Tag Archives: Film

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.

PREREQUISITE RULES
• 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.

ON SET BEHAVIOR
• 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.

ON SET HYGIENE
• 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…

FOREIGN PRODUCTIONS
• 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. )

‘Baxu and the Giants’ available to stream globally

Multiple award-winning Namibian short film Baxu and the Giants, telling the story of how Rhino poaching triggers social change in rural Namibia, will be available globally to stream and download for free starting 20 March 2020.

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.

Over the last six months, Baxu and the Giants screened in ten countries around the world, at over 20 Film Festivals 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.

Just in the last few weeks, director Florian Schott presented the film to over 500 school children in Los Angeles as part of the Pan African Film Festival and at the RapidLion Film Festival in Johannesburg, where the film was also nominated for ‘Best Humanitarian Film’.

In addition to that, the Legal Assistance started showing the film to thousands of learners all across Namibia and MaMoKoBo Video & Research is busy bringing the film to all corners of Namibia via mobile screenings, in partnership with the Save the Rhino Trust and the Ministry of Environment & Tourism.

Baxu and the Giants will be available to stream on the official website as well as on YouTube and Vimeo.

The film is produced by Andrew Botelle (The Power Stone, Born in Etosha), directed and co/written by Schott (Katutura) and co-produced/co-written by Girley Jazama (The White Line).

Philippe Talavera On 2020 AMVCA Nomination & Being Shunned by Local Film Industry

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.

Lead actors Hanty Kashongo and George Antonio
‘Kukuri’ lead actors Hanty Kashongo and George Antonio (Images: Provided)

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.

Kukuri wedding scene
A wedding scene in ‘Kukuri’

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.”

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Philippe Talavera at a film premiere in Windhoek

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.

The 2010s: A Decade In Namibian Film, Music and Theatre

At the beginning of 2010 music, film and theatre was a struggling business, 10 years later, it is still a struggling business but at least now, quality and substance is the standard. This decade has seen a lot of improvement for the Namibian film industry, and if the years 2018 and 2019 specifically are anything to go by, the 2020s decade is going to be even better and Namibia’s entertainment industry is getting well aligned with the rest of the world.

Capturing a decade in a single article is not easy, but with the input from industry spectators Faith Haushona-Kavamba (Journalist), Rodelio Lewis (Radio Host) and Netumbo ‘Mickey’ Nekomba (Journalist) and myself, we are going to attempt to give you a glimpse of Namibian film, music and theatre in the 2010s decade.

Film

The local film industry is growing from strength to strength as there is an improvement in produced content and narratives. New creative and innovative players penetrating the film market are also on the rise and the more experienced guys finally get the importance of quality production.

However, the greatest challenge to the Namibian Film industry still faces is the lack of consistent film funding and corporate/investor buy-in. Large budget films are largely still funded by the Namibia Film Commission. Naturally, this is the main reason the industry is growing at a slower pace but there have been pretty good films produced in this decade.

What We Liked

  • Coming Home (2014), by Miranda Stein
  • Katutura (2015) by Florian Schott
  • #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm (2019) by Tim Heubscle
  • 100 Bucks (2012) by Oshosheni Hiveluah
  • Baxu and the Giants (2019) by Florian Schott
  • The White Line (2019), (2019) by Desiree Kahikopo
  • Tjiraa (2012) by Krischka Stoffels
  • Hairareb (2019) by Oshoveli Shipoh

Faith’s favourites: Tjiraa, Katutura, 100 Bucks.  “I didn’t really like the storyline of Katutura, but I have to admit it was a visually appealing film. It was a top-notch Namibian production and had a really talented cast. 100 Bucks was simple yet appealing because it simply tracked how money travels from the claws of the wealthy to the palms of the poor. Another local production that was ahead of its time was Tjiraa because it addressed the seldom-discussed issue of arranged marriages and marital rape in this country. It is still very relevant today.”

Rodelio’s favourites: Katutura, #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, Coming Home. “Katutura spearheaded the standards of what quality can and should look like when it comes to Namibian films and the film showcased the talent of Namibian actors in a way that I’ve never seen it before. It really was a game-changer and from the onset, I perceived the local film industry in a new light. #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm changed my understanding of what beauty really looks like when it comes to our country; it invited you into what makes Namibia so diverse and so appealing. #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm also showed you that there are very compelling stories that need to be told. Also, that is one badass action thriller! In Coming Home, I saw Odile Gertze acting for the first time and I was just blown away by her acting skills. I was like ‘this girl deserves to be in international films’. Coming Home has a very powerful storyline too.”

Mickey’s favourites: The White Line, Katutura. “I would watch The White Line over and over again. It stole my heart with its incredible visuals and a powerful portrayal of an interracial couple in the apartheid era. Katutura had everyone talking. There were so many screenings when it first premiered, that most of the venues were full and it was difficult to see it! When I eventually did, I was quite amazed. What a wonderful movie.”

In terms of technical aesthetics in film, 2019 has been a great year. Compared to the poor visual appeal, horrible sound quality or that one horrible telenovela filter short the decade started with, there has been a major improvement in the technical quality of films. Listen, even the narratives and acting in our films is better these days. Baxu and the Giants and The White Line are not only well received nationally, but internationally the films are also having a feast, enjoying major attention from film festivals and audiences alike. #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm and Hairareb are also doing well for themselves and were beautiful and well-executed films, especially #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm.

Notable Mentions

  • Encore (2019), a short film by Senga Brockerhoff
  • Looking For Iilonga (2011), a short film by Tim Heubscle
  • Everything Happens For A Reason (2014), a short film by Florian Schott
  • Salute! (2018), a feature  by Philippe Talavera
  • Tjitji – The Himba Girl (2014), a short film by Oshosheni Hiveluah
  • The Date (2019), a short film by Mikiros Garoes

Music

Music is probably the most consumed facet of the Namibian entertainment industry and most credit goes to music fans who have kept expectations high, prompting musicians to up their game. The introduction of the Namibian Annual Music Awards in 2011 is also another factor for the massive growth in Namibian music. The technological advances and the rise of seasoned and new- especially new- music industry influences defined the 2010s decade, musically.

Over the span of the past 10 years, many Namibian musicians have made their mark nationally and internationally, with various collaborations, awards and performances.

What We Liked

  • Boss Madam – (Sally Boss-Madam)
  • Swagga (Gazza)
  • Aalumentu (PDK)
  • Zoom Zoom – (Lady May)
  • Penduka (Gazza ft. Mandoza)
  • Thando Iwam (DJ Bojo Mujo ft. Tequila)
  • Warakata (One Blood)
  • Johny (TopCheri)
  • Khâimâ (KK ft Tswazis)
  • Chelete (Gazza)
  • National Address (LSD)

Mickey’s Favourites: Penduka, Thando Iwam, Warakata. “I love my daily dose of local music! Penduka’s release was an epic time in Namibian music. Five seconds in the song and you already know what’s about to go down. It is classic! In 2011, DJ Bojo Mujo and Tequila created a storm with Thando Iwam. There was hardly a place you could step into without hearing “if I marry you, will you marry me?” There’s no doubt this song will continue to create an impact. As for Warakata, One Blood came, they saw and they conquered. No matter what tribe you are, you danced to this song. I absolutely love this hit.”

Faith’s favourites: Boss Madam, Swagga, Aalumentu. “Although we already knew Sally, Boss Madam was the hit that cemented her as the queen of afro-fusion; it was fresh, unexpected and just what we needed on the airwaves. I’m not a Kwaito fan but there was just something about Swagga that I loved. It wasn’t anything like I’d heard from Gazza before. It’s not every day that you hear a cow mooing in the intro of a song, and that immediately grabs your attention and that happens in the intro of Aalumentu. It’s unfortunate that it was so underrated but it’s a great song that shows unity and pride, and dare I say more relevant today than when it was released because we are seeing divisive/tribalist rhetoric being spewed more than ever.”

Rodelio’s favourites:  Zoom Zoom, Boss Madam, National Address. “It’s no lie that I love Sally Boss Madam, and after seeing her perform live, I stalked her and found that Boss Madam song. I saw the respect she has for her craft. Boss Madam is still a hit and Sally understands longevity when it comes to music. Zoom Zoom was and is still a boss song. Plus the music video slaps. Our current economic and political climate is in a very fragile state and it’s important for everyone’s voice to be heard. The group LSD, came together and created an anthem and music video that carries a powerful message that amplifies the frustrations’ faced by the Namibian youth and everyone else as well. National Address carries an important social message and what’s great is you’re still able to twerk and live your best life to the song.”

Songs like Chelete, Johny and Khâimâ define the road to triumph in Namibian music. Musicians continue to create a soundscape that draws from, rap, dancehall, reggae, hip-hop, afro-pop, jazz, hip-hop, otjivire and pop and we are totally here for it. The 2010s decade was a great start and with the looming decade, the possibilities for growth are endless, especially with the growing artistry in Namibian music.

