The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) announced the temporary suspension of all its activities at the theatre and closure for the public until the 20 April, in compliance with the announcement made by President Hage Geingob on Saturday, 14 March to cancel all public gatherings.
In a statement issued on Monday 16 March, the theatre’s Public Relations Officer, Desiree Mentor said the decision has been compelled by the need to lessen the risk of infection.
“The health and well-being of all our stakeholders and theatre patrons are of utmost importance and takes precedence,” Mentor said in the statement.
In the same vein, NTN’s premier theatre production of Boet & Sus created and directed by Lize Ehlers which was currently in rehearsal and set to premiere on 23 April has now been postponed until further notice.
Mentor said the theatre will constantly assess the situation around coronavirus as they get advice and guidance from the government and adhere to contingency plans by responding to developing trends.
Salute!, one of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO)’s DVDs, is among January’s winners at the Five Continent International Film Festival, getting Best Half Length Film as well as a Special Mentions in a Feature Film for Odile Gertze and Adriano Visagie and another Special Mention for a Supporting Actor in a Feature Film for Monray Garoeb.
The Five Continent International Film Festival is an online Film Festival. Every month some films are entered and are in competition. In January, the Best Half Length Film section saw 16 films, from India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, etc.
The film follows the story of Carlito (Adriano Visagie) sentenced to five years in jail for fraud at the time his girlfriend (Odile Gertze) is pregnant. In jail, he has to find his way and learns very fast that protection is important but comes at a price. His encounter with the General (Monray Garoeb) and his team will change his life forever.
Speaking on the creation of Salute!, director and producer Philippe Talavera says the film’s script was workshopped with inmates and actors were trained by ex-inmates with some inmates taking part as extras.
“Adriano and Monray had to spend seven days in jail – not sleeping there but spending more than 10 hours per day with the crew in one of Windhoek Correctional Facility’s units. It was extremely hard work and required a huge motivation from the cast. The fact that they are finally recognised – first with Adriano’s win as Best Actor Southern Africa at the Sotigui Awards in Burkina Faso and now with those three special mentions – is hugely rewarding for us all,” Talavera says.
The news came at the time OYO’s other DVD, Kukuri has been nominated as Best Movie
Southern Africa at the 7th Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) in Nigeria.
“We try our best to develop stories that are addressing current social issues’, says Talavera. “I think people relate to our films because they speak the truth and everybody on set is passionate about the topic.”
The White Line has finally concluded its first festival run and is now ready for the Namibian premiere.
The White Line has won 3 awards at the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards and internationally won Best Feature Film and Best Cinematographer at The African Emerging Filmmakers Awards. Equally, the film screened at various film festivals all over the world, including the Durban International Film Festival, New York African Diaspora Film Festival, Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt, among others.
Now the producers announced that the film will have its first official red carpet premiere in Namibia, set for 20 March at Ster Kinekor Grove Mall, Windhoek.
Locally, The White Line has only had a press screening and in preparation for the 2019 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards screened at the Namibian Film Week in Windhoek. Director Desiree Kahikopo previously said the film will first have a festival run and after that, once they have secured additional funding, they will have the official Namibian premiere.
Starring Girley Jazarama, Jan-Barend Scheepers, Sunet van Wyk and Mervin Uahupirapi, The White Line, 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.
The film was one of the most anticipated films of 2019, alongside films like #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, Baxu and the Giants and Hairareb and features some of the best movie performances Namibia has to offer.
The film features an original soundtrack by Micheal Pulse with the screenplay also written by Pulse.
Tickets to the red carpet premiere of The White Line are now on sale at Ster Kinekor for N$60.
UPDATE: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the premiere has been cancelled.
The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) kicks off 2020 with a new play titled Three Sisters, written and directed by Bret Kamwi.
The play follows a young woman who goes undercover into a prophet’s house to try and expose him for what she believes to be fake miracles and in her quest, she finds that the wives of the prophet are the backbone to his success.
Kamwi says his play, which is largely a religious satire, explores the “current religious” climate, where fewer young people attend church or follow religious people such as prophets.
Explaining the narrative, Kamwi says the play has all the different kinds of people who can be found in a religious setting, from the naive believers, who follow without question, to the sceptical believers, who believe in the message but not necessarily the messenger thereof.
While the piece was inspired by the rise in popularity of prophets in and around SADC countries, Kamwi says he wanted to tell the story from the point of view of the support structures around prophets.
“When I started writing there weren’t any clear themes that I was determined on tackling, I rather let the story take its own form and I didn’t know how it was going to end until I wrote the ending. Which in itself was a new writing process for me because I usually have the entire plan or outline of the story from beginning to end. Also while writing the final draft I had some incredible feedback from my mentor Sepiso Mwange, who has an amazing eye for detail and she helped me find questions to answers I didn’t know were there,” Kamwi says.
