importance of film festivals, for you as a filmmaker and for Baxu and the Giants as an anti-rhino poaching activism piece?
Our strategy for this film was always two-fold. First, bring the film to Namibian audiences, especially children and teenagers. We are busy planning this right now. Bringing the film to schools, do more public screenings all around the country and show the film villages that are most affected by Rhino poaching. Secondly, we want to raise awareness on the issue of rhino poaching of Namibia. In travelling with the film to festivals we chat to audiences about the importance of conservation and the urgency of this issue. Next to this – for me as a filmmaker – these film festivals are great places to showcase Namibian film, to network, to watch independent cinema from around the world and to chat to potential partners when it comes to distribution but also potential future projects.
You have done a number of films, where would you place Baxu and the Giants in terms of success compared to your other films?
This is such a difficult question. I think all of my films had very different goals, so it’s almost impossible to compare them. For Everything Happens for a Reason I was just glad that people were interested in the film, and I had a bit of financial success with it, winning the Afrinolly Short Film Competition in Nigeria. Katutura probably had the biggest impact when it comes to expectations for a Namibian film. I think our biggest success with that was proving clearly that Namibian audiences are interested in watching well-made Namibian stories if you give them the chance to. Baxu and the Giants is really well received, both in Namibia and internationally, and I hope that this film can be a part in making a real difference in the fight against rhino poaching. And it hopefully inspires other filmmakers to think of the youth and children as potential audiences for their stories. But as I mentioned, it’s almost impossible to compare. I am very happy with the reception of all of my films.
“It’s very comforting that you share the experience of being an independent filmmaker with so many other filmmakers from around the world.” – Florian Schott
Overall, has the response to Baxu and the Giants stacked up to your expectations?
Yes, it actually went way beyond my expectations. We did foresee a positive response from a Namibian audience but the international response, especially from children and teenagers both in Namibia and outside of the country, the way people identify with Baxu and her story, is really beautiful.
You have travelled to a number of countries with the film. Is there something you’ve learned about films you’d like to share?
As a filmmaker, you learn a bit with every film you watch, every conversation you have with fellow filmmakers and I am privileged to be able to watch a lot of films that are not available in cinemas or online at these festivals. It’s very comforting that you share the experience of being an independent filmmaker, with all its struggles – especially in terms of development, budget and distribution – with so many other filmmakers from around the world.
So, Baxu and the Giants is enjoying international attention now, coming back to Namibia, are there any plans to show the film in other towns other than Windhoek?
Yes. We have two more public screenings in Windhoek planned, optimally this year still.
The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) already brought the film to various schools around the country and we are busy putting a plan together to bring the film to all corners of Namibia in 2020.
Baxu and the Giants follows Baxu (Jo-Ann Daries), a 9-year old girl who is in touch with nature and tradition but toughened by life in poverty, lives with her older brother Khata (Wafeeq /Narimab) and their alcoholic grandmother (Anna Louw) in a village in Damaraland, Namibia. Schott co-wrote the film with Girley Jazama.
Oshoveli Shipoh’s award-winning feature film, Hairareb, will be screened in Swakopmund on 10 November 2019 at 19h00 as part of the European Film Festival at the Atlanta Cinema, Swakopmund.
Hairareb, which received 7 nominations at the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards, subsequently won Best Narrative Film, Best Director and Best Male Actor at the awards on 5 October.
Interestingly, the film was shot on location in the Erongo region (Okarundu and Otjimbingwe) and will be screened for the first time in the coastal town of Swakopmund.
“This is just the first step on our journey of international collaboration. I am pleased with the screening coming to Swakopmund and the initiative taken to have our film as an official selection, effortlessly,” Director Shipoh said.
The Swakopmund edition of the 2019 European Film Festival is hosted by the European Union (EU). Hairareb will be screened through a collaboration with the Namibia Film Commission.
The European Film Festival in Swakopmund will run from 4 to 10 November. Hairareb will join a lineup of films including The King of the Belgians by Jessica Woodworth, Tom of Finland by Dome Karukosk, Veve by Simon Mukali, São Jorge (Saint George) by Marco Martins, El Apóstol (The Apostle) by Fernando Cortizo and Bloody Milk by Hubert Charuel.
The European Film Festival kicked off 28 October in Windhoek, with the Windhoek edition showing movies at Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall every evening at 19h00 until 3 November.
Hairareb is produced by Dantagos Jimmy-Melani and Ellen Ernst under Ndapunikwa Investments with support from the Namibia Film Commission.
Director: Tim Huebschle Screenplay: Tim Huebschle Cast: Elize de Wee, Pieter Greeff, Armas Shivute, Ralf Boll, Khadijah Mouton
Apart from the epic cinematography and great directing, Tim Huebschle ‘s crime thriller #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm is a good film thanks to the effort put in documenting a historical era, with precise attention to detail.
The look and the feel captured by the film’s cinematographer and editor, Haiko Boldt, are heightened by an array of crime scenes and investigative procedures, which draws one into this cinematic delight.
The film sets off with Meisie Willemse (Elize de Wee) waking with a pounding head in the middle of a traffic intersection, after getting knocked unconscious while she was trying to help a passed-out prostitute. The torso of the same prostitute is found in a dry river bed the following day.
As Willemse starts her investigation, she meets a journalist named Piet Potgieter (Pieter Greeff) who knows Meisie’s about a crime Willemse committed in her youth. He threatens to expose her past and destroy her life if she does not leak all information relating to the murder. Adding to this, when another murder is committed, it is found the murder was committed with Willemse’s service pistol- which was taken from whoever knocked her unconscious at the beginning of the film. This, in turn, leads to Meisie being discharged from her duties.
#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm takes its thin and predictable storyline and turns it into a gripping crime mystery. De Wee is the best and worst thing in the film. As seen in the movie’s promotional material, de Wee is in a continuous straight face and she keeps this throughout the entire 95 minutes of the film. Her poker face might be the least convincing thing in the film, which pioneers the crime mystery genre in Namibia.
Despite this, de Wee’s portrayal of the rugged cop with a drinking problem is spot-on, so much so that this might just be her breakout performance. Then there is Greeff, who sold Potgieter, a terrifying and horrifying villain, expertly paired alongside the tough Willemse.
The narrative of #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm is well carried by easy-flowing dialogue, and barely, if ever, made for any uncomfortable moments, which is unmissable in many locally-produced films.
Some cast members who stood out were Khadijah Mouton as the young prostitute who gets kidnapped, Muhindua Kaura as the strict and no-nonsense police chief, Ralf Boll as the brilliant and orderly Forensic Pathologist, Armas Shivute as Willemse’s partner, Joalette de Villiers as a racist store owner from the 1980’s and Chantell Uiras as the young Willemse (aka Charmaine). These talented stars understood that the story would go down smoother if their characters were nuanced human beings and they did just that.
Apart from sounding like a Namibian film, the cinematography really made for some of the best moments, which is thanks to the beautiful landscapes of Windhoek and Namibia as a whole. Although, the close-up shots are a little too many to the point they become irksome.
This visually stunning Namibian feature cements Huebschle as one of the best filmmakers the country has to offer.
Desiree Kahikopo’s The White Line will be screened at the Joburg Film Festival, set to run from the 19 to 24 November 2019 in Johannesburg.
The six-day film programme includes all the excitement and Hollywood pizzazz associated with red carpet premieres, screenings and awards as celebrities rub shoulders with serious filmgoers in a rich display of filmmaking at its very best.
So far, the film has screened at two festivals in South Africa, the Durban International Film Festival and got curated by the Durban International film festival to screen at the Hilton Arts Festival in Durban as well.