Notable Mentions

  • Inotila (Tate Buti)
  • Saka (PDK ft. Top Cheri, King Elegant and Athawise)
  • Go to Malawi (Exit feat. Neslouw & ML)
  • Young, Wild And Free (Sunny Boy)
  • I believe (Linda ft Petersen)
  • Boom Boom (Freeda)
  • Swaai (Twasis ft. Adora)
  • I Promise (Jerico)
  • Everything Happens For A Reason (Lize Ehlers)
  • Wumwe Tati Kalako (Mushe feat Tequila/Tekla)
  • Netira (Kalux)
  • Chip in, Chip Out (King Tee Dee)
  • Tala (Lioness)
  • Kaandjetu (Jomolizo Ft Liina)
  • Fikulimwe (Young T)
  • Fantastic Sam (Lize Ehlers)
  • Nuka (King Tee Dee ft. Chesta)
  • No longer Slaves (Nam Gospel United)
  • Drowning In My Feelings (Y’Cliff)
  • Net So (Sally Boss Madam)
  • Numba Numba (Big Ben)
  • Twamana (Blacksheep)
  • Lost (Micheal Pulse)
  • Money (Gazza ft. Lady May)
  • Ethimbo (Oteya)

Theatre

Although only having been exposed to the theatre in this decade, Namibian theatremakers made sure Namibia enjoys the ancient craft in its finest form. When the decade started in 2010, theatre was really something you’d only see in schools. Mainstream theatre was poorly attended and only enjoyed by ‘theatre nerds’. Also, not much was happening in the theatre fraternity. If you were a theatre lover, you’d go months without seeing a quality theatre play, but as the years stretched on, theatre productions became more and more frequent.

Since 2015, the theatre has been on an upward trajectory and the appetite for theatre grew as dramas and musicals became popular with more and more people. This decade has seen a range of locally written and international plays produced and performed with quality and zest. As it stands, theatre has a large number of loyal theatregoers who enjoy seeing live performances from some of Namibia’s finest theatre actors.

What We Liked

  • Die Stoep (2019) by Jonathan Sasha
  • Meme Mia (2013) by Sandy Rudd
  • Lammie Beukes (2014) by Senga Brockerhoff
  • Prime Colours (2014) by Zindri Swartz)
  • The Shebeen Queen by Nashilongweshipwe Mushandja
  • Battered (2019) by Donald Matthys
  • The Nuthouse (2018) by Lloyd Winini
  • Ominous (2016) by Jenny Kandenge
  • Fences (2018) by Nelago Shilongoh
  • Meet Me at Dawn (2019) Sandy Rudd

Rodelio’s favourites: Prime Colours, Die Stoep, Meme Mia. “Prime Colours was one of the first multimedia productions, incorporating an LGBTIQ+ narrative in a way that sparked dialogue and opened the door for much-needed healing. It also got me my first two Namibian Theatre and Film nominations and win as a professional actor. Meme Mia inspired me to better my craft and I knew I wanted to one day work with Sandy Rudd, a dream that came true in 2018. Die Stoep invited the coloured and baster community’s lives and truths to the table, with the cast, director/writer, musical director and stage Manger all being coloured and baster, this all Afrikaans play was very loved sold out all 3 nights.”

Mickey’s Favourite: Die Stoep. “After watching Die Stoep, many audience members left the National Theatre of Namibia’s Backstage with tears, which shows how much of an emotional impact it had on all of us. It will remain one of the best plays of 2019.”

Faith’s favourites: Meme Mia, The Sheebeen Queen, Battered. “Sandy Rudd is a force to be reckoned with, she reimagined the classic Mama Mia to suit the Namibian audience instead of regurgitating what we had already seen. Her cast was insanely talented, which just made the play all more magical. Jacques Mushaandja’s debut play, The Shebeen Queen, was spectacular, he had a young vibrant cast, and most importantly the play gave us a glimpse into sheebeen life and unemployment. He was ahead of his time. Sex work is work, a woman has the right to make her own reproductive choices (including whether or not to have an abortion) and LGBTQ rights are a basic human right. Battered brought some of these issues to the forefront, not to mention that it had a stellar cast that brought it all to life.”

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A scene from Die Stoep. (Image: NTN)

In this decade, Namibian theatremakers have adapted numerous world plays such as Mama Mia (Meme Mia), Fences, District Six, and Meet Me At Dawn and the delivery of these productions was stellar. Local writers and directors used the theatre stage to bring comic relief and tackle social issues and productions like The Nuthouse and Daddy’s Girls have been nothing short of pure magnificent theatre. Every year, the National Theatre of Namibia is investing lots of financial assistance in the art of theatre and the creation of local stories and the organisation deserves a nod for its continuous investment into the craft. Smaller theatre venues and theatre organisations also reap the benefits of the growing theatregoer culture Namibians are developing. The 2020s are very promising!

Notable Mentions

  • ‘Revere Them Those Men’ (2014) by Hafeni Muzanima
  • The Teacher (2012) by Frederick Philander
  • Daddy’s Girls (2018) by Jenny Kandenge
  • Every Woman (2019) by Senga Brockerhoff
  • Thinning Lines (2018) by Ndakalako Shilongo
  • Tales of Roses in Concrete (2018) by Ashwyn Mberi
  • Three Women and You (2018) by David Ndjavera
  • Aspoestertjie (2017) Abraham Pieters
  • A Raisin in the Sun (2018) by Sepiso Mwange
  • Fell (2017) by Blessing Mbonambi & Junelle Mbonambi – Stroh
  • Madam President (2017) by Keamogetsi Joseph Molapong
  • District Six (2017) by Tanya Terblanche

‘The White Line’ To Have Its Run in Joburg, Rwanda, New York

Desiree Kahikopo’s The White Line will be screened at the Joburg Film Festival, set to run from the 19 to 24 November 2019 in Johannesburg.

The six-day film programme includes all the excitement and Hollywood pizzazz associated with red carpet premieres, screenings and awards as celebrities rub shoulders with serious filmgoers in a rich display of filmmaking at its very best.

So far, the film has screened at two festivals in South Africa, the Durban International Film Festival and got curated by the Durban International film festival to screen at the Hilton Arts Festival in Durban as well.

Director Kahikopo said being curated for the Joburg Film Festival is really awesome as South Africa has one of the largest film and television industries in Africa.

“To get an opportunity to showcase our film there really is a step in you know, for recognition as an industry, our stories and what we too have to offer. When I was in Berlin at the Berlinale I spoke about Namibia’s Unique voice within the African Cinematic movement and I wanted Namibia’s voice to be heard and our stories to be seen within Africa and the Diaspora and having to get chance to do this at this great African film Festivals where African meets and the world meets Africa its incredible,” Kahikopo said.

According to Kahikopo, The White Line has also been selected the 15th Rwanda Film Festival happening now in October and at the New York African Diaspora Film Festival in New York happening end of November.

The film was also selected for the Cape Town International Market and Film Festival which has been unfortunately cancelled for this year and will take place only next year.

“I’m really glad that and grateful that we are getting headway outside of the country one step at a time,” Kahikopo said.

Interview with KinoNamibia Film Festival Coordinator, Andreas Elifas

Andrew
Andreas Elifas- KinoNamibia Project Coordinator (Image: Facebook)

The KinoNamibia Film Festival is returning for the third year this August. The festival gives amateur filmmakers and film enthusiasts the confidence to create stories with film and learn about the art of filmmaking.

KinoNamibia (which recently changed its name from KinoNamia) allows amateur and professional filmmakers to meet up at one place, connect and create a film within 48 hours.

Festival Coordinator, Andreas Elifas says he realised that most people want to get into filmmaking but find it difficult, thinking one needs expensive equipment to be a filmmaker. Elifas believes in the power of collaboration and adds that the KinoNamibia platform helps amateur filmmakers realise that with the right amount of creativity, one can simply shoot with a mobile phone.

Elifas is a creative with a demonstrated history of working in the Marketing, Advertising, Filming & Events Industry, skilled in Graphic Design, Photography and Filming. Namib Insider spoke to Elifas more on the creation of KinoNamibia and himself:

KinoNamibia Team
Some of the KinoNamibia team members: (from left to right): Andreas Elifas, Tutaleni Iilonga, Comfort Ajibola and The First Victor. (Image: Provided)

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
The fact that we can get to express our creativity when we promote the festival. The interest in the festival is great and it keeps us going. We also like seeing how everyone at the festival engage with each other and work together to create great content within 48 hours. The films always come out great.

How do you think the festival has improved this year?
I can only really tell the improvement after the festival in August, as for now we are busy preparing for it, but what I can say, is that we will be accepting more participants this year, around 200. The fact that we have more support coming from sponsors also makes our work easier.

Do you see the festival expanding beyond Windhoek into other parts of Namibia?
We would love to roll out to regions, but we realise it is a big step considering all the logistics we need to take care of. We are a mere 3 years old, which I see is too soon to take up that challenge but in the near future, we definitely will.