Despite this being his first production on the NTN stage, Kamwi is no stranger to the theatre craft, having written and staged three theatre productions at the University of Namibia while studying Music and Drama. He has also performed on the NTN stage numerous times.
The cast includes Melgisedek Nehemia, Xavier M, Diana Master, Penny Heelu, Kaarina Nambinga, Vaja Tjipueja and Taylo Mannetti. The production is mentored by art educator, Sepiso Mwange.
Three Sisters is produced by the Theatre under its Theatre Zone Project, a platform for new theatremakers and will run from 5 – 7 March at NTN’s Backstage. All performances start at 20h00. General tickets are charged at N$80 and students and senior citizens tickets are discounted at N$50. Tickets are available via Computicket outlets countrywide.
On Wednesday 5 February, 92nd Academy Award Best Documentary nominee, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ For Sama opened Goethe Institute Namibia’s art-house film programme, ‘Cinemaverse’.
The film, following Waad’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, forms a line-up of films from Germany, Sudan and South Africa which will be screened at the Goethe Instituut Windhoek over the course of 2020.
Apart from For Sama, films that make up the first half of the Cinemaverse programme are Transit by Christian Petzold, Akasha by Hajooj Kuka, Systemsprenger by Nora Fingscheidt and Sew The Winter To My Skin by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka. The second-half programme for Cinemaverse is currently being put together.
Cinemaverse is co-curated by Namibian filmmaker Florian Schott and Zimbabwean filmmaker Nocks Chatiza. According to Schott, the idea of ‘Cinemaverse’ was born out of the need for films outside of the mainstream.
“Many Namibians now have access to DStv, to Netflix and films that screen at Ster Kinekor. But there are so many cinematic gems out there, beautiful, moving and important films that unfortunately Namibians don’t have access to on their usual distribution channels. In the last few months, I’ve travelled to film festivals around the globe, from Munich to San Francisco to Warsaw, to Lagos and to Knysna, and I watched many wonderful films that I felt would be appreciated by Namibians, films that deserve to be screened far and wide, their messages being meaningful and important for Namibian audiences as well,” Schott says.
Around mid last year, Schott, along with a number of other Namibian artists from different sectors were invited to the Goethe Institute to discuss planned exhibitions and programmes.
“As I fondly remember AfricAvenir’s cinema series, which Hans-Christian Mahnke curated and organised but sadly had to stop a few years ago due to workload and budget, I suggested bringing independent films back to Namibia. In AfricAvenir’s film series I watched so many fantastic films I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to watch otherwise that changed my view on film and sometimes the world. Controversial South African film Of Good Report comes to mind, so does the classic The Battle of Algiers,” Schott explains.
When approached by Goethe to curate a similar program, Schott knew Chatiza, who just recently moved to Windhoek, was the first and only choice to curate with him as he has experience with film festivals and independent films.
“The task was to not only bring African independent films to Goethe but also independent films from outside of Africa. In my extensive travels over the last few months, I watched many great films that I knew immediately that I wanted to bring to Windhoek, but I’m also regularly visiting film sites such as Indiewire to see what is happening in independent cinema around the world. So our idea was to have films and stories that are diverse, relevant and definitely different from the mainstream. By the way, we are always open to great ideas and great films we might not know yet,” Schott adds.
For Chatiza, art-house films- especially those with a strong storyline- derive passion. He notes without a good story there can not be a good movie.
“I believe as much as films should entertain the audience – they should also have social, moral and educational values. Films should be always about a Characters’ journey and character fulfilment, not about glitz and glamour, technology superiority and product marketing like what we see daily in the mainstream cinemas. Cinemaverse gave me the opportunity to experience and share those films that I believe their storyline will emotionally move/touch the audience. I love to use storytelling and film as a tool for positive social change,” Chatiza says.
As a filmmaker himself, the films being screen at Cinemaverse are films Chatiza would like to produce and share with the world.
“Not abstract storylines but human storylines. I want to make stories about human struggles for survival in their own right and at the same time showcase both sides of human internal conflict, love vs hate, good vs bad,” Chatiza expresses.
Chatiza has been involved in film festivals in Berlin, Noway, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia and it is his hope that Cinemaverse succeeds in bringing unique films to the Namibian audience and growing the film viewing culture that will enable the growth of the Namibian film industry.
The next Cinemaverse film Transit by Director Christian Petzold will be screened on 4 March at the Goethe Institute. The film is about a man who flees France after the Nazi invasion and assumes the identity of a dead author. Stuck in Marseilles, the man meets a young woman desperate to find her missing husband – the very man he is impersonating.