Director Kahikopo said being curated for the Joburg Film Festival is really awesome as South Africa has one of the largest film and television industries in Africa.
“To get an opportunity to showcase our film there really is a step in you know, for recognition as an industry, our stories and what we too have to offer. When I was in Berlin at the Berlinale I spoke about Namibia’s Unique voice within the African Cinematic movement and I wanted Namibia’s voice to be heard and our stories to be seen within Africa and the Diaspora and having to get chance to do this at this great African film Festivals where African meets and the world meets Africa its incredible,” Kahikopo said.
According to Kahikopo, The White Line has also been selected the 15th Rwanda Film Festival happening now in October and at the New York African Diaspora Film Festival in New York happening end of November.
The film was also selected for the Cape Town International Market and Film Festival which has been unfortunately cancelled for this year and will take place only next year.
“I’m really glad that and grateful that we are getting headway outside of the country one step at a time,” Kahikopo said.
Namibian filmmaker, Oshosheni Hiveluah, who was very instrumental in the development of Namibia’s film industry died on 9 October after a short illness.
Hiveluah who has written, directed and produced numerous films, including Tjitji the Himba Girl, 100 bucks and Cries At Night, has travelled the world with her craft and received various awards and mentions for her work as a filmmaker.
She has was a member of the Namibia Filmmakers Association, taught the art of acting to many aspiring actors and also very recently served on the film jury of the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards.
In a 2017 interview with Red Hot Film Production Hiveluah shared how Wolfgang Petersen’s The Never-Ending Story inspired her into filmmaking.
“During those two hours I was watching this movie, I was just living in this world with them were turtles could talk and they had all these flying creatures and it definitely sparked within me a love for film…” Hiveluah said in the interview.
She described her stories as being about a little bit of everything, and about life, adding “I am very interested in exploring…why we do certain things, why we are the way we are, but at the same time I also want to tell stories that are about hope, that are about strength, that is about us being better people; about us inspiring one another.”
Throughout the video, she talks about her brave plunge into the world of filmmaking, her love for poetry, and her growth and life lessons as a woman.
Namibian actor, Adriano Visagie, has been nominated in the Best Actor Southern Africa category at the 2019 Sotigui Awards for his performance in Salute!, a film produced and directed by Philippe Talavera.
The Academy of Sotigui works to recognise and valorise the profession of actors in African cinema and the diaspora. In partnership with the Pan-African festival of cinema and Television of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the 4th Sotigui Awards is held under the theme ‘Co-productions: Major challenges for the development of African cinema’.
“This is an incredible honour for us all!” said Talavera.
“The FESPACO and the Sotigui Awards are much-acclaimed institutions. Adriano Visagie, together with the rest of the cast, did a fantastic work with Salute! and deserves such international recognition. It will open doors not only for him but for other actors in Namibia, as this is the first time a Namibian actor is nominated by the Academy,” Talavera said.
Salute!, which didn’t receive any nomination at the recently held 5th Namibian Theatre and Film Awards, has already received international recognition when it was nominated as Best Film: Southern Africa at the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards in Nigeria. The film deals with living in a correctional facility as an inmate, tackling issues on sex, condoms, violence and family.
Visagie, who upon receiving the news of the nomination said he was in awe and very much humbled, is nominated alongside South Africa-born, Canadian-based actress Kandyse McClure, for her performance in Sew The Winter To My Skin and Emmanuel Mbirimi from Zimbabwe for The letter.
The Sotigui Awards will take place on Saturday, November 30, 2019, at canal Olympia Yennenga in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Update: 30 November- Visagie won the Best Actor Southern Africa Award. SEE MORE.
Director Tim Huebschle’s feature film, #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, is set to have its official premiere this Thursday, 10 October at Ster Kinekor Grove Mall, Windhoek.
The film revolves around Meisie Willemse (Elize de Wee), a rugged cop with a dark secret she kept hidden for decades. However, while investigating a series of hateful murders, Willemse encounters a ruthless reporter who exposes dark secrets from her past, which in turn, derail the case, but Willemse is determined to catch the killer, even if she has to break the law.
Here’s some key information on the 95minute crime thriller:
The full title of the movie is #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm. The ‘LAND of the BRAVE’ part is borrowed from the second line of Namibia’s national anthem. It cements the idea that this is foremost a Namibian movie, by Namibians for Namibians. The use of the hashtag and the inclusion of the word “film” is very specific to indicate that this entire project is about more than just a movie.
Huebschle was adamant on the use of a combination of well-known and unfamiliar faces in the film. The film features Elize de Wee, Armas Shivute, Pieter Greeff, Ralf Boll, Khadijah Mouton, Felicity Celento, Muhindua Kaura, Chantell Uiras, Chridon Panizza, Joalette de Villiers, Janu Craill, Ndinomholo Ndilula, Jarret Loubser, Brumelda Brandt and Rodelio Lewis.
“I identified some actors e.g. Armas as Shivute and Elize as Meisie, but actively scouted for others. Piet Potgieter was synchronous as Pieter connected with me on Facebook just as I was looking for someone to play Piet. We put out an online casting call and that is how we found Chridon as Suiker and Khadijah as Cherry. In young Charmaine’s case, I scouted local productions to look for actors who resemble Elize and came across Chantell. I also wanted a few local celebrities to play bit parts, so am very grateful that Gazza (famous Kwaito artist) and Jarret Loubser (from Radio Wave) were game. Anyone outside the German-speaking community in Namibia may not know that Ralf Boll, who plays Dr Schneider, is a household name from the NBC German Radio service,” says Heubscle.
The film is produced with a tight budget of N$3 million which required extreme lean project management. About half of this amount was a grant from the Namibia Film Commission, while the remainder was sourced through private contributions, some crowdfunding, and using Collective Production’s own resources, including in-kind support from various avenues which allowed for the completion of the film.
The film is produced by Collective Productions, co-owned by Huebschle, who is the writer & director of #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, and David Benade, who is the film’s Producer. The film was primarily shot in and around Windhoek, with some scenes at Spreetshoogte and in the small harbour town of Lüderitz. The Lüderitz interior scenes were filmed on a custom-built set in Windhoek. Principle photography was from 3 July to 10 August 2018 with a total of 28 shooting days over the 5 week period with a short production break in between. The decision to shoot during winter was a deliberate, creative consideration. The land is dead during winter and that bleakness reflects what is happening in the story. On a practical level, this meant the production team braved extremely cold early mornings and evenings, particularly on two-night shoots.
Script Translation & Language
In order for #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm to be a truly Namibian film, it had to be in a language Namibians speak, a particular brand of street-Afrikaans which is unique to Namibia. The script was originally written in English, but Heubscle entrusted the actors to translate their own lines. The entire film – Afrikaans, English and vernacular dialogue – is subtitled in English.
#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm composer Ginge Anvik produced a score including
music samples from the Nama, Himba, Ovambo and San people of Namibia. Collective Productions involved the Directorate of National Heritage and Culture Programmes for guidance and support during the selection process of traditional musicians. During November 2016 Ginge and director Tim Huebschle travelled 3313 km in 8 days through southern and northern Namibia as part of the #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm soundtrack road trip. The entire music production fee was covered by TONO, the Norwegian Collection Society and Performing Rights Organization, and the Komponistenes Verderlagsfond, the Norwegian Composers’ Remuneration Fund. These contributions were secured by Anvik.
