The Namibian Film Commission (NFC) recently welcomed back six filmmakers, who took part at African Diaspora International Film Festival from November 21 to December 11 last year, at an event, held under the theme 'Namibian Film Night in New York' at the Fresh and Wild Cafe in Windhoek.
This presented an opportunity for the filmmakers to reflect on their experience at the highly regarded international film festival. Guests were also treated to trailers of the NFC sponsored short films which were showcased at the festival.
Speaking at the event, Florence Haifene, the executive secretary of NFC stated the challenges faced by the film industry. "We don't have a lot of initiatives to offer foreign filmmakers. We are busy working hard on a sales and distribution strategy as we have a lot of people asking what films are selling for and where they will be sold," she said.
At the same occasion, Permanent Secretary Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana applauded the filmmakers of the NFC funded films for performing outstandingly at last years' Namibian Film and Theatre Awards and for their attendance at the 2012 African Diaspora International Film Festival. "The attendance of these filmmakers at the international film festival is a clear example that it is a good idea to invest in the industry."
Oshosheni Hivelua who was amongst the group of filmmakers who travelled to New York reminded her peers to push harder in their pursuit to elevate the Namibian film industry. "We are custodians of story telling in Namibia. What we are doing is not just a hobby but will contribute to the Namibian economy," she said.
Both Oshosheni Hivelua and Krishcka Stoffels, director of 'Tjiraa' emphasised that distribution was the main issue highlighted during their consultative sessions with American filmmakers. The films made a good impression at the festival and the filmmakers were able to establish good contacts that will inevitably be a boost for the Namibian industry.
The Namibia Film Commission sponsored the six filmmakers with approximately N$400 000 to travel to the film festival.
The six filmmakers who travelled to the 'Big Apple' are Tim Huebschle, Oshosheni Hivelua, Joel Haikali, Errol Geingob, Vickson Hangula and Krishcka Stoffels.