Entrance to the Cinemaverse is free. Below is the first programme:
Philippe Talavera’s Kukuri has been nominated at the 7th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA7) for Best Movie Southern Africa, alongside Abraham Kabwe’s Dalitso (Zambia), Cassie Kabwikta’s Kwacha (Zambia) and Imran Kaisi’s The Beautiful Hen Behind Yao Mountain (Malawi).
Shot entirely in the Kavango East region, Kukuri is a Namibian film addressing the issue of child marriage starring Hanty Kasongo and George Antonio as its leads.
Kukuri was produced shortly after ’Salute!’ which also earned a nomination at the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and according to Talavera, Kukuri was overshadowed by Salute! for a long time.
The film was born after OYO conducted a survey on child marriage. Under the condition of anonymity, the team interviewed girls in the north who had been forced to marry at an early age.
“We then gathered a team of writers, including a girl who was almost forced to get married young. They listened to the interviews and based on the testimonies, they drafted the story. I then put the script together based on their ideas. We wanted to keep the story as real as possible. During the research phase, one Headman in Omega had asked us to do something on the issue, as he was concerned about the situation in his community. We, therefore – with his blessing – decided to work with the village. All the actors but one are from the village and none had been trained before (George Antonio playing Chindo is the only exception and is from Rundu). We held meetings in the village, then auditions, then training. It was a long process that was mostly spearheaded by Njandee Mbarandongo who did a great job with the community. The community shared their knowledge and how it happens. For instance, the wedding scene in the film has been shot entirely based on community knowledge – they helped with the set design and how the ceremony is organised,” Talavera says on the pre-production process.
He adds: “We discovered it is actually a small affair – an exchange between two families, with the most significant element, is the official handover of one of the goats (and this goat drove the sound guy nuts during the takes. The music would have been too difficult to do in the region, therefore editing and post-production took place in Windhoek. But I insisted that Okavango drums are used in the soundtrack and I think Ponti Dikuua did a fantastic job. This was really as much of a community project as possible and that is our style. We spend a lot of time on research, on training, on rehearsals and we try to make it as real as possible.”
Talavera expressed appreciation on OYO’s second Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards nomination as it recognises Kukuri as one of the best films Southern Africa has to offer.
“We hope it will give this beautiful local film a second life. Having been there in 2018, I now appreciate more how huge this nomination is and what it means for Namibia. It is an absolutely incredible honour.,” Talavera says.
However, both Kukuri and Salute! were sidelined at the biannual Namibian Theatre and Film Awards, both not earning a nomination last year’s awards.
Talavera figures the reason for this might because the Namibian film industry does not really know where to place OYO- the producer of both of these films.
“We are not a film company. We are an NGO, and we don’t produce only films but also dance pieces and plays, among others. What saddens me the most is the fact that they don’t recognise the work people put in our productions – whether it is cast or the crew. For instance, when Adriano Visagie won the Sotigui Award for Best Actor Southern Africa last year for Salute! in Burkina Faso, nobody in the local film Industry took an official stand to congratulate him.,” Talavera says, “In other countries Ministers in charge of the Arts and Film Commissions welcomed their winners with press conferences, official cocktails, etc. But Namibia was dead quiet – probably because it was for an OYO film. It feels rather strange that both Salute! and Kukuri are nominated as Best Film Southern Africa – Salute! going on to win Best actor Southern Africa – and don’t even get one mention in Namibia.”
Not being too pressed about this Talavera says OYO makes films for the public, and not for awards. “And our films are very well received locally – Salute! has been seen by thousands of people in Namibia and wherever we have shown it we have had a fantastic response. They are just not well received by the local industry,” he adds.
The 7th AMVCAs is brought to viewers across the continent by Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice and is proudly sponsored by Amstel Malta.
Florian Schott’s award-winning short film Baxu and the Giants will have its first Namibian public screening for the year at the DHPS Auditorium, on Thursday, 6 February, for free.
Additionally, the Legal Assistance Centre and MaMoKoBo Video & Research will host a series of screenings at schools in Windhoek, including other free screenings for the public in Windhoek.
Later in the year, the film will also be screened in villages north-west of Namibia, where the film was shot, including in the coast.
All of these screenings will lead up to the Global Release of Baxu and the Giants in mid-March. At this time the film will not only be available on DVD but also for streaming worldwide via YouTube and Vimeo.
International Festivals where Baxu and the Giants will be screening in the coming two months include the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, the Toronto Black Film Festival, the Children’s Film Festival Seattle and the RapidLion International Film Festival in South Africa.
The Namibian short which premiered in September 2019 already screened in nine countries and won multiple international awards, including the Award for Best Foreign Narrative at the San Francisco Independent Short Film Festival, three Namibian Theatre- and Film Awards (including Best Female Actor for 10-year-old Camilla Jo-Ann Daries), two international Cinematography Awards and two Awards at the Knysna Film Festival in South Africa.