#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm’s soundtrack includes an exciting original song to feature over the credit roll. Afrikaans rapper Ike Adonis, better known as Ixa, and Namibia Annual Music Awards 2019 winner for best Afrikaans, Vaughn Ahrens, collaborated to produce the original song, ‘My Ghosts’. The song’s lyrics are inspired by the film’s tagline “facing the ghosts of your past is like trying to catch a serial killer who won’t be caught”. Ahrens’ indie-rock style, combined with Ixa’s rap, provides a fresh Namibian sound. The song is a mixture of Afrikaans and English hip hop with a folk feel to it. ‘My Ghosts’ was publicly released on 9 September 2019 for airplay on local radio stations in the run-up to the film’s premiere on 10 October. An accompanying music video consisting of footage of the artists in the studio during recording, interspersed with scenes from the film, was also published on social media the same day at 9:09 am.
#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm will premiere on 10 October and show until 20 October at Sker Kinekor cinemas in Windhoek. Tickets are available at Ster Kinekor, Pick n Pay and Webtickets. Early Bird: N$50 • Door: N$60 • Half price Tuesday: N$30.
The fourth episode of Lavinia Kapewasha and Jenny Kandenge’s web series teases to be spectacular. Firstly, because it is the longest episode of the series, so far, running for 17 minutes, yay! Secondly, with an episode titled ‘insecurities’, you’d really get excited to see all those tiny things artists are really insecure about, but the episode borders on stagnation.
In episode three, we got to meet Biola’s sister Alicia and from Biola’s not-you-again expression in that episode you’d assume we’ll get to learn more about their relationship, but again, Untitled continues with the breadcrumb narrative it started off with.
Episode four, however, starts off pretty well with Leti having the most interesting statement of all. She starts off the episode by revealing how insecure she is about her body image while getting ready for a modelling audition. She even considers not going in for the audition.
Eventually, after some encouragement from a friend over the phone, she decides to go for the audition. Pageantpreneur and model Bobby Kanjoosa and Zavia Djohr guest star in this episode and as assistant and model scout. Leti fails at her audition and is torn.
Then we get to see again, why Martin and Biola’s relationship is a sunken boat when Martin insists on spending less time apart from Biola. Biola also mentions her sister Alicia is a trainwreck… so I guess we’ll see how much of this is true in future episodes?
The episode also reveals why Martin took a brief hiatus from performing: his got booed at his last show, got drunk, fought with someone and just made a fool of himself on video. Radio presenter and actress Vanessa Kamatoto made an appearance in the show, as the shady radio host, who prior to Martin’s radio interview watched the video and laughed with a colleague. Martin is set on let bygones-be-bygones, promising that his next show will be a hit. Joyce, on the other hand, is set on not working with Martin again, refusing to accept his apology for acting a fool when she was his manager.
The episode ends with Zion giving Leti encouragement after her failed audition. Some intense moment there, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, right?
Four episodes down, six more to go. So far, despite the wishy-washy run of the episodes, I am fairly excited to see what more Untitled has to offer.
Untitled airs every Monday on YouTube. Follow the series on Facebook and Twitter.
Director: Florian Schott Screenplay: Florian Schott & Girley Jazama Cast: Camilla Jo-Ann Daries, Wafeeq /Narimab, Anna Louw, Robert Hara#gaeb, West Uarije, Steven Afrikaner, Ashwyn Mberi
If you were worried Baxu and the Giants is an overhyped, terrible film, don’t be, because Baxu and the Giants is a remarkable short film that lives up to its expectation.
This emotional 29-minute long short film directed by Florian Schott follows 9-year old !ubaxu (Camilla Jo-Ann Daries), who lives in impoverished Damaraland with her alcoholic grandmother (Anna Louw) and older brother Khata (Wafeeq /Narimab). Khata is offered a ‘golden’ opportunity involving rhino poaching by his neighbour (Robert Hara#gaeb). Khata affords his family an easier lifestyle by being involved in rhino poaching.
When looking at the synopsis, one could more or less predict the ending to Baxu and the Giants, however, the film has a sincerity challenging us not to dismiss it, thanks largely to exceptional acting capabilities by its charming 10-year-old lead, Daries and her co-stars and the film’s production value. Daries literally breaks into her first role by delivering her character with the contentment, empathy and curiosity of a child, which allows her to effectively bring out the emotional core of the film.
While allowing us to witness the daily reality of rhino poaching, Schott and his co-writer Girley Jazama moulded the characters of Baxu and the Giants into real people who are easily identifiable and not just plothole fillers. Baxu’s deep relationship with wildlife is highlighted through recurring dreams Baxu has of King Rhino (voiced by Ashywn Mberi) warning her about her brother’s wrongdoing. These moments are perfectly devised in live-action animation.
Director of Photography Kit Hoffmann and Editor Robert Scott made sure the film delivers good camera and editing work from the opening with an epic cross-cut scene of the time of the hunter-gatherers falling in-sync with prehistoric rock paintings, leading up to the very end.
With the most interior scenes shot in Windhoek, set design by Tanya Stroh convincingly helped in telling the story of a poor north-western Namibia household. Despite some inept acting moments from conversations between Khata and Baxu, Baxu and the Giants is a good quality short film with a positive message.
The film is produced by Andrew Botelle and executively produced by Willem Odendaal (Legal Assistance Namibia).
Leading up to the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards (NTFA) and in an effort to promote Namibian films while affording members of the public an opportunity to vote for their favourite film or music video, the Namibia Film Commission is hosting a film week from 21 to 28 September at various locations in Windhoek.
Throughout the 8-day period, the Film Commission will screen all films submitted into the 2019 Film and Theatre Awards, to give every entry a fair chance and be judged by the public, whether it was nominated for the 2019 NTFA or not.
“The main reason really is to allow for a public voice in their choice of film to take that category (Audience Choice Award) on the night of the awards. The Namibia Film Commission feels this allows members of the public to watch all their films of interest as well as to understand how and why films were judged by an independent film jury,” Nicola Muranda from the Film Commission said.
The Audience Choice Award category requires members of the physically attend the Film Week, watch their choice of film and then cast their vote.
Muranda further added that while the Film Commission acknowledges that audiences outside Windhoek might be excluded from physically attending the Film Week to cast their vote due to distance, it is a fair alternative to the SMS route.
Tickets to the Film Week are N$20 (General) and N$10 (Students & Pensioners). Students are required to have a valid student card.
