NFC shares its 2019 plans

Ensuring Namibian stories are told through film

03 May 2019 | Art and Entertainment

Namibia Film Commission (NFC) held an information sharing session earlier this week to spell out its activity plans for 2019/20 financial year.

The session was a continuation of what the NFC board had undertaken since its appointment in November 2017 as a roadmap towards supporting and growing the film industry in Namibia.

Outlining the commission’s accomplishments of the just-ended financial year, NFC board member Marinda Stein said: “During 2018/19 financial year the commission rolled out film local content development projects to the tune of N$2.3 million, which accounted to 72% of the total allocated budget.

“This has created employment for 69 Namibians and trained 12 aspiring filmmakers,” added Stein.

Stein shared that further support was accorded in the form of payment of trainees attached to local films, website development support, festival attendance, training of the selected filmmakers from NFC’s annual call-outs through workshops, as well as equipment and transport assistance.

On the 2019/20 financial year, Stein revealed that the commission received N$3.6 million for the film and video fund for this financial year. “You all will be glad to be informed that the bulk of this budget once again is geared towards the development of the film industry with an allocation of 82%, with operations receiving 10%, marketing 6%, and board expenses a mere 2%,” shared Stein.

In order to enhance the local screen culture, NFC will do screenings of local films nationwide in collaboration with the information ministry’s regional offices. “It will further engage funding partners to assist it in acquiring solar-powered cinema sets for donating to rural communities in order to bring local stories to rural communities,” said Stein.

Touching on film industry formalisation, Stein announced that the NFC board started a process of formalising the industry in order to improve the quality of content, allow for networking and collaboration, and build capacity in the industry. “As a first step, it brought together all local facilitators of foreign productions in the country and after much debate and benchmarking, an agreement was reached to register all local facilitators, based on clear criteria.”

Moreover, through the National Planning Commission, the NFC intends to engage development partners Japan, Turkey, United Nations, European Union, China and Germany. Namibia and Germany share a rich political history, and have already existing bi-lateral agreements in various sectors. “Last year 22 productions carried out in Namibia (or 15%) came from Germany and in the last five years about 89 German productions came to Namibia,” said Stein.

Summing up her presentation, Stein affirmed that the NFC board recommits itself to do their utmost best to grow and develop the film industry despite all the many challenges that exist, including the economic climate. “However, with the resources available to our disposal and the passion to turn this industry into a striving one we will together forge ahead,” she said.

MICHAEL KAYUNDE