Baxu and the Giants tells the story of how rhino poaching triggers social change in a village in rural Namibia, seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl. 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 around rhino poaching.
The new year comes with yet another OYO film. This time, Director Philippe Talavera has partnered with two female writers Senga Brockerhoff (Encore) and Mikiros Garoes (The Date) to bring you a new drama exploring themes around love, secrecy, fears and commitment and Namib Insider has all the deets.
Adriano Visagie (Salute!) stars as the lead in this film about two polar opposites who fall in love and The film looks at the fabric of society and some of the fears surrounding it, closely looking at what is forbidden or morally acceptable.
“It as an unconventional positive Namibian love story – pun intended,” explains Talavera. “As you know at OYO we use arts to create social awareness. For this project we had a specific brief- at this point, I can’t say more about it without revealing too much, but it is very different from the projects we have worked on in the past. We, therefore, felt we needed to outsource the screenplay.”
Talavera says he is a huge fan of both Brockerhoff and Garoes, who are both “outstanding scriptwriters and I feel utterly privileged they agreed to work on this project and took up this challenge.”
Apart from Visagie, who won Best Actor Southern Africa at the Sotigui Awards 2019 in Burkina Faso for his role in Salute!, Kapana stars actress Felicity Celento (#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm), Elize de Wee (#LANDoftheBRAVEfilm), Foreversun Haiduwah (The Third Will), Albertina Hainane (The Third Will), Jeremiah Jeremiah (Salute!), newcomers Lukas Paulus, Simon Hanga and Chanwill Vries. Garoes also extends versatility by being co-writer and actor in the film.
On working with so many talented actors Talavera confesses it was a bit overwhelming, adding that it is the most prestigious cast OYO has ever had.
“I had wanted to work with Felicity for a long time for instance– so it was a dream come true. As usual, I really liked the fact that most experienced actors shared their knowledge with newer ones. The dynamic on set was really good,” Talavera says.
Cinematographer Kit Hoffman who has done an amazing job on the Baxu and the Giants will shoot the film with Haiko Boldt as editor. Boldt has done works on numerous films, including #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, Salute! and Kukuri. Jacques ‘Kauna’ Hoabeb, who also worked on Kukuri was the sound engineer.
“With this film, we hope to challenge stereotypes and create a beautiful love story,” Talavera says about Kapana, which is expected to release a trailer around April/May 2020.
So yes, the film just doesn’t sound interesting, it also promises to look and feel great!
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.
Three weeks into the rehearsal process of her production of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Director Jenny Kandenge describes the rehearsal process as a fun experience that feels like a sisterhood.
With a play that incorporates acting, dance and music, Kandenge admits rehearsals can become draining, but she’s positive the audience will come out different after the production, “different in a good way.”
For this adaptation of Shange’s first and much-acclaimed work, Kandenge, who has directed 6 plays so far, wants audiences to come with an open mind and to forget all they think they know about For Colored Girls and be prepared to be blown away.
Here, the best director winner talks about bringing Shange’s work, which is currently having a revival in the US, to the Namibian stage.
Tell us about your first time reading the script Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
I was like wow… so this is what For Colored girls really is about. It is completely different from the film and I was blown away. I decided then and there that Namibians had to see the original piece.
Apart from being written in the early ’70s, this work is being revived in the US right now. As a female director yourself, why was it important for you to tell this powerful work of Shange to a Namibian audience and what was it that made you choose this piece to work with?
It is such an honour to be able to stage Shange’s work, she was a phenomenal woman. For Coloured Girls is still relevant right now, the issues that the women in the choreopoem talks about things still happening to this day, which is sad because it shows that since the 70s things haven’t changed much for women. I was always drawn to the script after I saw the movie and since 2014 I’ve been wanting to stage it but I never felt ready. But with all the violence against women happening right now I felt it is my duty as a theatremaker to tell stories like this. We are going to be echoing what is happening in our world right now.
This piece was adapted into a film by Tyler Perry and has staged numerous times on international stages, have you seen a production of it before? How does it influence your directorial choices for this production?
I have seen the film, but I always did some research and when I found out that it is based on a theatre production I found a clip of the original play and again I was blown away. I feel that I have a duty to stay true to what Shange wanted to say with For Colored Girls,- which is something very different from the film.
You are well-know for your thriller-themed theatrical work that explores the darker, more manic sides of the human race and this work is more layered around black feminism and the piece is a choreopoem, overall. Is this something new for you?
Directing a choreopoem is something completely new for me, but I am having so much fun with it and so is the creative team and actresses. It is a good challenge for them. People might know me for my thriller works but this isn’t my first production focused on black feminism and activism, Daddy’s Girls was actually inspired by For Colored Girls and I took some of the themes from it and placed it in my script.
