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Film commission drafts N$2.2 million funding budget

by Kelvin Chiringa

The Namibia Film Commission has drawn a budget of N$2.2 million towards the funding of local films although the funding allocation for this financial year is yet to be given the final thumps-up.

Speaking to The Villager recently, the commission’s senior media officer, Hertha Katjivena said call-outs were placed from February to April of this year and projects have since been submitted and pitched to a panel of judges.

“Recommendations were submitted to the board by the judging panel. At the moment we are awaiting board endorsement (anticipating end June 2018) and then the announcement of successful projects once the board pronounce themselves,” she said via email. 

 Meanwhile, the commission has received 21 short film applications and of these, four were from experienced filmmakers and 17 newcomers, said Katjivena.

“We also received interest from three production companies for the two NFC Short Scripts, eight feature films and nine documentaries,” she added. 

 Of the proposed funding budget, N$1.3 million has been allotted to a feature film, N$300 000 for a documentary, N$250 000 to each of the two “experienced” short films while N$50 000 each will go to two new comer shorts.

Said Katjivena, “N$360 000 has been earmarked for training and skills development, as well as research. This makes up 72% of the annual budget.”

Namibia’s film landscape is still growing by leaps and bounds but its legislation has earned praise from neighboring countries like Zimbabwe which has expressed a keen interest to learn from it. 

Said the country’s Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba, last year, ““This is one area where Namibia is really far ahead of us. You call yourselves a young sister to Zimbabwe because you were born after Zimbabwe. But in that area, you are in fact the first-born. I don’t know the level of implementation but the point is there is some framework.”

Namibia has also become a hotspot for blockbuster movies and has seen a number of them shot on its soil with the most recent ones being The Mummy and Mad Max.

This year, the country will likely take pride in hosting the royal couple, Harry and Megan who are said to be making it their romantic hide-out, although this has drawn envy from the media on the other side of the high seas.