Tag Archives: Covid19

Guidelines For Filming In Namibia During COVID-19

The Namibia Film Commission has issued guidelines for filming during coronavirus. From cast and crew testing to protective equipment and on-site organization, the safety regulations aim at reducing the spread of the virus while shooting a film.

The Film Commission said these measures are aggregate of official guidelines from authorities applying to workplaces, building sites, the food service sector, hairdressers, and private individuals, which have been practically applied to film sets.

• All government health alert and public protocols restrictions must be adhered to, including: Movement, Social distancing restrictions, wearing masks, Sanitizing vehicles, equipment, cutlery, etc..
• All crew and talent, must provide the production company producer (prior to the shoot date) a non-disclosure agreement outlining their travel throughout the previous four-week period.
• All crew and talent must provide to the production company producer (prior to the shoot date) with a Health Declaration, outlining any contact with someone who has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
• Any crew who have traveled to high risk countries or have been in contact with an individual with COVID-19 during that four-week period must not participate on the shoot.
• Any shoot attendee who feels unwell prior to the shoot, must contact the production company for replacement.

• A system should be utilized to limit numbers on set by the production company.
• All shoot attendees must undergo temperature checks by the on-set nurse, or a designated crew member, twice a day – morning and after lunch.
• Crew to be issued an identifier once they pass temperature.
screening – for instance wearing of a green sticker for clear screening identification.
• Any person with a temperature exceeding 37 degrees.
Celsius, is considered feverish and must be removed from set
• Any shoot attendee who feels unwell during the course of the shoot must immediately report to the producer of the production company.
• Be respectful of people’s personal space and avoid hugging, touching or handshakes.
• All crew to wear face masks throughout the course of shoots – to be provided by production company.
• Make-up artists, hair stylist, wardrobe must wear eye protection due to close proximity to talent.
• Where possible, talent should undertake their own make-up “minor touch ups” throughout shooting, instead of the make-up artist, to avoid contact with talent’s perspiration.
• Catering departments to consider disposable cups and utensils for meals and tea breaks.
• Water bottles must be labelled for each crew to avoid cross contamination and only one bottle used by each shoot attendee throughout the course of the shoot.
• Camera to be two meters away from talent at all times.
• All equipment must be sanitized daily, before and after each shoot.

• Hand washing and and bacterial solutions to be placed on set and used throughout the shoot by all crew and talent.
• When shooting in studio, studios must have undertaken a ‘deep clean’ before and after each shoot. Production companies must obtain written validation from studios prior to pre-light or shoot.
• Cleaning must be undertaken throughout the shoot day especially in common areas such as wardrobe and make-up rooms.
• Bathrooms must be frequently cleaned throughout the course of the shoot.
• Boom mic’s only (so voice-to-camera scripts should be reviewed), prior to shooting.
• Make-up department to step up cleaning protocols and use single use brushes and applicators. All other equipment must undergo deep cleaning prior and post any shoot.
• Hair extensions must undergo deep cleaning before and after any application.
• Standby props to step up hygiene practices.
• Art department must step up cleaning of props and surfaces throughout the shoot and between takes.
• Catering department must sanitize the hands of cast and crew before meals are provided and enforce the 1 meter social distancing rule at all times.
• Vehicle hire for crew and talent must undergo deep cleaning prior to shoot hire.
• Key crew such as camera department must have ‘pocket’
hand sanitizers to be applied frequently.
• Wardrobe must be certified to have undergone deep cleaning before and after shoots.
• Waste management removal must be carried out frequently, throughout the shoot.
• These guidance messages should be posted on the shoot location in bathrooms, make-up room, wardrobe, etc…

• The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration and the Namibia Film Commission will reissue film permits and temporary work visas at no cost, until all ports of entry are open.
• Foreign productions are advised to change their production
dates and furnace Namibia Film Commission and Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration with previously approved permits/visas and proof of payment.
• Those who find themselves already in Namibia, whose visas have expired during the State of Emergency, are required to apply for an extension, if they have not completed their production. They must furnish the Commission with proof of current status.
• Those who have completed their productions must apply for a holiday visa extension.

A staff member from the Film Commission will be on set to observe the adherence to the above specified regulations until the situation normalizes.