Shange’s writing style is idiosyncratic and she often uses vernacular language, unique structure, and unorthodox punctuation to emphasize syncopation. What are some of the adaptions you are integrating, in the form of language and dramatization that will make it appealing and understandable to the Namibian audience? Or are you leaving the script as is?
Shange’s style of writing is so beautiful that I could not see me changing it. I had to change a few things here and there because the original is based in the US but the changes I made didn’t change the message and feel of the script. Shange wrote the script so that her grandmother would understand, she said she wanted to write the way coloured girls speak and with respect for her, I have left it as is. However, there are no accents- all the actresses are keeping their natural voices and tones.
You are working with Lize Ehlers as musical director and Nikhita Winkler as the Choreographer, how is it like working with them to create this new vision of work?
It is the best feeling ever, we even have an all-female band and they are amazing. Lize and Nikhita are brilliant at what they do. As a choreopoem the elements of music, dance are so essential in making the piece come alive and having people who know what they are doing, who understand the play, helps a lot. It’s like we’re all cooking and everyone is adding something in the pot to make this lovely meal. I can truly say that I wouldn’t have been able to stage this production without their collaboration.
Let’s talk about your cast. You were specifically looking for diverse women of colour with strong vocal and speech abilities. Why is this important and who are the cast members?
I wanted the women to be a rainbow themselves, different ages, races, and looks. The actresses are telling stories of different women all over the world, diversity was very important for me and of course strong vocal and speech abilities because some of the pieces are long and I had to look at how they can keep the attention of the audience with their voice.
Lady in Orange is played by Odile Gertze
Lady in Green is played by Counney Kemp
Lady in Yellow is played by Diana Master
Lady in Red is played by Christell Nassauw
Lady in Brown is played by Rencha Murere
Lady in Purple is played by Jeanne-Danae Januarie
Lady in Blue is played by Xaverie M
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf opens on 28 November and runs until 30 November 2019, at the National Theatre of Namibia’s Auditorium at 20h00 on all evenings. General tickets are at N$100 and N$80 for senior citizens and students. Tickets available at Computicket.
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.
Using stories and characters within the Coloured and Baster communities, Jonathan Sasha will make his theatrical debut with Die Stoep, an Afrikaans play dealing with life, love and loss as well as alcohol abuse as a mental illness.
The title, when directly translated to English means ‘the porch’, a is a prominent feature within the Coloured and Baster communities for telling stories and sharing memories. In this play, it will be used as a focal point to deliver the piece with its vibrant characters and flavourful Afrikaans.
In an interview with Namib Insider, Sasha talks about the importance of the play, the characters and the entire production of Die Stoep.
Die Stoep primarily focuses on loss, love and life. Why is this an important focus for you, as the writer of this work?
I have experienced all three and sometimes it’s not always easy to deal with them in the hood. In the Coloured community, we laugh through our pain. Comedy is our therapy and I wanted to use that element to bring these themes to life so that the actors and the audience can resonate with it on a deeper level.
Why was it important for you to tell this story in Afrikaans?
Afrikaans is a language very near to my heart. The Coloured community was shunned for speaking ‘Kombuis Dutch’ and today it is one of the most flavourful and vibrant languages out there. I think to make a Coloured story authentic, the real, rou (raw) & onbeskof (explicit) Afrikaans needs to be used. We can’t come sugar coat things. The actors are very comfortable with the language and it adds a genuine feel to the storytelling.
The majority of your cast consists of first-time actors. Was this a deliberate casting decision?
I got amazing auditions and unfortunately, I could not cast every one in the play. There were some setbacks during casting as some people dropped out due to various reasons – but I think it all worked out in the end. The first-time actors are amazing, they really understand the play and execute their roles impeccably. I think it is important that we see new faces in the industry and diversify a little bit more.
What are some of the production elements you are most excited for the audience to see?
The original music by cast member and musical director Vernon Sawyers is one of the most amazing elements and will have the audience on an emotional rollercoaster. The set is something everyone can resonate with; it is a typical Coloured home complete with the broken down car.
How is the rehearsal process so far?
The rehearsal process is going extremely well, the actors really understand the story and the characters and they know what is expected of them and how to deliver them.
I see there is an original music element in the play.
Yes. The music adds ambience, emotion and a sincere aspect to the play. You have to hear to know what I’m talking about.
Who should come to see this play?
Although this is a play written from a Coloured perspective and telling a Coloured story, these topics are found in every single household in the country. I really want the Coloured and Basters to come and support, but I want all different tribes to come to watch and open themselves up to learning about often-sidelined people.