Planning a film festival like this can be daunting, I imagine. Can you describe the physical and emotional duress of putting on a festival like this?
It’s very difficult and requires a lot of focusing and discipline- you have to look at everything from dealing with a team with different personalities and delegating them, to make sure that things run smoothly. If things don’t run accordingly, you will face trouble during the time of the festival. Simple things like not having access to the internet could ruin your plans as most of the marketing is done online, so you have to constantly be online and ready to respond to any queries that people ask online as soon as possible.

Is there any Namibian filmmaker you look up to?
I would say, Florian Schott, the director of Katutura. I admire his consistency and the fact that he is always willing to share his knowledge in filmmaking.

KinoMascot
KinoMascots (Image: Provided)

So, what’s the story around the Orange Mascots?
The Orange Mascot is an idea I thought would be cool for the festival. They are inspired by the Green Screen. Filmmakers usually use people dressed up in green tights to carry people when they shoot films like Superman, so we decided to have ours in Orange since the branding for KinoNamibia is also Orange.

KinoNamibia is slated for 24-26 August 2019 at Goethe-Institut Namibia. The festival is sponsored by the Namibia Film Commission, FNB Namibia, Cramer’s Ice-Cream, Goethe-Institut Namibia and One Africa TV.

Want to be part of KinoNamibia 2019? Purchase one of 200 passes that will be sold at Cramer’s from the end of July 2019 for N$20 and guarantee your spot. Or simply apply here (Kino3) to have your information ready for the festival.

‘Find Small Sequences Within The Bigger Story’- Haiko Boldt on Film Editing & #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm

Boldt
Haiko Boldt editing #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm (Image: Provided)

Multi-award winning film editor, Haiko Boldt, started editing around 2003 at ONE Africa Television after sitting in on a lot of edits with the station’s Technology Officer, Madryn Cosburn. In 2007, Boldt decided to freelance as a Graphic Designer and Editor. For Boldt, film editing took off in 2010 as he had the opportunity to edit multiple short and feature films in the years after until now. Ever since Boldt has received best editor nods for multiple films.

Boldt, who is also the owner of Thunderboldt Design & Post Production, is working as Editor and Cinematographer on filmmaker Tim Huebschle’s upcoming feature film, #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm.

Namib Insider caught up with Boldt to talk more on his journey and the film.

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Cast & Crew of #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm (Image: Provided)

What was your very first job in film and how did you get it?

Talking specifically long-form feature or made for TV film I think my first direct job was helping the grip department hauling around sandbags and heavy equipment. This was a made for TV production for a German television station. I was lucky that I was sharing office space with the service production company working on the movie. They needed people for the grip department and asked if I was keen. Of course, I was.

What are some of the films you have worked on that you are most proud of?

I have worked on quite a few short films and can’t single out a specific one. I feel I have learnt something from each film I have edited. The film ‘Katutura’ by Florian Schott is special to me because it was the first fictional feature I edited. I am very proud of #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm because I did not only get to edit it, I also got to film it.

What attracted you to editing above all industry jobs?

I fell into editing. I was asked if I like to give it a try, I did and I enjoyed it. So there was no conscious decision to venture into editing specifically. My early work was mostly promotional videos, small adverts and documentary videos. What kept me continuing was that I enjoyed it. At the time when I decided to go freelance, there was a niche market as an editor in Namibia which I decided to focus on and pursue.

What editing system did you use, and why?

The choice of editing system for me is like any other. For example, a phone where you prefer the interface, functionality and look over another. It also happened by circumstance. I started off on a Media100 system, back then you still needed a whole room with equipment for the edit suite. That changed when everything became more digital and computer-based. We were working on Apple computers and Apple released Final Cut then, so we started using that. Over the years I have tried Premier Pro but just didn’t like the way the interface and software functioned and switched back to Final Cut X which is really fast for me to edit in. And recently, I have been using DaVinci Resolve as well and have started using that more because it covers all sections of the post-production workflow and the standard version is free.

 

You worked on the upcoming feature film, #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm, tell us about that experience.

It was and still is an awesome experience. I have been involved with the project for a long time. From reading an early script to location scouting on weekends with Director Tim Huebschle, table reads filming, castings in the beginning and then the final production. I am extremely fortunate to have been asked by the film’s Producer David Benade to film #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm and edit it. The filming process started with an extensive storyboarding session with the Director which took about 5 weeks. We thought about every shot and angle and discussed how it might look in the edit. We even added background pictures of the locations that were going to be filmed at. The production was intense. Long days, cold early mornings, rain in July and late nights that turned into early mornings. The cast and crew are all wonderful to work with. All were very motivated to make this film amazing. Personally, it was positively challenging as it was my first feature film as a Cinematographer. It meant a lot of research, study and preparation. I received a lot of support and I am very grateful for this. The edit went quite smooth because we had planned so much starting with the storyboard. Together with the Director, we worked out a system of editing in the mornings and making selections in the afternoons and David Benade cleaned up the audio on the weekends. This left us with a very solid first cut. All in all, we had a very good workflow and this made the edit easy.

So you are the man who sees this film before anyone else. What is your impression?

I am extremely happy with the outcome. It is a wonderfully authentic film, firmly rooted in Namibia. The passion and engagement of cast and crew are evident throughout and I think Namibians will definitely enjoy it.

As an editor, is there a piece of advice you’ve gotten at some point along the way that’s stuck with you?

Watch movies! Pause. Rewind. Ask yourself; How did they do that? Keep improving yourself and your craft. Find small sequences within the bigger story. But most of all practice, practice, practice!

Which part of the editing process do you enjoy the most? And the least?

Editing feature films is definitely one of my favourite things to do as an editor. There are parts of the process which are just not that creative which are less enjoyable like syncing the audio to the video or setting up the project. But these are vital steps to be able to make the rest of the project more fun to work on. The part which is most enjoyable is, once you have selected which takes to use, cutting the story together. Deciding when to add tension or what to reveal, adding energy to a section through faster cuts. Or turn it all around and trying again like a puzzle starting off with a different shot. Remembering that in a different take apart could work for this cut. And then finally ending up with an edit that flows. That is a great feeling and a lot of fun.

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Any thoughts on the Namibian film industry? What should be done to further grow the industry?

I think the Namibian film industry will always be small because we are a small country. To say we want to grow the industry is a very general goal. Grow it into what? If we don’t have a specific goal in mind how can we measure our progress? So maybe the industry has grown but just not as what we imagined personally. I feel it has grown, there are a lot more production companies than a few years ago. But that is only one aspect. In my opinion, if we want to grow we need to grow as individuals. We need to keep practising. Keep making films. Improve ourselves through studying our craft and through sharing. There are so many resources online and some of them free. We also have to approach filmmaking as a business. Otherwise, we will stay artists who don’t sell their creations and thus don’t make money which won’t enable us to grow. It’s not about resources, but about resourcefulness. Namibia has so many beautiful stories still waiting to be told.

The Film Commission Wants To Fund Your Film- Here’s How To Apply

The Namibia Film Commission invites filmmakers to submit their film applications for the 2019/2020 Funding Cycle.

Eligibility

– Namibian registered company.
– The applicant must be the producer, with a team containing a writer/script editor or
director.
– 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 gkamati@nfc.na & info@nfc.na 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.

Desiree Kahikopo on Berlinale, Production Process and Vision for ‘The White Line’

Now that production for the Namibian feature film, The White Line is wrapped, Namib Insider sat down with the film’s director, Desiree Kahikopo to talk more on the filming process.

Desiree Kahikopo (photo: Vaultz Connect)
Desiree Kahikopo (Image: Vaultz Connect)

The White Line is your directorial debut. How was the story born? Why was this the story you decided to tell?

The White Line was a story I came up with during 2016, after watching a show on the American civil rights movement. Americans talk about their past and their struggles and all the stories that came with it, while us as Namibians, despite our rich past, don’t talk about ours, at least not visually as much. I came up with the title ‘The White Line’ and wrote it down in my notebook and left it at that for a while. After that, I saw something on Facebook on the old-location uprising and that’s when I came up with the story for The White Line, but when I came up with it, it wasn’t the love story it turned out to be. I told Micheal about the story I had written and the next year, in 2017, we decided to work on it. During that time, Girley Jazama conducted an interview with a child of an interracial couple and the story of his parents was really inspiring and upon some more research, we decided that we wanted to go this route and tell a love story in a time of apartheid. At the time I wasn’t thinking of directing at all. I was actually trying to come up with a director for the film, although I knew directing was always something I wanted to do, I didn’t think I was qualified or ready to do it yet. But one day I was driving to Windhoek and I heard from within me ‘why don’t you direct’? I swear it was literally the Holy Spirit. At first, I was like nope, I wouldn’t know what to do or where to begin, but then I asked myself if not now then when. So I just went for it.

Take us through the casting process. Was it easy or were there challenges.