The Namibia Film Commission will also provide letters of permission to film for ease of business and undertake to assist local productions in meeting hygiene requirements such as masks, sanitizers and temperature gauges. To be considered for this assistance, contact Gideon Kamati @ +264 81379 7531 or info@nfc.na

(IMAGES: Behind the scenes footage of film sets by Namib Film. )

NTN Calls On Freelance Artists To Submit Works

The National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) is calling on Namibian freelance artists and creatives to submit their works to the theatre for a flat fee of N$1 000 after the realization of their proposed works.

According to the theatre’s Artistic Director Nelago Shilongoh, the project, titled ‘Impact of Covid-19 in Namibia: Artistic Responses and Creative Interventions’ is a financial relief project for freelance artists and creatives who have been left vulnerable due to the various interruptions in gigs and projects following the lockdown.

Shilongoh says the call-out is also aimed at facilitating the voices and perspectives of Namibian freelance artists, activists, creative and cultural workers, on the experiences, concerns and fears that citizens are faced with at the moment, with the impacts of Covid-19 in Namibia.

“We are calling on creative, informative or therapeutic works that reflect the theme: ‘Human Rights Implications amid the Covid-19 Pandemic in Namibia’. With this theme, we want to encourage those in the arts and cultural sectors to join in on the national conversation and perhaps propose policies to our leaders as well,” Shilongoh explains.

The project is open to all creatives from various art disciplines, including, but not limited to;  performances, storytelling sessions, readings, essays, visual designs, poetry, creative writing (blogs), innovative protests, hosting of talks, lectures, interviews, opinion pieces, etc.

NTN’s artistic director Nelagoh Shilongoh (Images: National Theatre of Namibia/Facebook)

“We are trying to be as flexible as possible for the several types of proposals that will come from the artists, activists, creative and cultural workers. It is not limited to performing artists only,” Shilongoh adds. “It is also important to keep in mind that applicants should be as innovative as possible as all works have to comply with the regulations set by the government during and post lockdown.”

Shilongoh further explains that the works will be featured on digital and alternative platforms by the NTN. Additionally, the NTN will not own rights to any of the works, as all intellectual property and copyright will belong to the applicants. The role of the NTN is to simply facilitate the process of important voices, assist with the accessibility of the works to the public.

“We are proposing that the applicants create their works within the comfort of their homes and possible means, and not to spend too much money, as only N$ 1000 will be granted for the artists to cater for some of their day-to-day needs,” Shilongoh adds.

To apply to this project, you need to complete an application form which can be requested by emailing prod@ntn.org.na

Closing date for application is Friday, 08 May 2020, 16H00.

Performance Artists Talk COVID-19 Impact

Namibia’s gig-based entertainment industry is one of the most hard-hit industries by the Covid-19 pandemic which currently has the country on lockdown. As per government regulation, no public gatherings are allowed and in the local entertainment industry, no public gathering means no income.

With events, performances and art installations cancelled or postponed, actors, make-up artists, filmmakers, theatre-makers, musicians, musicians, technical personnel and many other creative industry players are left jobless with bleak prospects.

Impact of Covid-19 on the arts sector

The Namibian creative industry has already been operating under tight financial conditions and with the impact of Covid-19, the live events and entertainment sector is most likely going to take longer to recover as social distancing restrictions are expected to keep people from going to the theatre or attend a concert for a long time- even with a flattened curve. As at now, there are no clear support measures in place to support the creative industry, especially from the side of the government.

“Because most of our income comes from large gatherings, creatives, artists, technicians and everyone forming part of our industry is feeling the pinch with most events been cancelled or postponed indefinitely,” says theatre practitioner, Zindri Swartz. “It’s ridiculous to state that our lives or the rent we have due are of no importance or lacks priority.”

Swartz says with the absence of a functional body or organization tasked with the protection of the rights of artists and with most artists having access to social security, artists cannot afford to take out loans on VAT, since they are barely able to sustain themselves.

Zindri Swartz (Image: Provided)

“We are part of the informal sector and stand in solidarity with the marginalized and as such government should look into other effective solutions to aid this industry. We are tired of being treated like a stepchild by our own government but when it’s time for parades and celebrations, it is us they turn to. Perhaps we should in engage in a discussion on the way forward,” Swartz argues.

Adding to this, stage and screen make-up artist, Kulan Ganes says despite the whole world turning to the arts to keep sane during this time of uncertainty, artists continue being overlooked by the government and the private sector alike.

Ganes says the situation not only makes artists financially disabled but also has a huge toll on their mental health.

