New Film Company Starts Rolling

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Two former policemen have combined forces and resources to start their own film and VIP protection company in the capital. Shahid Abrahams and Jacques Lombard have formally registered their dual company with the Ministry of Trade and Industry as Welwitschia Productions and Musketeer Protection Services. “We formed the companies already in May this year and after all the legalities had been worked out, we registered both with the authorities to operate as legal entities. The idea of the formation of the companies was formed during the shooting of a German film in Namibia earlier this year,” said the managing director of the company, Shahid Abrahams. In his view, there is room for more film companies in the country to help stimulate the film industry. “For too long, Namibians have allowed South African film companies to reap the benefits of the many international films that have been shot on location in the country. These South African companies provided film services that any Namibian company could have done and they left with the profits, in most cases not investing anything into the struggling Namibian film industry,” Abrahams said. He has been working on a number of international movies in various capacities in the country and stayed in Britain for some time. “My partners and I make no bones about the fact that we have registered our companies to keep our South African counterparts out of the multi-million dollar movie business in Namibia. We have the technical experience and the filmmaking expertise to take them on. The time is now,” said Lombard, who was a law enforcement officer for almost 20 years. Welwitschia Productions will initially focus primarily on the production of Namibian music videos to be exported to the rest of the world. “There is a definite market for videos in the flourishing local music industry, but the technical know-how to market Namibian music lacks big time technology, we have found out through research in the field. “Our musicians need to be promoted more consistently and not as one-off entities on a national level. Namibian musicians deserve more than what they are currently receiving,” said Shahid Abrahams. Both companies will seek close working relations with all Namibian film stakeholders and will be advised in filmmaking projects by filmmaker Cecil Moller. “Collectively, I think we posses a wealth of film-making and VIP protection skills and experience. The two companies will complement each other in all related activities. We intend to co-operate with the Namibian Film Commission as well as the Filmmakers Association of Namibia to the benefit of the local industry,” Abrahams said. The other two partners of Welwitschia Productions and Musketeer Protection Services are Robert Scott and David Gawasa, a Zimbabwean citizen.