Here is the full schedule of the Film Week:
DAY 1 – 21 September 2019
Venue: Katutura Community Art Centre (KCAC)
18h00: Introduction & Welcoming Marinda Stein – Project Manager: Film
18h05: NAWA- Karishma ft. DJ Potpher
18h10: Chasm by Leonard Mubiana
18h20 : Q & A
18h30: Another Sunny Day directed by Tim Huebschle (4min)
18h34 – 18h40: Q & A
18h40: The Date by Mikiros Garoes (16minutes)
18h56: Encore directed by Senga Brockerhoff (11min)
19h07: Leaving by Chrisjan Appollus (9min)
19h16 – 19h30 : Q & A
19h30: The White Line by Desiree Kahikopo (100min)
21h10 – 21h20: Q & A
21h20: Wrap for Day 1
Day 2: 22 September 2019
Venue: The Barn (Acacia Street in Suiderhof)
19h00: Introduction & Welcoming
19h05: Oom Land by Tim Huebschle (4min)
19h09 – 19h13 : Q & A
19h13: NDF Survival Kit by Tapiwa Makaza (3min)
19h16: The Fight by Selima Henock (6min)
19h22: Hakahana by Charles Mwinga (9min)
19h31 – 19h45 : Q & A
19h45: Baxu and the Giants by Florian Schott (29min)
20h14 – 20h20 : Q & A
20h20: Kukuri by Philippe Talavera (40min)
21h00 – 21h10 : Q & A
21h10: Wrap for the Day
Day 3: 23 September 2019
Venue: The Barn (Acacia Street in Suiderhof)
19h00: Introduction & Welcoming
19h05: Martyr – Vaughn Ahrens (4min)
19h09: The Rose by Jana Hein (4min
19h13: Pap & Vleis by Cecil Moller (6min)
19h19 – 19h34 : Q & A
19h34: Fish out of Water by Vickson Hangula (97min)
21h11 – 21h20 : Q & A
21h20: Wrap for Day 3
DAY 4 – 24 September 2019
Venue: EL BARRIO
19h00: Introduction & Welcoming
19h05: Fake Fake Trees – Danella Smith Band (5min)
19h10: The Good Old Days by Laimi Hawala (7min)
19h17: Losing You by Christo Eduardo (5min)
19h25: Canvas by Leon Mubiana (10min)
19h35 – 19h50 : Q & A
19h50: Fishing for a Future by Jens Schneider (12min)
20h02 – 20h10 : Q & A
20h10: Invisibles directed by Joel Haikali (16min)
20h26: Wind on Your Skin by Jana von Hause, Naomi Beukes, Birgitte Staube (18min)
20h44 : Q & A
20h59: Short Cut by Leonard Tshikesho (21min)
21h200 – 21h30 : Q & A
21h30: Wrap for the Day
DAY 5 – 25 September 2019
Venue: GOETHE CENTRE
18h00: Introduction & Welcoming
18h05: My Life directed by Elvi Haihambo (4min)
18h09: The Truth Hurts by Vezerua Kahuva (3min)
18h12: Return of the Dead by Codla Maveora (4min)
18h16: The New Boy by Sophia Tsamase (3min)
18h19: Dear Inonge by Leon Mubiana (6min)
18h25: Shit Happens by Michael Namaseb (15min)
18h40 – 18h55 : Q & A
18h55: Hit by the Streets by Josua Mueshixua (7min)
19h02: I am Woman by Jana von Hase (7min)
19h09 – 19h20 : Q & A
19h20: Iitandu by Lavinia Kapewasha (24min)
19h44: Two Sides by Jenny Kandenge (26min)
20h10 – 20h20 : Q & A
20h20 : Nujoma @ 89 by Lydia Pitiri & Charles Tjatindi (29min)
20h49 – 21h00 : Q & A
21h00: Wrap for the Day
DAY 6 – 26 September 2019
Venue: EL BARRIO
19h00: Introduction & Welcoming
19h05: Energy – KP Illest ft. Ice Prince (4min)
19h09: Blind Date by Nicole van Rensburg (4min)
19h13: EGO by Clarisse Muller (4min)
19h17: Ndinelao by Uaripi Katjiukua and Steven Kashekele (13min)
19h30 – 19h45 : Q & A
19h45: Resilient Luderitz directed by Jens Schneider (18min)
20h03 – 20h10 : Q & A
20h10: Salute by Philippe Talavera (67min)
21h17 – 21h30 : Q & A
21h30: Wrap for the Day
DAY 7 – 27 September 2019
Venue: Katutura Community Art Centre (KCAC)
18h00: Introduction & Welcoming
18h05: Mary On – Mr MB (4min)
18h09: SWITCHED by Philemon Shikwambi (4min)
18h13: I am JESS by Hilma Imene (3min)
18h16: The Pet of a Hustler by Immanuel Immanuel (4min)
18h20: The Rumble by Sesilia Namakasa (10min)
18h20 – 18h35 : Q & A
18h35: During October by Em’C Erastus (6min)
18h41: Chasing Monsters by Frances Shaahama (7min)
18h48: Loving You by Selma Kaukungwa (7min)
18h55 – 19h10 : Q & A
19h10: Genesis by Laimi Fillemon (16min)
19h26: Secret Sins by Pumootu Kavirindi (19min)
19h40: Deception by Michael Namaseb (22min)
20h02 – 20h15 : Q & A
20h15: The Voice of the Bush by Pveclidias Witbooi (29min)
20h44: Damara King’s Festival by Andrew Botelle (29min)
21h13 : Q & A
21h30: Wrap for the Day
DAY 8 – 28 September 2019
Venue: The Barn
19h00: Introduction & Welcoming
19h05: Stay – Magogoz ft. Karishma (5min)
19h10 : Q & A
19h15: Hairareb by Oshoveli Shipoh (117min)
21h12 – 21h20 : Q & A
21h20: Wrap for the Day
“But we never do anything together, we haven’t even been on a real date yet,” Biola (Khadijah Mouton) is ‘bugging’ Martin (Freddy Mazila) to spend more time with her.
Martin’s response?: “We went to that lousy-ass performance of your friend’s last week.” Boy?!
This week, the Untitled web series is titled: ‘Relationships: Are We More Than F*ck buddies?’ and from the opening scene between Martin and Biola, it is clear that there is really no chemistry between Martin and Biola. It doesn’t help for Biola to pour her heart out to the guy, seriously.
Poet Lina guest stars in this episode as herself. She allows us to get a better glimpse of Zion (Fellipus Negodhi). No, we don’t see Zion perform poetry or whatever, we just understand that being weird is his nature. This scene opens with Lina reciting a poem about love. Lina even starts talking about her feeling a special connection between her and Zion.
At one point, it looks like Zion also feels the same way but no, he just got inspiration for his next piece. No, not as in Lina being his muse; Zion is inspired by the environment they are in. Eventually, Lina is weirded out and walks away. Zion sat there, not stopping Lina, beating his drum, alongside his Simba chips and Fanta Grape…
Later that day, Biola eventually decided to go to the art gallery with Leti (Elizabeth Hamurenge), who serves her tough love. “Everybody is just out for sex,” Leti will have Biola know. In essence, Leti and Biola have their girl power moment as Biola vows to have her own solo exhibition and Leti letting her know she’ll back her up if needed.
Oh, and Adrien (Rodelio Lewis) did the order-water-and-sneak-in-your-own-cheaper-wine trick at a bar. If you haven’t done this, or know of someone who has done this, you are not truly living. Or maybe life is just to good for you (or whatever, this isn’t about you). Anyway, joins Adrien and goes on about it being hard finding someone to connect with. Does this mean he wasn’t being an ass and really doesn’t feel like Lina? Lahja Haufiku makes a cameo in this episode and it has me wondering if she’ll be back for other episodes as Zion’s love interest? Also, when Adrien suggest for Adrien to ‘float to the other side’ instead, he cluelessly says he floats all the time- I don’t think Adrien was talking about being high, Zion.
Earlier in the episode, an enraged Biola told Martin to not bother coming back to her. Biola clearly didn’t take Leti’s advice to heart, because later at night, she is texting Martin asking if he is coming back. So maybe Martin is not the only one who wants to roll around in your bed, is he, Biola? By the end of the episode, Biola’s sister Alicia (JD Januarie) makes her first appearance on the show.
So far, the first three episodes have been rather meh, with anticipation being built throughout. Perhaps episode four is the episode we’ll get to see the entire characters get in their full glory?
The 10-episode web series airs on YouTube every Monday.
The biggest and most anticipated night in Namibia’s stage and screen industry is fast approaching. The 2019 Namibian Theatre & Film Awards will take place on 5 October in the National Theatre of Namibia’s auditorium.
This year, the country’s entertainers and content creators within the theatre and film sphere will be competing in categories like Best Newcomer, Best Student Film, Best Adapted Script, Best Musical, Best Narrative Film, Best Documentary, Best Set, Stage & Costume, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Music, Best Editor, Best Cinematography, Best Music Video Editor as well as all the best directing, writing and acting categories in both theatre and film.