Kulan Ganes (Image: Provided)

“The government should meet us halfway to find ways to provide for us without them losing out on an industry that actually contributes to the economy. Funding for postponed projects shouldn’t be withdrawn so that we can have work and an income when all this is over,” Ganes adds.

Actress and singer-songwriter Bianca Heyns says for most performers, like herself, creating is a career and not a mere leisure activity.

“Not only have I lost gigs but I personally have lost money and other opportunities that would have benefited me in future. For many of us creatives, we live by grabbing every opportunity we get, and now that gigs have been cancelled and moving forward I have found myself in a rather puzzling situation. My question is what is Namibia without the arts?” Heyns asks.

Bianca Heyns (Image: Provided)

Using her voice and platform to an impact, Professional Speaker, Storyteller and Fitness Advocate Hermien Elago says since the lockdown, she has resorted to making a difference to an audience she cannot physically see or engage with, without the means of an income.

“The situation is testing my core values and my intentions about why I chose this profession to begin with. Plus, I no longer have an exact idea as to how far my stories will go, I do not know who they will touch and I have to trust my digital voice and the true value that I bring through the power of storytelling,” Elago says.

Feeling the pinch from cancelled gigs in the live music scene, Musician Shiruka says with music being her main source of income, she is left hopeless, especially since she is a non-Namibian.

Shiruka (Image: Provided)

“I came to Namibia for studies and often I’d perform to pay for my studies. If it wasn’t for my talent, I don’t know how I would have some money to at least buy my groceries and basic goods,” Shiruka says.

Musician and filmmaker, Micheal Pulse, who also had the Namibian premiere of The White Line planned last month, says although he welcomes the stimulus package government has made available for the unemployed, it does not eliminate the problem that the art industry is one of the most neglected and under sourced sectors even though it is very impactful in informing and educating the masses in a very creative way.

Micheal Pulse (Image: Provided)

“I think instead of payouts, there should be referendums and policies put in place that is there to uplift our creatives,” Pulse feels.

Celebrity make-up artist, Miss Jey Arts says no one was prepared for a pandemic, especially those in the entertainment and arts industry as there were numerous shows and appearances planned for the year.

“So many bookings and projects had to be put on hold. Maybe they might be totally cancelled. Unfortunately, there’s nothing one can do except hope that the aftermath will be much better,” Miss Jey says.

Miss Jey Arts (Image: Provided)

Sadly in Namibia, Miss Jey adds, entertainment and arts is seen as a luxury instead and artists are therefore not considered as important.

“Most of us survive on payments after shows and we feed and support our children with the same payment, we pay rent, buy food and electricity with it. If only the government can put aside a package meant for the arts and entertainment industry, especially considering that it might take a good 5 to 6 months for events and shows to start taking place again,” Miss Jey explains.

In order for art to live, creatives are needed, and in order for creatives to live, they need to eat, says award-winning make-up artist Jay-Aeron.

“The one thing that keeps us together in the creative industry is intimacy. Intimacy with your make-up artist if you’re getting ready for a performance, intimacy with your scriptwriter/director if you’re a performer and intimacy with an audience, but none of that can happen with this pandemic,” Jay-Aeron adds.

Jay-Aeron (Beanii Boy Photoworks)

Coping with Covid-19

Arts educator & writer Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja says social distancing as a safety measure has created a lot of isolation and segregation, although this is not what it intends to do.

“One main challenge right now is access to information is a huge challenge for many artists around the country who do not generally have a good internet connection,” Mushaandja says.

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Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja (Image: Julian Salinas)

However, Mushaandja adds Covid-19 has offered opportunities for the creative and cultural industries to claim their spaces in national discourse and care work.

“This moment provides an opportunity to use cultural work as a coping, survival and transformation mechanism,” Mushaandja adds.

On adapting to the current climate, Elago says she had to learn to make a difference to an audience that she cannot see in person and still to find a way “go out there” anyway.

“I know that this is what I am called to do. It is teaching me that if you are called for something you learn to adapt and adjust and still give the same value that I would have given had I been standing on a physical stage with an audience that I can actually see,” Elago says.

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Hermien Elago (Image: Provided)

Elago further adds that the public speaking fraternity has to learn that stages are not only physical platforms and that there is a need to learn how to go remote if the audience is suddenly forced to lockdown.

“The moral for me is we are being forced to adapt and adjust and understand that in this era, our stages take many forms,” she says.