Namibia: Film Commission Hosts All Female-Directed Short Films

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK - The Namibia Film Commission (NFC), together with three female producers and directors, hosted the first all-female short films at the National Theatre of Namibia.

The commission said the event celebrates and gives recognition to the immense contribution and role of women to the film industry and the Namibian entertainment industry as a whole.

The three films, 'Encore', 'Iitandu' and 'Wind on Your Skin' all share stories not only opening up the public discourse on issues women face but also just aim to entertain.

'Encore', a film by Senga Brockerhoff, tells the story of a dancer who finds herself lost in an old theatre. There she meets a carpenter who shows her something which turns her reality upside down.

Another short film, directed by Lavinia Kapewasha, is set in post-apocalyptic Namibia, called 'Iitandu' (Pieces), which is about a young female traditional healer who desperately seeks to escape the southern area of Namibia to avoid a deadly virus, despite her current surroundings and the danger posed by others.

'The Wind on Your Skin', the third episode of a scripted drama web series, is written and produced by Naomi Beukes and directed by Jana von Hase from Moodpixel Namibia.

The episode focuses on the pressing issue of gender-based violence in Namibia, which tragically often leads to the brutal murder of girls and women.

This moving drama explores how a community is shaken when a young woman from a small town lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community is killed because of who she loves, and how these kinds of hateful acts can spark a wave of resistance.

Marinda Stein said being a director and writer herself, this was a particularly celebratory event within the local film industry for female directors and other women behind the camera. "Against the backdrop of a patriarchal society, our film industry had always been a male-dominated one," she said. "But that is changing, Not only in Namibia but in the rest of the world too," she assured.

The Namibian Film Commission said: "Developing the film fraternity remains our core function as an entity, and ensuring that we emancipate women in this male-dominated industry is even closer to our values."

"Women for the longest time were pushed to roles in front of the camera and not as content creators. However, there has been a shift around the world. Films that explore the beauty of African identity are gaining popularity and global recognition, and women filmmakers from Africa are leading the way," emphasised the commission.

The Namibian Film Commission believes filmmakers, men and women, should all be advocates for diversity and equality and celebrate it whenever they can. The commission wished the producers and directors a fruitful journey with their films.

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