The nominees for the 2019 Namibia Theatre & Film Awards were announced on 12 September at the National Theatre of Namibia’s Backstage theatre by the theatre’s Public Relations Officer, Desiree Mentor and Media Personality & TLC’s first African Presenter, David Mbeha. Mbeha and Mentor will be dressed by Ingo Shanyenge and have their make-up done by Jay-Aeron who have both been selected as Official Designer and Make-Up Artist for the event.
This year, the bi-annual Namibian Theatre & Film Awards marks 5 years of celebrating Namibia’s theatre and film practitioners since the inception of the awards in 2010.
Here’s the deep dive on the 2019 event:
WHO IS HOSTING THE 2019 NTFA?
The official co-hosts of the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards are radio & TV Personality, singer/songwriter and MC and entrepreneur, Matthew ‘Mappz’ Kapofi and radio & TV Personality, Satirical Columnist and MC, Laurika Williams.
WHERE AND WHEN IS THE 2019 NTFA?
The 2019 Award ceremony will return to the National Theatre of Namibia’s auditorium on 5 October. The event will kick off with the Red Carpet at 18h00 and the Award Ceremony at 20h00. The show will be broadcast on National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) afterwards (date and time to be communicated later).
WHO ARE THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2019 NTFA?
As expected, in the film category, Oshoveli Shipoh’s feature film, Hairareb, Florian Schott’s short film Baxu and The Giants and Desiree Kahikopo’s feature film The White Line dominated this year’s nominations with a staggering of 7 nominations, each. In the theatre category, Nelagoh Shilongoh’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences reigned supreme with a total of 5 nominations, followed by Sepiso Mwange’s adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun which earned 4 nominations. Senga Brockerhoff’s Every Woman and Donald Matthys’s Battered followed with 3 nominations, each.
The biggest snubs perhaps are Philippe Talevera’s film Salute, which didn’t get a single nomination and Ashwyn Mberi’s play Tales of Roses in Concrete which only received the Best Male Actor nomination.
The ceremony will be attended by the media, film and theatre industry professionals and their partners and is by invitation only.
WHO IS THE GUEST SPEAKER FOR THE 2019 NTFA?
The Guest Speaker for the 2019 Namibia Theatre and Film Awards is South African actress known for her leading role in the movie and stage play Sarafina! and for her roles in other films such as Hotel Rwanda, Yesterday and Invictus, Leleti Khumalo.
WHO ARE THE JURORS FOR THE 2019 NTFA?
The theatre jury consists of Prof. Sarala Krishnamurthy, Dr Juliet Pasi, Dr Suzette van der Smit and Mr Jonathan Sam while the film jury consists of Dr. Hugh Ellis, Ms Karlien Kruger, Ms Oshosheni Hiveluah and Ms Taleni Shimhopileni.
The nominees for the 2019 Theatre and Film Awards were announced on 12 September at the National Theatre of Namibia’s Backstage theatre by the theatre’s Desiree Mentor and Media Personality & TLC’s first African Presenter, David Mbeha.
Here are the nominees:
Best Music Video Director
1. Robert Scott: Fake Fake Trees by Danella Smith Band
2. Andrew Robson: Martyr by Vaughn Ahrens
3. Leonard Tshikesho: Nawa by Karishma ft DJ Potpher
Best Student Film
1. Chasm – Leon Mubiana
2. NDF Survival Kit – Tapiwa Makaza
3. The Rose – Jana Hein
1. Aina Kwedhi – Hairareb
2. Joel Haikali – Invisibles
3. Micheal Pulse – The White Line
Best Production Design
1. Tanya Stroh – Baxu and the Giants
2. Lara-Lyn Ahrens – The White Line
3. Joel Haikali – Invisibles
Best Sound & Music
1. Tim Huebschle, David Benade, Christof van Niekerk, Shishani – Another Sunny Day
2. Wojtek Majewski, Lize Ehlers, Karl Ehlers, Imms Nicolau – Baxu and the Giants
3. Ellen Ernst, Oshoveli Shipoh, Pontianus Dikuua, Nehale Muteka – Hairareb
1. Robert Scott – Baxu and the Giants
2. Oshoveli Shipoh, Ellen Ernst, Nehale Muteka – Hairareb
3. Renier de Bruyn – The White Line
1. Bernd Curschmann – Invisibles
2. Kit Hoffmann – Baxu and the Giants
3. Antonius Tsuob – Hairareb
Best Newcomer Director
1. Desiree Kahikopo – The White Line
2. Senga Brockerhoff – Encore
3. Lavinia Kapewasha – Iitandu
1. The Voice of the Bush – Pvleclidias Witbooi
2. Another Sunny Day – Tim Huebschle
Best Female Actor
1. Camilla Jo-Ann Daries – Baxu and the Giants
2. Lavinia Kapewasha – Iitandu
3. Girley Jazama – The White Line
Best Male Actor
1. Jan-Barend Scheepers – The White Line
2. David Ndjavera – Hairareb
3. Eduardo Lutete – The Fight
1. Florian Schott – Baxu and the Giants
2. Joel Haikali – Invisibles
3. Oshoveli Shipoh- Hairareb
Best Narrative Film
1. Baxu and the Giants
2. The White Line
1. Blessing Mbonambi & Junelle Mbonambi – Stroh– Fell
2. Nelago Shilongoh – Fences
3. Senga Brockerhoff – Every Woman
Best Newcomer Director
1. Ndakalako Shilongo – Thinning Lines
2. Lloyd Winini – The Nuthouse
3. Sepiso Mwange – A Raisin in the Sun
Best Male Actor
1. Ndinomholo Ndilula – Tales of Roses in Concrete
2. David Ndjavera – Fences
3. Blessing Mbonambi – Fell
Best Female Actor
1. Odile Gertze – Battered
2. Hazel Hinda – A Raisin in the Sun
3. Nelago Shilongoh – Madam President
Best Supporting Actor
1. Jennifer Timbo – Every Woman
2. Adriano Visagie – Battered
3. Hazel Hinda – House of Paradox
1. Melgisedek Nehemia – Brooding with Beckett
2. Mikiros Garoes – Black Coffee, White Porridge
3. Jeremiah Shivolo – A Raisin in the Sun
Best Stage, Set & Costume
1. God of Carnage – Senga Brockerhoff
2. A Raisin in the Sun – Sepiso Mwange
3. Fences – Nelago Shilongoh
1. I am John – Sandy Rudd
2. Tselane & the Giant – Veronique Mensah
3. Every Woman – Senga Brockerhoff
Best Adapted Play
1. Fences – Nelagoh Shilongoh
2. Aspoestertjie – Abraham Pieters
3. Tselane & the Giant – Veronique Mensah
Best Original Script
1. Battered – Donald Matthys
2. The Nuthouse – Lloyd Winini
3. Daddy’s Girls – Jenny Kandenge
Best Overall Play
1. A Raisin in the Sun – Sepiso Mwange
2. Every Woman – Senga Brockerhoff
3. Fences – Nelago Shilongoh
Continuing to shun a light on the plight of Namibian creatives, the second episode of Untitled is all about working for exposure because it is an undeniable fact that at least once in their lifetime, every creative will be approached by people who want free work.
The episode kicks off with Joyce (Chantell Uiras) paying Adrien (Rodelio Lewis) for a previous gig while offering him another corporate gig which she seems to have already sealed without his prior approval. Adrien, being an upcoming artist and all, is very eager to do the gig, but tones down on his excitement when Joyce mentions that the gig will be unpaid. Joyce continues to make the unpaid gig lucrative as possible, convincing Adrien that he needs all the exposure he can get and encouraging to take up as much free work as he can, with the promise of more work in the future. For many creatives, this is a very familiar scenario- which for the most part they fall for, especially when people make it sound like they are doing them a favour.
