New Era (Windhoek)

29 January 2013

Namibia: NFC Strives for Recognition

Windhoek — Namibia is considered the preferred filming location for various genres, especially wild life documentaries; survival programmes, tourism filming and feature films.

A record 144 productions were produced in Namibia during the 2011/2012 financial year. This generated much-needed foreign currency, created employment for Namibians, as well as making a significant contribution to the tourism industry.

During 2011/2012 the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) commissioned the production of seven short films to the value of N$2.3 million, as part of its contribution to the industry. These films commissioned by NFC were completed, submitted and screened at the African Movies Academy Awards (AMAAs) and also at the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF).

In addition to screening, the NFC also sponsored the filmmakers a fully paid trip to New York to attend the 20th ADIFF, which took place from November 21 - December 11 2012. The NFC also assisted the Film Association of Namibia (FAN) with funds to set up an office to carry out their operations.

Other stakeholders such as the National Theatre of Namibia, which organizes the Namibia Film and Theatre Awards and the Polytechnic of Namibia through the Centre of Entrepreneurial Development (CED), have also benefited financially through the partnership.

The partnership between the NFC and Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN)'s CED birthed an eight-week film course that is expected to culminate in a fully-fledged degree programme in future. The NFC has contributed N$126 000 from which 10 students will benefit by covering their tuition fees and any equipment that might be needed during the course.

With the assistance of qualified professional and experienced trainers from abroad who have worked on Hollywood productions, the NFC has so far trained 60 filmmakers on various aspects of filmmaking such as production, designing, film editing, sound engineering and cinematography.

The trainees were attached to seven short film productions to gain practical experience in their respective film specializations. Many Namibian short film scriptwriters have been awarded, trained and given opportunities to direct their own films.

The NFC will be providing funding for the production of two feature films for the first time, and so far nine entries have been received. Steven Markovitz as executive producer will head this project. Markovitz is a man of many talents with 20 years' experience in the film industry around the African continent.

The NFC will also be producing two short films and has contracted Namibia's own filmmaker, Bridget Pickering, as the executive producer. Songo Simasiku wrote "Soul Taker" and Toucy Tjijombo wrote "Himba Girl" - the two short films to be produced.

Meanwhile, the Oshana and Oshikoto regions are in for a treat from January up to February 2013, as local films will be screened in selected towns and villages. All Namibians in that part of the country are encouraged to turn up in big numbers for these free film screenings.

Well known short films such as 100 Bucks, Looking for Ilonga, Embwiti and My Father's Son will be screened in the Oshikoto Region in the constituencies of Tsumeb, Guinas, Omuthiya, Okankolo, Omuntele, Onyaanya, Onayena and Oniipa, and in the Oshana Region at Okaku, Okatjali, Okatana and Ompundja.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Namibian Film Commission (NFC) is a statutory body that was established by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to support, encourage and promote film productions, film marketing as well as the development of the film industry in Namibia.

The mission of the NFC is to create a conducive environment to develop a vibrant and sustainable film industry. Its vision is to have a film industry of excellence that reflects Namibia's cultural diversity and contributes meaningfully to national development.

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