For the lead character Sylvia, I knew already when I came up with the initial story that I wanted Girley for the role. Before The White Line, I was writing another story and for that, I was thinking of casting Girley for one particular character, so for The White Line, there was nobody else who could do Silvia justice in my eyes. For the other characters, I knew what I was looking for, but I didn’t really know if I would find them. At one point, Girley and I went to go and sit at Joe’s Beer House scouting for the white cast. Finding the right actors to play Anne-Marie and Pieter was a bit challenging, especially because of the nature of the story, but after going through a series of others, Sunet van Wyk and Jan-Barend Scheepers were suggested to me and when I saw them I knew they are perfect and exactly what I was looking for. Explaining the characters to them and seeing them take them on was awesome. For the characters Unotjari and Jacobine, we had to go through a series of actors too and then we decided on casting Mervin Cheez Uahupirapi and Vanessa Kamatoto. Charl Botha and a few others came through a casting agency, but we knew Charl was perfect for the role of Jan.

On set (photo: Vaultz Connect)
(Image: Vaultz Connect)

Can you talk a little bit about some of the specific production challenges you faced during filming? How big was your crew and how long did you film?

We had about 28 cast and crew members excluding the extra’s, but from the get-go, the challenge was always financing, mostly because the film was a period piece. Because of that, we knew that we were going to go over budget and we had hoped to raise the money that we needed before we wrapped, but that proved difficulties and still proves to be difficult. We had to film in 14 days and had to make sure that we don’t exceed that and we filmed in three different towns; Usakos, Karibib and Okahandja, so the scheduling had to be right. The cast and crew really did a great job handling the changes in locations and towns, the extras jumped in and were great, the other production challenges were a difference in opinion here and there but nothing hectic really.

This film is set in the 1960’s apartheid era. What were some of the challenges of making a ‘period piece’ in the recent past? How important was it to keep to a 1960s theme and how well is it incorporated in the film?

Well firstly the film is set in Windhoek, but we couldn’t really film in Windhoek because it has really developed over the years. Katutura is really development too, so that was challenging finding suitable locations that for at least a block you could work with, the roads, the streets, the houses both exterior and interior in Windhoek was difficult, so we had to go look outside in the smaller towns. The wardrobe was challenging; to find old South African police uniform and vehicles or just old cars like batons, and so forth was expensive to rent. It was really important to keep to the theme throughout the film in everything the audience will see, that it draws them into the time and space into the era and the lives of Sylvia and Pieter and those around them. We had to carefully check everything; wardrobe, houses (inside and outside), streets, cars, the accents, the languages, the food they ate, the things they drank everything, it wasn’t easy but we did it to the best of what we could do with what we had to work with. To say the least, I am very proud and happy with how the film turned out.

What were your goals for the film when you were starting out and what are the impact goals for the film now that it’s done?

When I started with this film I knew that I wanted it to travel outside Namibia, and I also wanted it to travel across all parts of Namibia. I wanted to help usher in a new dawn in the Namibian film industry, to break barriers in the industry not just in Namibia but in Africa as well. I had set my mind that I was going to submit it to international film festivals both major and minor, have the film first travel at festivals (and it will), get distribution in cinema’s around Southern African, East Africa and hopefully West African as well. I have spoken to a few distributors who are interested. We are looking to gain European and North American distribution, but we need the finished film because the distributors want to see a finished film and then the goal was to submit it to the Oscars. I really just want it to be one of the successful and recognised films out of Namibia and shine a light on the Namibian film industry. I started submitting recently the work-in-progress to festivals, praying to Jesus we get in.

How far is post-production for The White Line and when can we expect to see the film?

The film is complete, we just need that additional funding to get it out, and right now because the plan is to do the festival circuit first, we do not have a definite date for premier or release as of yet.

Production (Image: Provided)
Production (Image: Provided)

You recently delivered a presentation titled ‘Namibia: A Unique Voice within the African Cinematic Movement’ at the Berlinale Africa Hub. How important is a representation of the Namibian film industry, especially since its picking up momentum? How do we grow our industry and make it competitive with the world?

Representation is very important, I learned that more being at Berlinale, because we get to speak and let our voices be heard. We get to be seen as an industry that’s standing and active and as a people and shift whatever stereotype is out there about us. We want co-productions, collaborations, we want for things to change and contribute to that change that’s taking place. I have learned recently that we need to be in those places markets, festivals and have those discussions with fellow filmmakers and form those relationships because you can’t really form a relationship from afar. People will only assume about us unless we are present. Some filmmakers I met and distributors didn’t really know that Namibia has a film industry. So being there and talking to people and forming those relationships and learning from each other can only help build you as an individual and then the industry itself. We need private individuals to invest in film and corporate companies to fund films and we need collaboration and co-productions amongst our fellow Africans as well international producers and investors and we also need to build a cinema-going audience. You are right, Namibia’s film industry is picking up momentum and that’s really great, but I think we also need to kind of know where we want to go and how we want to get there, listening to presentations from East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda), Nigeria and South Africa you get a sense of who they are and where they want to be. First and foremost, we need to start looking at the film as a business that needs to sustain itself and us, story development, we hear that some stories take years before they are made, I am not saying take years but make sure your story is airtight. We need producers that understand the business of film and not just film as an art form, has a distribution and marketing plan/strategies and learn that it doesn’t happen overnight. I had to learn that doing The White Line, and working hard and working together selflessly.

Watch The White Line trailer below:

Namibia’s theatre and film industry against violence

With the increasing incidents of violence-related activities in the country, it’s pretty easy to draw a link between exposure to violent media and aggressive behaviour and although exposure to violent media is one of those trigger factors for violence, it’s definitely not a trivial one.

Film and theatre cause us to be in greater fear of our surroundings, suggesting, especially to children, that violence is an appropriate way to resolve conflict.

I have seen that individual moral factors of filmmakers and writers tend to discourage violence much more than they do a purchase of their work.

A lot of famous movies are filled with depictions of abuse and manipulation of some kind. However, we don’t go around mimicking everything we see. Be that as it may, no one has the right to go around killing other people. Gender-based violence, in particular, affects people in every corner of the world, and although it can also affect men, it is women and girls who are disproportionately targeted.

Namibia’s film and theatre industry takes a stand against violence, of any kind and urges the government to take serious action:

Sunet van Wyk
Actress

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“Something seriously needs to change if we want to bring an end to Gender-Based Violence. For me, however, the change doesn’t only lie with police officers doing a better job at handling cases since that will only help ease the symptoms and not cure the cause. In my opinion, the real problem lies much deeper – it lies with mental health. In Namibia, mental illness is still a bit of a taboo topic and something rarely talked about or taken seriously – especially amongst men. One thing is certain though, change needs to happen because enough is enough!”

Denzel Noabeb (NSK)
Actor

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“I’ve seen calls for heavier sentences to persons found guilty of an offence in the court of law. What exactly will that help? It is a known fact that a prison is not a nice place. Regardless of the fact that it’s a correctional facility now. It’s still not a nice place, but these crimes still continue unabated. Here’s what I always also asked…how is it possible that these crimes are the majority of the times committed by persons who do not have a single record of any violation to their name? Ordinary man and woman of society with no criminal record are committing gigantic crimes. We need to probe our way of life. What makes me a Namibian? What are my customs? What are my traditions? What was I taught growing up in my home? We need to revisit these and understand what in these teachings have caused this seismic social reaction where we cannot deal with our emotions that stem from relationships. Dare I say we need to probe these teachings outside the context of religion. Then we can take it from there. Where the arts comes in…we will continue writing thought-provoking plays about this. We will continue writing songs about this… however, for as long as our theatres are empty, for as long as Namibians prefer South African music as opposed to ours, the message will not reach the masses and all will continue to be lost.”

Desiree Kahikopo
Director

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“I would say that the rise of violence is because the offenders think and somehow know they can get away with it. I really think Namibia needs t to rethink the justice system and create harsher punishments for those who commit a crime, than 25 years for killing someone. More police presence on the streets, quick responses.”

Adriano Visagie
Actor

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“Personally feel the rise of Gender-based violence has escalated and through my charity work, which I don’t make public, I had one of the victims at the Gender-Based Violence unit at Katutura and I also wrote a post about it. The lack of service and facilities we have is quite a great concern because My question is; what does a victim do and where do they cry for help? We cannot allow this to continue and I believe the government should jump in. What saddened me about this past few weeks was seeing people march, even Members of Parliament marched. So we march and then what? Members of parliament are supposed to visit these facilities and ask whether they are really accommodating to victims. Imagine how much healing can be done if the government uses Ramatex as a “safe haven” for victims, a case is filed against the perpetrator, these victims get proper counselling by using the unemployed UNAM psychologists and nurses and doctors to assist at this centre. The same counseling can be used on the perpetrator. We are failing victims of gender-based violence.”