Meet The Cast
Rachardt Mostert is taking on the lead male role of ‘Jantjie’. Mostert is a mathematics teacher in Rehoboth and this is his first time auditioning and acting on the stage.
Bianca Heyns is the female lead, ‘Sara’. Heyns is no stranger to the stage as she’s been in The Nuthouse and the Namibian adaptation of District 6 as well as recently being in #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm.
Sixteen-year-old Ethan Januarie is playing ‘Boetitjie’. Januarie is a student at Windhoek High School and has taken part in various cultural activities such as drama, choir and modelling.
Rodelio Lewis is playing ‘Koba’. Lewis is also one of the more experienced cast members and has been in productions such as Lammie Beukes, Prime Colours, Illusions of Grandeur, and The Encounter.
Chantal Magano Kambrude will be playing ‘Lucille’. Kambrude has been seen on the Spoken Word stage previously and is currently a Fashion Design student at the College of the Arts.
Petrus Johannes Majiedt is making his theatre debut with ‘Duminee Peters’. Majiedt is an Afrikaans teacher at Centaurus High School and is a law student.
Jan-Dre van Vuuren will be portraying ‘Ouderling Tina’ in the play. Van Vuuren is a paramedic by day.
Vernon Sawyers is the musical director and is taking on the role of ‘Die Stem’. Sawyers previously composed music for A Thousand Wishes and wrote two songs for that play. He’s an English teacher by profession currently at Windhoek High School. He teaches music at the Youth Orchestras Of Namibia (YONA) and is a member of the National Symphony Orchestra Of Namibia (NNSO).
Sasha is mentored in this production by Tanya Terblanche and the Stage Manager is Elzaan de Wee. Produced under the National Theatre of Namibia’s Theatre Zone Project, Die Stoep is on stage at the Theatre’s Backstage from the 31 October to 2 November 2019. General tickets are N$80 and Student/Senior Citizen tickets are N$50, available at Computicket outlets nationwide.
The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), with support from the FirstRand Foundation, will present a dance event through the Fun2Dance platform, which collaborates with creatives from outside Namibia in order to see how they conceptualise dance.
On Saturday, 19 October 2019, the Fun2Dance platform is collaborating with French Dancer and Choreographer, William Domiquin to work on the issue of HIV, in anticipation for the World AIDS Day.
Domiquin, a graduate from the International School of Dance in Paris, France, was trained in hip-hop from the age of 10 and also specialising in Contemporary and Jazz.
After graduation, Domiquin specialised in mixing his different skills: his style can best be described as hip hop with a hit of contemporary and a jest of jazz. He is a performer, touring nationally in France and internationally with different companies. He appears in commercials and music video. Over the past few years, he has also choreographed many young dancers in France.
Domiquin, the OYO Dance Troupe, led by El-Junita Philander and Desmond Kamerika, with Mary-Jane Andreas, Nelawrence Somseb, Sophie Janser, Jeffrey Ndjahera, Frieda Haufiku and Seun Goaseb, will be joined for the event by renowned Namibian dancers West Uarije, Daniel Kuhlmann and LeClue Job.
OYO Director Philippe Talavera said the OYO Dance Troupe will present, by popular demand, Menarche, a dance piece which premiered in August at the Warehouse Theatre, while Domiquin will present a solo.
“The whole group (OYO dancers and guests) will present brand new work choreographed by Domiquin. It will be an exciting evening. For those who can’t join us, we will have a live stream on social media,” Talavera said.
The event will be hosted at the FNCC on Saturday 19 October at 19:00. Entrance is free of charge.
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.
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
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
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.
The National Theatre of Namibia will stage an all-female Namibian musical, Every Woman, under its Director’s Lab Project at the NTN Backstage theatre from 1 to 3 August 2019.
The musical is written & directed by Senga Brockerhoff with Musical Direction by Lize-Leandra Ann Ehlers and Choreography by Nikhita Winkler.
The plot surrounds Grace who is hosting her friend Amelia’s bridal shower with her close friends. Also at the party is Amelia’s pedantic sister Amanda and Grace’s ice-queen boss, Victoria. The women discuss motherhood, men, marriage and all things in between. But later during a drinking game, secrets and resentment pour out which threaten to tear the sisters apart and perhaps even derail the wedding.
The musical features the star-studded cast of JD Januarie as the bride (Amelia), a sensitive soul who’s always tried to do the right thing. Amelia’s overly critical and pedantic sister Amanda played by Senga Brockerhoff, with Chantel ‘Enchante’ /Uiras and Lize Ehlers playing the roles of Grace & Ruth, high school friends of the bride. Grace’s cheeky assistant Frankie is played by Mikiros Garoёs.