Meanwhile, Martin (Freddy Mazila) is being pinned the same scenario. We learned from episode 1 that Martin is an established artist, but he has been MIA for quite a while and now, the event organiser, Kris uses this as the basis to not pay Martin to perform with the promise that it will get him back into the performance game.
Leti (Elizabeth Hamurenge) and Biola (Khadijah Mouton) are polar opposites when it comes to working with exposure. While Biola feels exposure won’t put food on the table, Leti feels doing every gig that comes her way, paid or unpaid, has helped her build a portfolio. I somehow agree with Leti- to an extent, being popular in the performance sphere can help build a portfolio and might lead to constant work, but is all the blood, sweat and tears worth it, especially if the promised exposure leads to absolutely nothing?
Can we talk about Joyce and Martin and whatever is going on there? From episode 1 there has been some weird chemistry thing going on between the two and with this episode, it is clear there they definitely had a past together. Anyway, this episode also exposes the double standard of Joyce, who sold an unpaid gig to Adrien but feels Martin is too good to perform for free. Again, we are teased with Adrien’s singing but never get to see him sing, maybe Joyce’s subtle shade is spot-on and Adrien has a good voice to beg bacon. Also, what’s up with everyone and their phones? Are artists really that vested in their phones??
The 10-episode web series will air on YouTube every week.
Tim Huebschle’s crime thriller #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm starring Elize de Wee is expected to hit the big screen on 10 October. Ahead of the premiere, the film released an original soundtrack titled ‘My Ghosts’ by Vaughn Ahrens & Ixa.
The quirky and captivating credit roll soundtrack features visuals captured by Haiko Boldt with sound engineering by Adam Brandon-Kirby.
Vaughn Ahrens, who won the award for Best Afrikaans at the 2019 Namibian Annual Music Awards said he was lucky enough to be part of the film’s test audience where he had the opportunity to get a good feel of the film for the writing of the lyrics.
“I kind of imagined what I’d like to hear as the credits roll out, and went from there,” Ahrens said, “I think Ixa and I really captured the overall emotion that the movie brings with the lyrics and music. I think we’re busy blending styles here and that’s what’s making this endeavour such an interesting listen.”
According to Ixa, when he received the rough version of the beat for ‘My Ghosts’, he repeatedly watched the trailer before writing his part of the lyrics, adding that on the 21 August they recorded the song in less than two 2 hours.
“My lyrics basically explain how dangerous the streetlife in Namibia is and how difficult it can be to get out of the streets once you have chosen that life,” Ixa said.
‘My Ghosts’, is originally produced for #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm as part of the film score composed by Ginge, who is currently still writing some of the music.
Director: Oshoveli Shipoh Screenplay: Aina Kwedhi Cast: David Ndjavera, Claudine de Groot, Hazel Hinda and Kadeen Kaoseb, Willem Egbert Moller, Bianca Heyns, Naomunic Feris, Moria Kambrudes
Hairareb, based on a book by August C. Bikeur which was later adapted into a well-known-and loved Khoekhoegowab radio drama, is a passable film surviving only on its emotional ending and the strikingly expressive performances delivered by its four leading actors David Ndjavera, Claudine de Groot, Hazel Hinda and Kadeen Kaoseb.
Both Hairareb (Ndjavera) and /Ininis (de Groot) enter their marriage with murky intentions. Hairareb, who is troubled by the effects of a devastating drought enters a mutually beneficial trade involving /Ininis with her alcoholic stepfather (Willem Egbert Moller). /Ininis, on the other hand, has her life complicated by her galling young boyfriend, !Nausub (Kaoseb). When Hairareb and /Ininis unexpectedly fall in love with each other, things take a turn for the worse.
Hairareb which falls within the ‘tragic romance’ genre, opens with a very interestingly welcoming monologue by (from, rather) Hairareb. That opening was in Khoekhoegowab with English subtitles and was voiced by Hosni Jr Sidney Narib and not by Ndjavera who plays Hairareb. From this onset, the high hopes I had for the film started to shatter. Casting Ndjavera for the role of Hairareb might have been deliberate, but I am pretty sure with his calibre and strong theatre background, Ndjavera would’ve easily rehearsed and delivered his character’s introductory monologue.
The 1h55-minute-long film continues in English throughout, apart from some Khoekhoegowab words here and there. As much as I understand that the producers want to reach an international audience, telling the story in Khoekhoegowab with English subtitles wouldn’t have ruined those chances (particularly for this film)- our immediate neighbour South Africa tells the majority of their films in their local languages and these films are great, mostly. The acting, specifically from the supporting cast, would’ve been much better if they spoke in their mother-tongues.
Apart from this missed opportunity, director Oshoveli Shipoh had exceptional moments in his film. First, casting the self-confessed video vixen de Groot in her first ever movie is commendable. De Groot gave a stellar performance alongside Ndjavera and Hinda,-two of Namibia’s most talented and longest practising thespians. Then there was the love-making scene between Hairareb and /Ininis and the fighting scene between Hairareb and !Nausub in which the very pregnant /Ininis is injured- this was the real kicker.
The Ndapunikwa Investments produced film also has some melodramatic twists here and there, but they are trivial and not worth mentioning. The screenplay, written by Aina Kwedhi gave the film humdrum dialogue which made some scenes come off as very superficial. Doing justice to its ‘drought-stricken’ plotline, Hairareb was shot at Okarundu and Otjimbingwe which perfectly presented the film in the arid landscape it is meant for.
All in all, Hairareb manages to be engaging due to its stars, popularity with older audiences who know and loved the radio drama and it will most definitely pull heartstrings in some unexpected places, especially leading up to the end.
Hairareb had its Namibian premiere in Windhoek at Ster Kinekor Grove and Maerua on the 30th and 31st August 2019. The film was produced by Dantagos Jimmy-Melani and Ellen Ernst.
Namibian short film Baxu and the Giants follows Baxu (Jo-Ann Daries), a 9-year old girl who is in touch with nature and tradition but toughened by life in poverty, lives with her older brother Khata (Wafeeq /Narimab) and their alcoholic grandmother (late Anna Louw) in a village in Damaraland, Namibia.
Baxu and the Giants will have its Namibian premiere on 19 September 2019 at Ster Kinekor Grove Mall, Windhoek. Tickets to the premiere are N$60.
Baxu and the Giants was commissioned by the Legal Assistance Centre with the aim of sensitising teenagers to the issue of poaching in Namibia.
Producer Andrew Botelle (The Power Stone, Born in Etosha) enlisted Director and Co-Writer Florian Schott (Katutura) and Co-Producer/Co-Writer Girley Jazama (The White Line) to craft an emotional story out of this difficult issue of poaching.
The first episode of Dark Grown Production’s web series, Untitled premiered on YouTube on 2 September 2019.
Untitled stars Chantell Uiras, Rodelio Lewis, Freddy Mazila, Khadijah Mouton, Elizabeth Hamurenge and Fellipus Negodhi as artists in 21st century Windhoek. The artists, Joyce (Uiras), Adrien (Lewis), Martin (Mazila), Biola (Mouton), Leti (Hamurenge) and Zion (Negodhi) all practice different art forms (writer, model, visual artist, singer, poet, actress and comedian/MC) and are all trying to make it big.
At least that’s what we make up from Uiras’s monologue about moving to Windhoek in search of greener pastures. The monologue runs over the beautiful scenery of Windhoek, making for a beautiful piece of cinematography in the opening scene.