Jason Kooper
Playwright, Director

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“As a theatre practitioner I think a lot has been done in addressing cases of gender-based violence in the country, however, I feel that we need a campaign where victims can get the opportunity to tell their stories. First lady Monica Geingos has started a #BeFree to Break Free campaign which has been tremendously helpful, but I feel that we need to have an open dialogue about these issues, by getting the victims involved, those that would like to talk about their trauma. Also, get organisations like Lifeline/Childline and the GBV crime units in Katutura and other smaller towns. For the future, we need to look at the way we raise our children, especially men. We raise them to be tough and not cry, forgetting that they too are human and they suppress their emotions and don’t know how to handle rejection.”

Philippe Talavera
Filmmaker, Choreographer

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“The recent increase in GBV is scary but not surprising- violence has become the norm. We see it everywhere. I don’t think we realize anymore what it is. That slapping a child is violent; that pushing someone is violent. We need to rethink ourselves entirely. Many people are frustrated- they can’t make ends meet. They can’t live their dreams. If I have no realisation of dreams, why should I care? Maybe we also don’t have enough positive role models, men who use their hearts and not their fists to solve problems, women who teach their sons that it is OK to cry. I think we need to remind ourselves what it means to live. Life is difficult, but ultimately it is a gift we should cherish, a journey we should enjoy. Our time on earth is too short to live trapped. Let us break free and remember what it means to care for one another.”

Oshoveli Shipoh
Filmmaker, Director

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“I think as activists against gender-based violence, leading the power for change would be the improvement needed in the Justice system. If we could come together as a nation and campaign for our influential leaders to endorse harsher punishments for offenders, even if it means to amend the constitution. Because every time you pull out bad weeds more will grow in their place, so if you change and cultivate the soil, weeds won’t grow. That soil is our Justice System and it needs huge improvement.”

Zindri Swartz
Playwright, Director, Stage Manager

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“It’s Horrific to think that GBV still poses a threat within this day and age. Nobody has that right! Safety is and should be fundamental. I personally am among the hopeless. Very little has been done about these inexcusable crimes. The question is; would rehabilitating the perpetrator be sufficient? To an extent, I would say tougher sentences should be imposed. I for one don’t believe in the death penalty but what happens when criminals are forcing our hand? Times are tough and we should stand united protecting one another, supporting and loving as one. Not senselessly killing each other.”

 

Watch this beautiful “We Are The World,” music video featuring an all-star roster of Broadway theatre artists calling for healing and unity in the world today.

“Be Open To Constructive Criticism”- Interview with The White Line Writer Micheal Pulse

2018 is treating Micheal Pulse well, Id’ say. Some of the award-winning singer-songwriter’s screenplays The White line, The Third Will and ‘The adventures of !Xu and Ndatega’ have been produced, with others set to come to the big screen and TV in the course of the year.

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Pulse shares his writing process:

What would you say is your best script to date?

I like to look at my work as kids that have my DNA and with each creation, there is a different mindset, and they all have their own personalities (the work that is). I write an array of content; from TV series’ to kids show and theatre scripts. These are all my best work but at the same time, they all have shortcomings and what if’s attached to them.

What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on ‘The White Line’?

I got to see how, for the first time, the characters that I envisioned in my head have grown through the process. I saw that I needed time with each and every character’s development and that’s what I have done. In a nutshell, I needed patience. This is important as a writer.

Is ‘The White Line’ centred around racism? Did the script come from a personal place?

The film is not centred around racism. I would like this to be known “It’s about love”. Is a story about two people who fall in love under circumstances that challenges their love. The idea is originally from the Director (Desiree Kahikopo) of the Film who wanted to tell a story that was about “Love, Hope and Forgiveness.”

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How many times did you rewrite the script of ‘The White Line’?

Too many times. I think I stopped counting at some point, but the trick is that with each rewrite the story has to somehow become stronger or changed entirely. That’s really what makes the writing process exciting.

Can you explain your re-writing process? Do you look forward to this stage of the process?

I dread this part because this is the moment you share what you think is good with people like editors and co-writers. Trust me, as much as you think your writing has covered everything, someone always points out what you left out which really helps the story along. As a writer, it is important to be open to constructive criticism. BE OPEN, receive, look and learn and rewrite again until everyone, including yourself, is happy with the end result.

Growing up, what movies or stories inspired your creative passion?

I am a Geek at heart and fantasy and Sci-Fi movies really what get me inspired. Watching movies like Sinbad, Star Wars, Old Greek god movies. Films with magic and unimaginable beings are my cup of tea.

For an unknown writer, what is the best way to get their screenplay seen?

Network, attend events that you think can make you grow your skills. Take chances and apply to call-outs that are placed newspapers or social media. Always research and lastly, don’t wait for someone to shoot your screenplay, pick up a phone and get creative. You are only as limited as you allow yourself to be.

What experiences from your life influence your characters?

I like to look at life as one of those go-to things for my characters. My family is always the biggest influence in my characters, whether its something as a name or just their personality, I use this and attach it to give my characters a face.

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How emotionally involved are you with the characters you create?

Very. Like I said my creation is my kids and everything within them is me.

What is the biggest misconception about being a screenwriter?

That you are only limited to a genre or style and that we are not as important as let’s say the director or the actors. Just because we are in the background does not mean we don’t matter. Without writers, there would be no stories told.

What are you currently reading, if you are?

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Roots’ by Alex Haley.

Visual Storytelling Through Gondwana’s Lens

There are many ways of telling a story, one such way is through Visual Narratives. These stories may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.

Gondwana Collection makes some of Namibia’s best visual stories. Namib Insider spoke to Jescey Visagie, Brand Manager at Gondwana as she shares how they work closely with an exceptional Windhoek-based film team called Prostudio.

How is an idea for a visual borne?

Inspiration comes from our passion and love for Namibia and her people as well as the preservation of the country’s heritage.

What is your storytelling style?

Our style of storytelling is one that evokes transformation, refreshes souls, and changes perspectives, while simultaneously striving to connect to people in a genuine and unforgettable way.

What skills do you think are most important for visual storytelling?

The most vital skills are; creativity, attention to detail, connecting to people, vibrant imagery, clear sound, suitable music to visuals, clear focal point and accurate information.

What makes a good story, in your opinion?

A good story is one that informs and adds value to other’s lives.

What tips do you have for aspiring visual storytellers?

Photographers, videographers, graphic designers and writers should work together, understand the importance and value of a story. Additionally, it is always about a good story and its aim.

What equipment makes visual storytelling easier and good, at the same time?

The suitable camera equipment, factual information and an excellent script.

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Where should aspiring storytellers start with their visual story?

Always start with an idea, determine this idea’s importance, do adequate research and contact the appropriate people for this visual story. Most importantly, be informed about that which is taking place within the world, your country and community, as great stories are often a conversation or click away.

Check out more of Gondwana’s content on YouTube.

 

‘A Love Letter from Namibia’- Hairareb Movie Comes in 2019

Two strangers who agree to marry each other for mutual benefits. They try make their marriage work while keeping a secret from each that has drastic consequences.

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This is the storyline of ‘Hairareb’ a new movie directed by Oshoveli Shipoh. Funded by the Film Commission of Namibia, the movie is executively produced by Dantagos Jimmy-Melani and Ellen Melani under Ndapunikwa Investments.

tammy 2 copy(Producer and Director)

Set to come out early in 2019, ‘Hairareb’ represents a unique and beautiful portrayal of a truly Namibian story along with an intimate depiction of its culture, while also presenting themes with universal appeal. The story is told in English, through the eyes of one of Namibia’s oldest and most deeply rooted tribes; the Damara/Nama, and hence is an introduction and tribute to the tribe, while incorporating Namibian cinema fit for both local and international audiences.

The cultural aspect is very important to the production team as the production team plans to go to great lengths when researching the film by consulting community elders, in order to stay true to the cultural representation.

The official production schedule will begin in October 2018, while casting will be finalized during September 2018. Currently, the producers are busy with location scouting.

IMG_2919(Executive Producer)

Antonio Tsuob is the Director of Photography while the script is written by Aina Ligola Kwedhi. The Script for ‘Hairareb’ was developed by the Namibia Film Commission, based on a book by August C. Bikeur, which was developed into a script by Aina Ligola Kwedhi. ‘Hairareb’ was also a radio soap opera performed in Khoekhoegowab.

Follow the movie on Facebook for casting information.

‘Salute’: 8 Questions with director Philippe Talavera

Philippe Talavera’s movie ‘Salute’ has been nominated in the Best Movie: Southern Africa category of the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA). This is the first nomination the film has received.

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Talavera says ‘Salute’ is for sure very special in the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) sphere, as most of the youth organisations’ previous films deal with teenage issues. According to him, they worked for two years in correctional facilities, interacting, listening and learning from inmates. Explaining the success and approval rate of the film, Talavera adds that the film is one of the organisation’s most researched film, to date.

As part of the built-up to the AMVCA, ‘Salute’ will be screened at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) on 15 August at 6pm – entrance is N$40. Tickets can be bought at FNCC in advance or on the day, however, there are limited seats.

