Namibians craving a little precipitation may get the very thing at the premiere of local director, Richard Pakleppa’s, full-length film at the National Theatre of Namibia tomorrow evening.
Aptly titled ‘Taste of Rain’ (2012) the film promises to whet the audience’s appetite for the slew of indigenous short films set to be screened for Namibia Film Week in the run-up to the Namibian Theatre and Film Awards.
Though the film is a decidedly international affair, having been co-produced by Pakleppa’s On Land Productions, Bridget Pickering’s Luna Films in South Africa and Oliver Stoltz’ Dreamer Joint Venture in Germany with additional funding from Fond Images Afrique, the film maintains its Namibian flavour through its setting and local stars.
David Ndjavera plays Shaanika, an ex-Koevoet torturer who crosses paths with one of his victims. Tuli Shityuwete appears in an unforgettable cameo role as a dancer whose movements trigger memories in the protagonist and first time actress Frieda Byl is said to give a serene gravitas to the film in her performance as Ou Lena.
“The narrative takes place on a farm on the edge of the Namib desert during a drought. The film is a human drama turning around loss, love, memory and healing and the story is told almost exclusively from the point of view of the main protagonist, Rachel,” said Pakleppa.
Rachel is played by two time 2012 Fleur de Cap winner, Nicola Hanekom and she is supported by award-winning South African actor, Grant Swanby as well as the striking Pope Jerrod.
In terms of inspiration, Pakleppa, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, says he was inspired by witnessing drought in Namibia in the 80s and 90s coupled with witnessing the lives of people who choose to live in the desert.
Two such people are his protagonist and Tomas who fight for their survival on their farm on the edge of the Namib. they are eventually forced to leave the farm to search for water and grazing for their animals. Soon the fragile Rachel embarks on her own emotional journey, aided by a water diviner, Ou Lena, Shaanika and the mysterious dancer.
Pakleppa is pleased to have audiences view a film that “was shot and post produced to the highest standards utilising digital technology and substantial investment in design of the soundtrack and composing and recording of an original music score for the film.”
As the sole full-length Namibian film to be screened during Namibia Film Week, ‘Taste of Rain’ is a film that has prevailed over many hindrances.
“The fact that it is the only feature being screened bears testimony to the huge challenges Namibians face when trying to make feature length fiction,” said Pakleppa. “The production team are grateful for the assistance we did get in overcoming the huge obstacles that we faced over a lengthy period of production.”
Pakleppa goes on to say he is “immensely proud of the film and all its co-creators. The premiere is really the celebration of the many people in front of and behind the camera and the many friends and supporters who made this film possible.”
‘Taste of Rain’ premiers tomorrow at 19h30 at the NTN. Entrance is N$40. This will be followed by further screenings on November 20 at 20h00 at the Goethe Centre and November 21 at 18h00 at the FNCC.