Impressions on the film industry

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK They were all there at this week’s consultative film conference in the capital: the serious-minded Namibian filmmakers who know exactly what they want from the industry, the usual jokers, suspect makers, the neutralizers, those who bulldozed their way into a creative sphere they know absolutely nothing about and some defenders of hidden agendas, job seekers and those who still have no clue what filmmaking is all about. In my view full credit must be given to the minister of Information and Broadcasting, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and the Namibian Film Commission for presenting this watershed conference. Something worth mentioning is the fact that the minister on the first day sat in on the discussion on the problems of the Namibian film industry, unlike most ministers who normally deliver their speeches and run off after being recorded for NBC tv news. Thanks for showing so much interest. Filmmakers salute you for your serious interest in their interest. This brings me to my own argument of greater cooperation between independent filmmakers and the national broadcaster, NBC-tv, also expressed by me and other interested parties at the conference. There were one or two lower ranked senior officials present at the conference, but not the top brass. I intimated my clear disappointment in the shining absence of the newly appointed Director General of the NBC, Bob Kandetu. I maintain that this was a golden opportunity for him to have spelled out his corporation’s plans as a major role player in assisting the Namibian film industry. A number of Namibian filmmakers feel that at present the film section of the NBC leaves much to be desired because it is allegedly being run with a cuca-shop mentality, with no hope of ever flourishing. They feel the situation needs to be redressed as a matter of urgency if progress is to be made. All in all it was a great opportunity to have aired one’s views on the film industry that has been under siege and threat of falling apart for quite some time now. Hopefully this one was the last one of its kind. There is work to be done. Get on with it NFC and FAN. The growing industry and the livelihoods of people depend on you.

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