I sat down with Talavera to get into the detail of his film, among other things:

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Can you name some of OYO’s most successful films?

‘Pap and milk’ has been very successful as many could relate to the main character. ‘Now that I can talk about it’ dealt with the difficult issue of abuse by a family member and won best male actor at the 2014 Namibian Theatre and Film Awards (NTFA) for Dawie Engelbrecht, (also starring in ‘Salute’). ‘Stinky boy’ dealing with children’s rights was also successful and won best female actor at the NTFA 2014 for Anna Louw.

Where did the inspiration for ‘Salute’ come from?

While we worked in correctional facilities, inmates opened up to us and started to share their stories and their experiences. We met quite a few inmates whose story inspired the character of Carlito. Living in a correctional facility is difficult. It is a difficult environment and we tend to forget sometimes that inmates are first and foremost, people. We wanted to tell their stories, to give them a voice. Also as an organization, OYO strongly believes that condoms should be made available in correctional facilities. Regardless of what we think about gay sex, we need to give people a chance to protect themselves. There is no point in hiding behind morals while people get infected with HIV. Inmates don’t spend their whole life behind bars: they get out eventually. What is the point of having people going out with the virus, and further spreading it? We need to be pragmatic. Most inmates are not gay, but there are no women around. So for those who choose to have sex, or are forced to have sex, there should be protection for them.

Who in ‘Salute’ is most like their character/s?

Nobody really. Actors did fantastic work so their characters are believable. ‘The General’ and his ‘Gang’ spent a lot of time with ex-inmates working on their characters while Adriano Visagie, playing Carlito, had to find the right balance between being naïve and fitting into that environment. Odile Muller, who plays Julia, Carlito’s girlfriend, also did a fantastic job.

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How long did the production of ‘Salute’ take?

It took over 18 months of research and writing of the script. The shooting happened over eleven days and the post-production took another six months.

What was the budget for this film? Who funded it?

The budget, excluding the research part, was roughly N$500,000.00. The production of the film was made possible thanks to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

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What would it mean if this film wins at the awards?

It would be absolutely amazing. Oftentimes we are not considered for those awards, as our films deal with social issues that are not considered arty enough. This particular film dealing with issues around gay sex, rape and life in correctional facilities is a particularly difficult film. It would be amazing for Namibia and for Africa if the film could win. Those topics are taboo in many parts of Africa, they deal with a sensitive issue in Namibia. It could become an inspiration to many. It would also put Namibia on the map. We have stories to tell. We matter.

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How did you get started in the film industry?

A little by accident to be honest. I come from the theatre and dance environment. I like the stage and its three-dimensionality. However touring a play is expensive: you need a cast and crew, transport, accommodation, logistics, dealing with sick actors, etc. I realized that while producing a DVD is expensive too, once it is done, it is easier to showcase everywhere. With our films, we can reach many more schools than with our plays. That’s why as an organization we moved away from theatre productions and got involved in film productions.

Who are the filmmakers that inspire your work today?

There are so many. I have always been impressed by the creativity of filmmakers such as David Lynch and The Wachowski (Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski) for instance. They manage to create universes that are absolutely amazing.

From Theatre To Film: There’s No Stopping Jenny Kandenge

Now, I wouldn’t go as far as to call Jenny Kandenge a Jack of All Trades (that’s scum, leading to bad quality of work) but this writer and director have consistency and determination that one needs to last in the Namibian Film and Theatre Industry.

The award-winning playwright’s talent and determination to excel should serve as motivation to many who want to dig in on the pie that is Namibian entertainment industry. She has staged about 4 theatre plays at UNAM and one at the National Theatre of Namibia assisted in directing the upcoming feature film ‘The White Line’ and recently launched ‘Untitled’, a web series she wrote under the direction of Lavinia Kapewasha.

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Kandenge recently came back from a 6-month long Film Workshop in South Africa (she also wrote and directed a short film there) and Namib Insider had a talk with her on all things theatre, film and all the quirky details that make her unique.

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Talk a bit about your experience at the Workshop you attended in SA earlier this year?
It was life-changing, stressful yet exciting. I wouldn’t trade those 6 months for anything because I learned so much about the film industry. The ups and downs made me stronger and the SA hustle taught me that you have to fight for your dreams.

During the workshop, you worked on a short film. What is it about?
It’s a romance film, very different from most of my work but it was a challenge in itself. The film portrays two different sides of a failed relationship, you see the past and present. I always struggle to explain my work but the film is like Blue Valentine.

What is your greatest achievement in the film industry to date?
I started a film last year but my greatest achievement would be ‘Untitled’, the web series which was recently screened under my production company with Lavinia Kapewasha, Dark Crown Productions.

Which particular filmmaker has influenced you the most?
Issa Rae (America) and Mmabatho Montsho (South Africa).

Would you say your filming style is influenced by them?
No, not really. I’d like to believe that I have my own style and that it is still developing.

Do you have any advice for young filmmakers like yourself?
Do the research and find a mentor, I was fortunate enough to have one of the best directors as a mentor in both film and theatre. Don’t be afraid to fail. I’m still learning myself.

Are you working on more film scripts right now?
Yes, I am. I have a little surprise planned for later in the year.

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Theatre

What projects you are currently working on? Which project is going to release first in the coming days?
I have a play coming in October, nothing anytime soon but I’m excited about that one.

What is it about?
It’s a thriller, of course… It’s about revenge, sisters, poison, murder, kidnapping and it has a major twist. That’s all that I’m saying right now.

What are some bad habits that you’ve seen actors develop that you’ve had a hard time dealing with?
Actors thinking that they know everything 🙄 you never stop learning.

Was there ever a show you directed that was miscast? In other words, have you ever regretted casting certain people for certain roles? Or have you been pretty spot on in your casting?
So far I have been pretty spot on in my casting, I would rather spend a month getting the right actor to play a character than just cast the next person. Thank goodness I don’t have any miscasts to date.

Difficult as it is, what is your favourite play?
‘The Nut House’ hands down.

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This ‘n That

On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfume, underwear, or anything else?
Food and notebooks, I have a weird obsession with buying notebooks.

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
‘500 Days of Summer’ by Marc Webb and ‘Closer’ by Mike Nichols. Yes, I like romance movies, you’d think it a would-be thriller.

What’s wrong but sounds right?
I don’t know, I’m gonna pass that question.

What’s the best/worst practical joke that you’ve played on someone or that was played on you?
When I was on ‘The White Line’ feature film, one particular day, one of the producers called me, being all serious. The entire time I was panicking, thinking I had done something wrong, turned out he was trying to freak me out. I’m yet to get them back for doing that shit to me.

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Who do you go out of your way to be nice to?
No one. I treat people the way they treat me, but generally, I try to be respectful to everyone I meet.

What “old person” things do you do?
I love drinking tea even in the heat. I knit sometimes and I’m very forgetful, the reason why I have so many notebooks and sticky notes to remind me of things I have to do.

Should kidneys be able to be bought and sold?
Aren’t they?

What’s something you really resent paying for?
Contact lenses, glasses, pads and tampons. Like why?!

What was the most unsettling film you’ve seen?
‘Blade Runner’ by Ridley Scott. I had to watch it four times before I completed it. I couldn’t understand it, yet I kept watching.

When was the last time you face palmed?
I do that every day… so today?

Which of your vices or bad habits would be the hardest to give up?
Overthinking, stressing and I have this thing of biting my lips when nervous. This is not a good thing when I have lipstick on…

Where are you not welcome anymore? Why?

I’m welcome everywhere or so I think.

What fashion trend makes you cringe or laugh every time you see it?
I don’t keep track of fashion trends honestly, that’s a full-time job.

So, did you like answering my long list of questions?
They were a lot, but it was fun answering them. They were very random though…

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(Kandenge with ‘Trauma,’ her first novel)

Interview With Filmmaker Florian Schott On The Art Of Filmmaking

The German-born filmmaker living in Namibia since 2009, is popularly known as the Director of the award-winning feature film Katutura (2015) and short film Everything Happens for a Reason (2013).

Schott is currently in preparation to direct a crime series in Germany which will be shot between July and August. Apart from that, Schott is also developing his second feature film; a survival thriller in the desert- and a comedy TV series that he hopes to be able to shoot in Namibia in the next two years.

The Business That Is Film

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Is the film business fair? Particularly, in the Namibian context. How do you make the apparatus work for you?

It’s difficult to talk about fairness in film as it is such a creative business, but still so controlled by the access to money. Privilege definitely plays a role. I had the chance to do unpaid internships on films for over a year before my first paid job, and I know that many people just couldn’t have the opportunity as their financial situation wouldn’t allow for that. For me; working harder, constantly developing, writing has worked so far. People don’t wait to spend money on your film, you have to bring the ideas, the work, the people, then you might get a shot.