“We chase fame, cries of laughter, our names in lights. Even if it costs us everything.” –Untitled
Shot mostly at one of Windhoek’s most popular entertainment spots, Chopsi’s Bar, the show takes us through unfiltered, behind-the-scenes of what it means to be an artist struggling to make it in the ever-changing art scene of Windhoek.
This episode is largely focused on introducing the artists and we get to see the artists hangout and share drinks while being all smug about their individual artistic practices- really reminds you of people you might have met if you hang out at places like Chopsi’s.
The episode saw Lewis’s character Adrien take the stage as an aspiring singer, however, it cuts to another scene and we don’t get to see the actor stretching his vocal cords. The episode would’ve benefitted from having the ‘singer’ actually sing.
Untitled brings forth something fresh to the Namibian TV viewing scene and creators Lavinia Kapewasha and Jenny Kandenge deserve applause for the bold choices in how they chose to tell the story. While the execution of this episode was a little botched, the concept Kapewasha and Kandege used is great- it makes one excited to see the next episode!
The 10-episode web series will air on YouTube every week.
Watch the 15-minute episode below:
For other Untitled-related content, visit their YouTube page here.
Florian Schott’s short film, Baxu and the Giants will have its world premiere at the 2019 San Francisco Independent Short Film Festival. The festival is scheduled to run from 13 to 15 September at the New People Cinema, in Japantown, San Francisco.
Baxu and the Giants will be part of the festival’s ‘The Kids Are All Right?’ program which features films about kids on 14 September.
The 29-minute film follows Baxu, a 9-year old girl who is in touch with nature and tradition but toughened by life in poverty, lives with her older brother Khata and an alcoholic grandmother in a village in Damaraland, Namibia. The film is themed around rhino poaching.
Schott said that while it is great that especially this year there are multiple Namibian films coming out, it is also important that Namibian filmmakers are afforded the chance to show them outside of the country.
“There is a high demand worldwide now for African content and us Namibian filmmakers should be a part of this conversation,” Schott said. “Our experiences and stories aren’t any less valid than the ones from Nigeria or South Africa.”
Schott expressed gratitude on being afforded the opportunity to play a part in shining a light on the difficult issue surrounding rhino poaching to American audiences. “We will continue working hard on bringing the film and message out into the world. Doing what we can as filmmakers to make a change and help in the fight against rhino poaching.”
Baxu and the Giants will be screened alongside Dekel Berenson’s Ashima, June Hucko’s Betta, Amber Sealey’s How Does It Start, Dana-Lee Mierowsky Bennett’s Sammy and Mariona Lloreta’s The Moon Never Dies.
The film will have its Namibian premiere on 19 September at Grove Mall, Windhoek.
The latest adaptation Fiela Se Kind, based on the bestselling novel by Dalene Matthee will have a Namibian premiere on Friday, 6 September 2019 at Windhoek’s Grove Mall.
Fiela Se kind stars Namibian-born actress Zenobia Kloppers as the hardworking Coloured woman, Fiela Komoetie, who takes in a lost Caucasian child and raises him as her own.
Nine years later, Benjamin is removed from her care and forced to live in the Knysna Forest with a family of woodcutters who claim that he is theirs. Separated by law and geography, Fiela and Benjamin spend the next decade trying to find each other while simultaneously coming to terms with their individual identities.
The Namibian premiere of the film will kick-off with a meet and greet with Kloppers from 19:00 and 19:45 followed by the screening of the film at 20:00.
Fila Se Kind also stars Wayne Smith as ‘Benjamin SR’, Luca Bornman as ‘Benjamin JR’, Wayne Van Rooyen as ‘Selling Komoetie’, Drikus Volshenck as ‘Elias Van Rooyen’, Cindy Swanepoel as ‘Barta Van Rooyen’, Chiara Roodt as ‘Nina JR’, Melissa Willering as ‘Nina SR’, Stefan Erasmus as ‘Tollie Komoetie SR’, Andre Stoltz as ‘Lange’, and many more.
The film is written and directed by Brett Michael Innes and produced under The Film Factory South Africa.
Fila Se Kind will show on 6 September at Ster-Kinekor Grove Mall, Cinema 5 and tickets are charged at N$150. Limited tickets are available and can be bought by contacting Clement: +264 816 352 781 or Jonathan: +264 811 280 599.
“We have a serial killer on our hands,” says tough cop Meisie Willemse (Elize de Wee) as she investigates a murder.
The release of #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm has been anticipated for over 5 years and now it is official, Tim Huebschle’s crime thriller is expected to premiere on 10 October 2019!
Apart from de Wee as the lead, the film features Armas Shivute, Pieter Greeff, Ralf Boll, Khadijah Mouton, Felicity Celento, Muhindua Kaura, Chantell Uiras, Chridon Panizza, Joalette de Villiers, Janu Craill, Ndinomholo Ndilula, Jarret Loubser, Brumelda Brandt and Rodelio Lewis.
Multi-award winning musician Lazarus Shiimi a.k.a Gazza also makes a cameo as a businessman in the film.
The KinoNamibia Film Festival is returning for the third year this August. The festival gives amateur filmmakers and film enthusiasts the confidence to create stories with film and learn about the art of filmmaking.
KinoNamibia (which recently changed its name from KinoNamia) allows amateur and professional filmmakers to meet up at one place, connect and create a film within 48 hours.
Festival Coordinator, Andreas Elifas says he realised that most people want to get into filmmaking but find it difficult, thinking one needs expensive equipment to be a filmmaker. Elifas believes in the power of collaboration and adds that the KinoNamibia platform helps amateur filmmakers realise that with the right amount of creativity, one can simply shoot with a mobile phone.
Elifas is a creative with a demonstrated history of working in the Marketing, Advertising, Filming & Events Industry, skilled in Graphic Design, Photography and Filming. Namib Insider spoke to Elifas more on the creation of KinoNamibia and himself:
What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
The fact that we can get to express our creativity when we promote the festival. The interest in the festival is great and it keeps us going. We also like seeing how everyone at the festival engage with each other and work together to create great content within 48 hours. The films always come out great.
How do you think the festival has improved this year?
I can only really tell the improvement after the festival in August, as for now we are busy preparing for it, but what I can say, is that we will be accepting more participants this year, around 200. The fact that we have more support coming from sponsors also makes our work easier.
Do you see the festival expanding beyond Windhoek into other parts of Namibia?
We would love to roll out to regions, but we realise it is a big step considering all the logistics we need to take care of. We are a mere 3 years old, which I see is too soon to take up that challenge but in the near future, we definitely will.
Planning a film festival like this can be daunting, I imagine. Can you describe the physical and emotional duress of putting on a festival like this?
It’s very difficult and requires a lot of focusing and discipline- you have to look at everything from dealing with a team with different personalities and delegating them, to make sure that things run smoothly. If things don’t run accordingly, you will face trouble during the time of the festival. Simple things like not having access to the internet could ruin your plans as most of the marketing is done online, so you have to constantly be online and ready to respond to any queries that people ask online as soon as possible.
Is there any Namibian filmmaker you look up to?
I would say, Florian Schott, the director of Katutura. I admire his consistency and the fact that he is always willing to share his knowledge in filmmaking.
So, what’s the story around the Orange Mascots?
The Orange Mascot is an idea I thought would be cool for the festival. They are inspired by the Green Screen. Filmmakers usually use people dressed up in green tights to carry people when they shoot films like Superman, so we decided to have ours in Orange since the branding for KinoNamibia is also Orange.