Lavinia Kapewasha plays Victoria, a hard-nosed businesswoman who worked her way to the top of the advertising industry, also Amanda & Grace’s boss. Heather ‘Miss H’ Dennis plays Maxine, a florist and childhood friend to the bride, with Jennifer Timbo as Mitzy a free-spirited hippy with great care for the environment and her friends.
Tickets are available from all Computicket outlets nationwide, at N$100-00 for the general public and N$80-00 for Senior Citizens and students (16+). Doors open at 19:00 all three nights. Tickets can also be bought online here.
A collaboration between Cape Town City Ballet Company (CTCB) and the College of the Arts (COTA), Cinderella & Her Prince is a large cast ballet production directed and choreographed by the Artistic Director of the CTCB, Robin van Wyk.
Chante Daniels, one of the new rising stars of the CTCB, takes on the role of Cinderella in the production. Daniels, having just danced the leading roles in the latest season of Amaranth, will star alongside season dancer, Craig Pedro as the Prince. Pedro also co-choreographed the production.
According to Zaandre du Toit from the CTCB, Cinderella & Her Prince is choreographed in a very traditional style of classical ballet.
“Craig and Robin discussed the choreographic styles and steps to ensure that the Cape Town City Ballet Principals are pushed a bit harder and the children are challenged and given steps they have not done before – we also focused on patterns and grouping so as keep the production moving and exciting. Also casting COTA students as Ugly Sisters gave them a chance to work on their acting skills,” du Toit said.
Based on the roles van Wyk created for the young COTA students, audiences can expect stellar performances as their individual roles aim to challenge them to new heights in their ballet careers.
“There will also be principal dancers coming from Cape Town to inspire the young ballet dancers, encouraging them to become better dancers. These professional dancers also are a delight to watch not only from a young dancer’s point of view but also an audience member,” du Toit noted.
The relationship between COTA and CTCB has been nurtured over the last four years with Cinderella & Her Prince becoming their third collaborative project.
Du Toit highlighted that the relationship between the two entities affords children the chance to work with the Artistic Director of a professional ballet company – teaching them to work in the corps de ballet, to work as a team, to learn pas de deux skills – to learn new steps – breaking away from the everyday syllabus.
Caitlin Smith from the CTCB as the Godmother in the production.
Jordan Roelfze from the CTCB as the Jester in the production.
Du Toit further added that the production is made up of a well-rehearsed cast of children in many diverse roles, exciting pas de deux from the principal dancers of Cape Town City Ballet and the seamless joining of professionals and students into an enjoyable production for the enjoyment of the whole family.
Cinderella & Her Prince will be on stage 25-27 July 2019 at the National Theatre of Namibia at 19:00. On 27 July, there will be a Matinee at 15:00. Tickets are available for N$180 at Computicket outlets.
Two women crawl ashore a bleak rocky island, soaked to the skin, unharmed, they both miraculously survived the capsizing of their rented boat. As they grapple to understand what is happening to them on this otherworldly island, it becomes clear that neither of them have really survived at all.
This is the storyline of British writer Zinnie Harris’s critically acclaimed play Meet Me at Dawn which will be staged at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) under the direction of Sandy Rudd. The original production received its world premiere at the 2017 Edinburgh International Festival where it received 5 stars.
Rudd, who has a reputation for putting up quality productions says the play has a universal appeal as it deals with the complexities of loss and survival.
“It is a subliminal, mysterious experience with a delicate touch, but there is nothing gentle about the grief on display here, it is a tough play dealing with tough questions. Questions we never ask. Arthur Miller said when asked what good theatre is, his answer was, ‘It really is a battle with denial.’ This what it comes down to,” Rudd adds, “the real stage shows you stuff that you didn’t dare want to look at before. The theme is universal it does not restrict itself to a specific audiences. It challenges our own foibles, failures and humanness, which is all of us.”
While it is a well-crafted play, with beautiful depths of human emotions, Rudd says the piece is extremely challenging for the two actors Lara-Lyn Ahrens and Roya Diehl and herself as director.
“As you get to know one layer of the script a new nuanced layer takes its place – it is like peeling an onion, each layer has its own set of tears. You cannot not leave the theatre without appreciating life, love and questioning your own destiny. Rare good art is life affirming, that is what this production does in abundance. It is what we all want out of a good theatre piece,” Rudd says.
On working with Ahrens and Diehl, Rudd says they are committed and are not afraid of the tackling the enormity of the characters they are playing.
“Last year I cast them in a film, Unlikely Encounter, written and directed by Andre Costa and they worked so well together and the chemistry between them is tangible and electric. They asked me to find a difficult show for them to challenge their acting prowess. I found this play and it is doing just that. This beautiful production will realise its potential with them performing and will be as good as any you would see anywhere in the world.