How does working within tight restrictions (time, money and talent) force you to be more creative? What have been your lowest (and highest) budget films to date?
Any film comes with restrictions but that’s where your creativity gets challenged the most and sometimes the creative way to deal with a restriction might be the more interesting solution than your original idea. My lowest budgeted film was definitely “Everything Happens for a Reason”, which cost around N$12.000, right now I’m working with the highest budgets I’ve worked with so far.

Do filmmakers have any responsibility to culture? Do you feel that being a creative person requires that you give back or tell a particular story or not do something else?
I think filmmakers should be part of creating a culture. We can tell any story we like but in general, we should try setting an example of a culture and mindset for the future, not the past.

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What was the hardest artistic choice you made as a director, at any stage in production?
That’s a difficult question. As a director you have to make a few hundred choices each day, some harder, some easier, from scripting choices to Cast to locations to every piece of Costume, vehicle, prop, hairstyles, the feel and rhythm of the film, the look, camera angles and movements, sound, music and so many many more. All of these choices combined will create the final film, so I couldn’t single out anyone in particular.

Thoughts on the Namibian film industry? What should be done to further grow the industry?
I feel that we have to try to get a wider range of films made – and then get them out into public view. As our population is quite small we can’t rely on big budgets as these will be hard to get back. We should try to get an infrastructure which allows filmmakers to make more films with a comparatively small budget, telling personal, truly Namibian stories.

What kind of routines do you tend to keep around writing or filmmaking, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?
This really depends on the stage of production. My day writing is completely different from my day developing to my day prepping to my day shooting to my day editing. There is no special routine. Just get the work done. I try to look back at any week and see that I made significant progress with one or more projects. That fuels me for the next week.

Where does an idea for a movie usually begin for you?
Literally anywhere, anytime. I woke up in the morning with an idea to a film before, some come to me while thinking about something else, some might be a mix of other ideas you had before. So there is no system, just me trying to write down every idea I have, and once in a while checking up on my ideas to see which one is ready to grow.

What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?
Every year I plan on spending more time on film festivals as it is a great opportunity to build contacts and develop the contacts you have already, work on collaborations. Unfortunately, there is never enough time as so many times my production schedules clashed with the timing of the festivals. But I plan on utilizing them much more in the future.

Is it essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
I have never been to a film school so no, I don’t think it’s essential. I quite like a quote by Quentin Tarantino: “I didn’t go to film school, I went to films”. You need to be taught film, but you can choose what the best way is for you. In my youth, I was working in a cinema, watched as many films as I could and read all I could read about it. Nowadays the internet and youtube make learning about the film even easier. An advantage of film school is the contacts you make though, to other filmmakers, to actors, getting equipment, getting something done – much easier than in the ‘real world’. So I think it’s up for everybody to decide for themselves what might work best for them.

In your experience, are Namibian actors easy to give direction? Do they tap into character/emotion easily?
That is not something one can generalize. Every person is different, every actor has a different approach to their craft, every actor has different upbringings and life experiences, no matter where they are from.

Cherlien and Florian Schott at the world premiere of Katutura last week

(Schott and his wife, Cherlien at the premiere of ‘Katutura’)

Does race or gender make any impact on your work?
This is a difficult question. As I am a filmmaker that lives in Namibia but grew up in Europe I do ask myself a lot which stories I can be telling and which maybe require a different voice than mine. I discovered the joy and importance of collaboration. I do for example want to make a film with a strong black female character, but I feel that I need a black female voice for that. So I try to create opportunities for myself to learn, to listen and to grow.

Do you find the process of working with other collaborators difficult or essential (or both)?
The film is a collaboration. For me it’s essential. You can’t do a film alone, it will grow and change and become its own thing only through the hard work of many creative people.

Your top five films?
I don’t really have a top five. There are too many fantastic films, for several different reasons, that this list keeps changing based on where I am in my life and there are many masterpieces in all different genres.

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If you got the opportunity to remake a classic, which one would you go for?
There are so many great stories out there. Why remake a classic if you can create something fresh?

If you got the opportunity to go back in time and change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie and what changes will you opt for?
On any of my films, there are loads of things I would do differently if I would do them now. But these films and all of these choices I did came from me at that time, so all my films are a reflection of my development.

What was the last great film you saw? What was the last great book you read?
Woah, as I’m close to shooting I am so involved in the stories we are about to tell that it is really difficult to single out a single film or book. There is the joy of watching a really great film or a really great book but it’s always the time after a project that I try to really catch up on watching more and reading more.

WATCH: Everything Happens For A Reason:

Featured: Namibia As Your Next Film Destination

 

Namibia is a gem for those in search of the unexplored and wilderness. This beautiful country has one of the lowest population densities in the world and bizarre desert scenery on Africa’s south-west coast, which has enjoyed more than a decade of stability since achieving Independence on 21 March 1990.

Namibia is a peaceful country which is economically prosperous as a result of its productive mining, fishing, tourism and agricultural industries.

 

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Namibia has four main geographical regions (from West to East): Coastal plain/Namib Desert, Namib Escarpment, the rocky Central Plateau with its high mountains and the Kalahari Sandveld which is characterized by its flat layers of sand. The most spectacular landscapes for filmmakers can be found in the Namib Desert and the surrounding area, films such as “Flight of the Phoenix” and “10.000 BC” were filmed here.

 

DUNES

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Southern Namib – The Sea of Dunes: The Namib Desert stretches along the Atlantic Ocean from Angola well into South Africa and forms a belt of spectacular dunes and rock formations that reaches up to 200 kms inland. South of the Kuiseb River (dry river) lies the Southern Namib, a sea of high, yellow to reddish dunes which stretches for hundreds of kilometers, with no trace of civilization – yet, the port town of Walvis Bay is only approx. 30 kms (18 Miles) away! Your team can conveniently access the dune sea via a good gravel road and an experienced scout.

 

The high impressive dunes in the Southern Namib can be found at Sossusvlei, with spectacular colours, especially at sunrise and sunset when the dunes display a forever changing kaleidoscope of contrasts, from light yellow to dark red.

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Swakopmund and Walvis Bay – Where the Ocean meets the Dunes: Swakopmund is a modern coastal holiday town, with approximately 30 000 inhabitants, nestled between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a popular destination for Namibians and foreign visitors alike and has a great number of historic buildings from its German colonial past.

 

COUNTRY ROADS

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Namib Escarpment – Moon Landscapes outside of time and space: This region between the Namib Desert and the Central Plateau is a plain, rugged landscape with strange rock formations and dry river beds, burnt by the glaring sun and deeply dissected. Although relatively easy accessible, the environment is so hostile that no trees or human settlements can be found which gives this region a doomsday atmosphere.

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SAVANNA
Savannah Landscapes – Where the cheetahs thrive Most of Namibia is covered by thorny shrub and tree savanna, which provides a genuine “African” Safari background for your camera. The home of the cheetahs is also the place of many farms and private conservancies with the next neighbors several kilometers away. Private farms are a safe and tranquil environment for any filmmaking endeavor, and a number of them are interesting historic buildings from colonial times that make a great backdrop.

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Green riverbeds and remote villages – The image of rural Africa In the north eastern parts of Namibia (Kavango and Caprivi region) there is more rainfall and hence a more lush, green vegetation with Savannas and Woodlands, containing big trees. The green riverbanks of the Okavango and the Zambezi along the borders with neighboring Angola and Zambia are the tranquil home of crocodiles, hippos, elephants and many bird species. Rural villages can be found all along the rivers where local people still live in the traditional way.

 

LANDSCAPES
The Fish River Canyon in the south of the country is the second largest canyon in the world and a spectacular view similar to the Grand Canyon in the USA.
Windhoek – your gateway to Namibia and the capital city of Namibia, situated in the mountains at 1654 m (5426 ft) above sea level, is a thriving modern city with an excellent infrastructure of European standard.

 

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Windhoek is the commercial hub of the country, almost everything you need is available or can be sourced internationally and delivered within a very short time. Compared to other African cities, Windhoek is relatively small (approx. 220.000 inhabitants) and most of the areas are very neat. The downtown areas are quite safe and the crime rate, compared to Johannesburg and Cape Town, is very low. Windhoek has a number of well preserved buildings and monuments from the colonial past and is a convenient starting point for any endeavor in Namibia.

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Other places of interest Namibia has a kaleidoscope of interesting structures and buildings for any possible location needs, ranging from mines to ship wrecks and desert ghost towns to spectacular mountain passes, light houses and railways. A very special location is Kolmannskoppe, a deserted ghost town in the desert close to Lüderitz, the famous coastal town in the south of Namibia.
Faces of Namibia Namibia is a true “rainbow nation” with a very diverse population of more than ten ethnic groups with different lifestyles, traditions and cultures.
With the cultural and geographical background of Namibians in mind, it is possible to find faces and statues for your cast that could portray inhabitants of most areas on earth.

 

 

SOURCE: Film Commission of Namibia. Visit the NFC for more!