KinoNamibia is slated for 24-26 August 2019 at Goethe-Institut Namibia. The festival is sponsored by the Namibia Film Commission, FNB Namibia, Cramer’s Ice-Cream, Goethe-Institut Namibia and One Africa TV.
Want to be part of KinoNamibia 2019? Purchase one of 200 passes that will be sold at Cramer’s from the end of July 2019 for N$20 and guarantee your spot. Or simply apply here (Kino3) to have your information ready for the festival.
The White Line has a message to share and sure as hell cannot wait to get it done and over with.
Filled with all the right ingredients for a colonial romantic drama, The White Line could’ve easily been a great film, if it weren’t for the way the writing, editing, acting and cinematography came together.
The editing really ruins this beautiful love story, cutting from scene to scene, often introducing trivial information which has little effect on the main storyline. The apartheid era, (which the film is set in), is painful for many Namibians and the idea of a forbidden love story blooming during that time easily has an appealing effect. However, a few kiss scenes here and there does not really make a tearjerker- which is something The White Line evidently tried to achieve but failed in.
Casting Girley Jazama as the anguished domestic worker, Sylvia Kamutjemo, was expertly done. Jazama really sells pain and grief. Whether she’s just a good cry-on-cue actress or it’s the result of the director’s torture, Jazama makes one sympathize with her. You really get into the feels.
Alongside Jazama, is Sylvia’s love interest, Afrikaner police officer, Pieter de Wet- played by Jan-Barend Scheepers. The film shows potential for great romantic chemistry between Sylvia and Pieter, but Jazama and Pieter’s delivery for this seemed a little uncomfortable and forced at times. The only moment I felt the ‘magnetic’ attraction between the two characters was when they wrote letters to each other. Pieter, being a sweet, nerdy (or nervous) guy, is open-minded and perhaps in desperate need of a soulmate- or caretaker.
The posh, buzzkill of a woman, Anne-Marie de Wet (Sunet van Wyk) is by far my favourite character in the film. Van Wyk does justice to the character- who is the godmother of inherited racial prejudice- at least in the realm of The White Line. Anne-Marie uses the apartheid regime to her advantage to tower over Pieter and Silvia. Anne-Marie’s has a dominant personality and makes you think her housewife status gives her a lot of time to devise ways that put pressure on Pieter and Sylvia. She is the perfect antagonist: knows what she wants and will go to any length to get it.
The film is perfectly constructed in Otjiherero and Afrikaans (with English subtitles). The cinematography is pretty standard- considering the budget. Director Desiree Kahikopo visibly tried to give the film that 1960’s feel, aided by the colouring. The film is mostly shot in close-up and medium shots. Kahikopo did okay in directing the film- considering it is her directorial debut.
Screenwriter Micheal Pulse did a good job writing the story- the twists do intrigue and would’ve benefited from better ironing out of the scenes. The film has a firm supporting cast who does justice to the sub-plots. The music, especially Pulse’s original song titled The White Line gives substance to the overall film.
It is a good story- just not put together well. The film is important. The story is beautiful. The acting is okay and if you are a fan of stand-up comics who poke fun at accents, you will definitely want to see The White Line.
Mikiros Garoes wrote and directed The Date, a light romantic comedy short film set in 21st century Windhoek. The short first screened at the College of the Arts on June 1st 2019. At its core, The Date is a pretty typical romantic comedy: The workaholic friend, her concerned friends and of course, the love-seeking bachelor. Shot at the Old Location Bar & Restaurant in Windhoek with a budget of N$17 000, The Date brings something new to the area of romcoms, from a Namibian perspective.
The pacing of the story is quite good and while there are many funny moments, Garoes missed the opportunity to really dig deeper into the hilarity Namibia’s dating scene has to offer.
For a film with very little funding, The Date’s execution was surprisingly good. Cinematographer and editor Thabiso Dube did well in giving the film a clean outline which represents the film’s tone and message quite well. Lavinia Kapewasha, Hazel Hinda and Bret Kamwi proved to be a recipe for success with their respective character’s charismatic, funny, and vulnerable personalities.
Namib Insider talked to Garoes on the making of her self funded film, casting and her role in the film business.
Tell us about where this story evolved from. The inspiration and how long were you working on this story before you decided to shoot it?
It was a random idea I had one day that was fueled even further by my own observations on the dating scene in Windhoek, which is rough. It’s rough in deez streets!
The Date has an amazing cast. Tell us about your casting process.
The casting process was fun and easy for me. Lavinia and Hazel are both good friends of mine and I have worked with both of them before. I actually wrote the script with them in mind so there were no other actresses I even considered casting. Bret was the only cast member I didn’t know personally before the film. Initially, I had another actor for the role who dropped out, so when looking for another actor, the both Lavinia and Hazel highly recommended Bret. It was clear from our first meeting that he fit the role like a glove and he ended up killing it, even bringing new colours to the character.
Were you a fan of romcoms growing up? Which ones were you trying to reference with The Date?
I am the biggest fan of romcoms, even to this day. I am such a cornball! As unrealistic as they can be, they are so much fun to watch and write. I have always been a hopeless romantic. There no specific romcom that I referenced but I guess The Date leans more towards a somewhat realistic rom-com in terms of the unpredictability of going on a blind date with a stranger; you never know what to expect.
If you could give the three ingredients for the perfect rom-com, what would they be?
Chemistry/Acting/Believability: No matter how good the writing or production is, if the leads can’t convince the audience that they’re in love then there’s no point. They have to vibe, you have to believe them as a partnership or a couple. It has to be written in such a way that you want them to end up together, the audience has to root for them. Story: The story or the journey has to be strong. Most romcom stories are basically the same. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, they break up and in the end, they get back together. It has been the same story recycled time and time again but it all comes down to how you tell the story. Music: Music heightens emotions and gives you the sense you’re in that moment as the character or with the character. It has the power to convey what words can’t. Two characters kissing over a candlelit dinner is cute but them kissing over a candlelit dinner to My Funny Valentine puts you in that moment of how euphoric it feels to kiss someone you love.
In any romantic comedy, the two leads have to connect. How as a director and writer do you make sure that the two leads have chemistry?
I am a big fan of rehearsals, not just to get ready before filming but for the actors to get to know each other as people. Between and after rehearsals there is usually some downtime to chat, fool around and get to know each other, but every situation can be different as well. There are times where people just don’t vibe for whatever reason.
You have also done your fair share of acting. What have you learned about directors as an actor, and what have you learned about actors as a director?
I think about the directors I have worked with who brought the best out of me. I am a sensitive soul so I work best with directors who are not aggressive and that I feel safe with, that’s what I want to be as a director; someone who actors can feel safe and comfortable with. I am what you call an ‘actors director’. The most fun about being a director is working with actors because we speak the same language, we are in the same WhatsApp group. It feels like a group of misfits and outcasts that found home with each other. I understand actors because I am one.
How do you feel your experience of being in both positions has affected your craft?
It has 100% strengthened my craft because I have been on both ends of the spectrum which makes you a more well rounded overall filmmaker. But directing has really changed the game for me on a personal level because I was initially intimidated by directing, but once I got over that fear, it completely opened me up and I fell even more in love with all things film. When you’re an actor you just got to know your lines and not come to work with a hangover (or unprepared) for the most part. Also, directing can be exhausting but you only come out better in the end.
Missed The Date? The Date will be screened at the Warehouse Theatre in Windhoek alongside Senga Brockerhoff’s Encore, Lavinia Kapewasha’s Itandu and Jana von Hase & Naomi Beukes’s The Wind on Your Skin on 21 June 2019. Tickets are charged at N$80.