Meet Me at Dawn will premiere on 26 June 2019 in the NTN Mirror Room and will run for two more nights (27 & 28). General tickets are charged at N$150 while own pillow sitting tickets are charged at N$75. The show has an age restriction of 16.
The Namibia Film Commission invites filmmakers to submit their film applications for the 2019/2020 Funding Cycle.
– Namibian registered company.
– The applicant must be the producer, with a team containing a writer/script editor or
– The producer should have the rights to the story with which they apply
– The team must, between them, have at-least two screen credits and the producer must have a producer credit, except for the newcomer category. Only the producer is required to have at-least one producer screen credit.
– All members of the team need not be Namibian.
In assessing applications, the following factors are considered:
– The quality of the project, its central idea and wide audience appeal.
– The marketplace potential of the project.
– The likelihood of the project achieving financial returns.
– The track record and or potential of the principles.
– The proposed level of involvement of the Namibian principals, cast and crew, facilities and locations to be used.
– The economic, employment, industry development and or cultural benefits for Namibia.
Applications (Application forms can be obtained from the Film Commission)
– Provide a complete application form.
– Attach any additional information to support your application.
-Incomplete applications will not be considered.
– Ensure you receive your Application Reference Number upon delivery to the Film Commission office.
-The selected teams must be willing to undergo a two-week script development workshop with a film expert, in Windhoek.
The Funding Categories Are:
2x Newcomer Short Film (N$100 000)
2x Experienced Short Film (N$250 000)
1 Documentary Film (N$300 000)
1 Feature Film (N$1 300 000)
1 Nǃxau ǂToma Film Fund (N$1 000 000)
An information sharing session will be held on 30 May 2019 with filmmakers to discuss the application process in detail.
CLOSING DATE: 28 JUNE 2019
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org or hand delivered at the Namibia Film Commission office, Nr. 17 Cnr of Feld and Newton Street, Ausspannplatz, Windhoek or hard copies mailed to: Namibia Film Commission Projects P.O. Box 41807, Ausspannplatz, Windhoek.
There should be a clear indication on which project you are applying. For any further information contact Mr. Gideon Kamati on 061 381 900.
OYO- Ombetja Yehinga Organisation’s 10-member dance troupe will premiere Well Wish Ya, a collaborative multi-media dance production at the National Theatre of Namibia on 27 March 2019.
In 2008, OYO had its first dance project at the National Theatre titled ‘The Namibia Odysseus’. Following the success of that production, OYO got an opportunity to establish the OYO dance troupe in 2009. For ten years now OYO has trained and nurtured young dancers. OYO is the first, and currently only, troupe in Namibia with dancers on its payroll. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, OYO decided to return to the National Theatre with Well Wish Ya.
Well Wish Ya will feature the work of internationally acclaimed visual artist, Kevork Mourad, who is of Syrian/Armenian heritage.
“I am very excited about this collaboration. The OYO group is new to me, so I’ve prepared work based on what I’ve imagined of them. I will complete the piece on the ground with them, incorporating ideas and lines based on their movements and energy. I want to be a vehicle transmitting the history we are talking about,” Kevork said.
The piece will also feature UK-based dancer Elliott Augustine. Elliott is an upcoming dancer currently doing a master in performing arts with the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. He is attached to Phoenix Dance Company in Leeds, UK. Credits include Windrush by Sharon Watson, Lord of the flies by Scott Amber and Curtain raiser for sleeping beauty (Matthew Bourne)’ by Lee Smikle.
Joining Elliott and the ten members of the OYO dance troupe will be Nikhita Winkler, West Uarije, Daniel Kuhlmann and LeClue Job. Thirteen students of the Nikhita Winkler Dance Theatre project complete the cast.
Well Wish Ya features a brand new soundtrack by renown Namibian composer Ponti Dikuua. It is produced and choreographed by OYO’s Director, Philippe Talavera.
“Working on such a huge scale dance project is challenging. We want to create something totally new. We look at how the past influences us and how, in turn, our actions will influence future generations. The piece is inspired by the idea of reincarnation and questions whether we always repeat the same pattern or can, as the human race, learn to grow and become better. In the wake of tragedies such as what just happened in New Zealand, observing worldwide – and in Namibia – the growing threat racism poses, this piece will ask important questions. In the past Namibia had to survive a genocide. Nowadays, we fight over greed, corruption, tribalism and homophobia. What legacy are we leaving for our children?” Philippe said.
The production was made possible through financial support from the Prince Claus Fund and sponsorships from Qatar Airways, Londiningi Guest House, DbAudio and the Nikhita Winkler Dance Project.
A free matinee is opened to schools on 26 March. Public performances will take place on 27 and 28 March around 8pm at the National Theatre of Namibia. Tickets are N$120 in advance at Computicket and will be sold for N$150 at the door.