 

 

 

Adriano Visagie On His Acting Journey

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Namibia Theatre and Film award-winning actor, radio host, full-time banker, and media personality, Adriano Visagie’s film, ‘Salute’, will be showcased in Amsterdam next month. In the film, written and directed by Phillipe Talavera for OYO, Adriano plays Charlito, a young prisoner who needs to make difficult choices in prison, not knowing whether life was better in or out of prison.

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Namib Insider sat down with Adriano to get a glimpse of his professional and personal life:

Who are your favourite actors?
Locally – David Ndjavera
Internationally – Meryl Streep and Eddie Redmayne.
These are actors I feel have had challenging roles that they portrayed well. I can only imagine myself doing such great roles as well.

Which roles would you say were the hardest they’ve ever played?
David Ndjavera – ‘A monkey in a cage’ a UNAM drama piece.
Meryl Streep – ‘The Devil wears Prada’
Eddie Redmayne – ‘The Danish Girl’

What would be your dream role? What fun would you bring to it?
I believe every role I do challenges me and allows me to learn, however, a challenge would be to do a series. I would love to take up a challenge like that or a solo role where I am a drug addict or murderer.

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Tell me about your first time acting.
I starred as an extra in ‘Meme Mia’ the ‘Mama Mia’ adaptation by Sandy Rudd. That was my first time being on the National Theatre of Namibia stage prior to doing High School and church productions. I then got cast in ‘Lammie Beukes’ adapted by Senga Brockerhoff where I played ‘Wouks’ a deadbeat, drug dealing father. I think after that I knew this was my thing. As they say; ‘that’s when the acting bug bit me…’

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Any advice to aspiring actors?
If you want to pursue acting know that it’s a lot of work, if it doesn’t challenge you or if you don’t enjoy being at rehearsal then don’t do it. Acting requires a lot of discipline and dedication.

What is a fact people might not know about you?
I like the characters I portray on stage. It brings out the person I never knew existed. *giggles

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When was the last time you had a really good night’s sleep?
WOW! Well, this normally happens when I go on vacation as my mind is always occupied. I had a vacation with my family in March 2018.

What’s your favourite food?
I love anything with chicken, pasta and pesto.

What are your thoughts on Namibia’s film and theatre industry?
We have a lot of room for development especially to those who want to venture into film and theatre full time. I think our awards should be celebrated yearly as opposed to every second year, but then again we do not have a lot of local theatre shows.

Thoughts on the pay rate of theatre actors?
With the paying rate we are currently getting one would be thankful to the NTN productions as they cater to a lot of stuff like from transport, to financing productions. However if corporates would scrutinize local talent and invest in Namibian actors we can definitely earn more, this includes royalties of productions, etc.

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Who is your favourite director/producer in Namibia? Name only one.
In Namibia, one is impossible – but I love working with theatre director, Tanya Terblanche. She allows you to explore your character.

If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
I would like to see an older version of South African Novelist and Singer, Nakhane Toure, sit in a chair and do a rendition of my life story depicting it in a film to a younger audience, with the ‘I am Adriano’ theme.

What’s your ultimate dream as an actor?
I would like to wake up every day, finish my radio show, head to production meetings and spend my afternoons in theatre doing repetitions of scripts and teaching theatre. Overall, being on Broadway is definitely a dream.

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When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
I go through my script. If I have a co-actor I would try to perfect lines with them as one always wished you had one more chance to perfect a scene.

What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage/before the curtain goes up?
I pray and before the curtain goes up I yawn, it helps to keep me in character.

You recently did JustTina (Tribute Show to Tina Turner). How was that experience like?
Out of this world. It’s not what I expected, in terms of having people from all walks of life. We literally only had 9 days of marketing and sold out. Being Tina made me realize that being a woman and portraying certain characters of a woman isn’t easy. Lashes, heels, wigs, boobs ….LORDT! So it was an overwhelming but fun experience.

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Was this your first time in Drag?
No! I did an “Alaska” (American Drag Queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Scared Famous) at Gay Pride parade in June last year.

Would you get in Drag again?
Hell yaaaasssss!

How did your family react to you getting in Drag?
My family always supports my craft moreover they loved it. They loved what #JustTina stood for in terms of fighting and breaking the stigma around GBV.

Everything you need to know about Namibia’s new web series, ‘Untitled’

Untitled follows the lives of seven young artists, (writer, model, visual artist, singer, poet, actress and comedian/MC) who are struggling to make it in the ever-changing art scene of Windhoek.

Season 1 of the series, filmed around various locations in Windhoek, follows the individuals as they navigate their way through life and their passion whilst struggling with finding their artistry and support.

In contrast, the web-series tackles the themes of undermined artists, their identity in finding their path and the artistic culture in a developing nation.

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This new web series is suitable for everyone but would be most loved by young adults and those up to 35 years old. The series is self-funded with some financial support from the Namibia Film Commission and created by Dark Brown Productions.

Meet the Director, Writers

Best newcomer actress nominee, Lavinia Kapewasha is the director of the web series. Kapewasha co-wrote the series with award-winning writer, Jenny Kandenge. They decided to put heads together to write the script because they both wanted to get their leg into the film and television world.

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The storyline is derived from their own experiences, those of their peers and friends. According to the two, the show transcends them as they wanted to expose the hard work, diligence, and suffering that artists go through for their craft. This, they say, gave them the passion and zest to tell this story.

Earlier in 2018, Kandenge attended a Youth Film Programme in South Africa. The Namibia Film Commission, and the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF), partnered on this programme to host a six-month mentorship and hands-on-training programme for emerging young filmmakers.

Namib Insider sat down with Kandege and Kapewasha to talk more about the film:

How is this production bringing something new to Namibia’s film industry?

It is the first ever Namibian web series created by young females, with a young cast and crew. We are trying to make Namibian storytellers, especially the young, inspired by how we took storytelling into our own hands. It’s capturing the lives of the characters with a fresh lens, everything was trying to do might not be new, but seeing it from our eye it is fresh and new.

What’s going to surprise people about this series?

The tenacity we tried to convey. We made bold choices in how we told the story, shot the story and how the character and story lives. It makes a statement, so people will be
surprised by the statements made- a little controversy doesn’t hurt.

Let’s talk about inspiration.

Inspiration for the series came mostly from our own struggles as young creatives trying to have a career- there is a lot of undermining of the artist in our country and we wanted to show people what it is like being an artist.

Who in the series is most like their character?

Definitely Fellipus Negodhi.

Who’s the least?

The rest have similarities, but the most different might be Freddy Mazila – who plays Martin and Rodelio Lewis who plays Adrien.

Untitled will officially launch on 2 September 2019 and will be available to stream on YouTube here. Episodes will be updated on a weekly basis.

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Production details:

DIRECTED BY: Lavinia Kapewasha
WRITTEN BY: Lavinia Kapewasha and Jenny Kandenge

Starring:

Freddy Mazila as MARTIN
Chantel Uiras as JOYCE
Rodelio Lewis as ADREIN
Khadija Mouton as BIOLA
Elizabeth Hamurenge as LETI
Fellipus Negodhi as ZION

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Thabiso Dude and Joseph Teofelus
FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Jenny Kandenge
SECOND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Mickeyros Garoes
SOUND DEPARTMENT: Nelson Thindhimbo, Joseph Teofelus and Tina Rosch
LIGHTING DEPARTMENT: Thabiso Dude and Joseph Teofelus
EDITED BY: Thabiso Dube
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Nelson Thindhimbo
PRODUCTION: Lavinia Kapewasha, Jenny Kandenge Ester Beukes

Creating A Showreel & Why It Matters

Your acting reel is your commercial. With it, you are creating a response that encourages the producers/directors to hire you. Having only a headshot to show is not going to cut it. Create your profile and have a showreel. Directors and producers want to see more than just a pretty face.

The ‘I played character X in this and that film/play’ or ‘I directed/edited Y and X’ is also not sufficient. It can mean the difference between booking an industry job or not as it shows how important you are with the industry.

Since you only get one chance to make a first impression, make sure it’s the best you’ve got. I am going to give you three tips to help you make a good reel. Before that, I must stress that as an individual you can’t do everything. You want to give directors/producers a sense of who you are and it is important to have an identity they can look for.

Actors, in particular often try too hard to show they can do everything before they’ve shown they can do something. Be specific.

Remember, your showreel is your resume. These following tips might help in creating the best reel:

1. Best Work Only
Including your best work is crucial to having a great reel. If something is kind of old, out of date or just not as good as your other work then leave it out. Think quality over quantity. Remember bad stuff always sticks in the mind.

2. Make Sure You Feature More Than Your Scene Partner
A reel where the other actor is pulling more attention than you is not good for you, obviously. Don’t give your director/producer any reason to not be focusing on you.

3. Leave Out The Montage
Overall, montages waste time. It should show what you look and sound like on-screen and your acting ability. Cutting straight to the point with your best scene will serve you well.

Here 3 examples of good showreels to give you an idea: