By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Under the auspices of the Namibia Film Commission and the Filmmakers Association of Namibia (FAN) the Wild Cinema Film Festival Trust will launch the first ever Namibian Film Awards at the 2007 Windhoek International Film Festival to be held in the capital from March 23 till April 1st. This to be welcomed news was formally announced in a press release this week “After successfully launching the first Audience Choice Award at the 2006 Film Festival, Wild Cinema recognized the need for a juror awarded film prize, which would not only act as a welcome incentive to filmmakers and the Namibian film industry as a whole, but would moreover elevate local filmmaking on par with international standards,” statement said. The organization also announced the names of the panel of jurists, who will judge the entered films. They are: Paul van Schalkwyk, Director of INTV, Simon Wilkie, chairperson of the Namibia Filmmakers Association (FAN), Anna Shivute, board member of the Namibia Film Commission, and Emily Brown, Head of the Media Technology Department of the Polytechnic of Namibia. “Films submitted for competition will see productions competing in several categories and judged according to a host of professional criteria: overall presentation, cinematography, editing, directing, script and a number of other filmic details.” Despite Namibia’s small film industry, the Wild Cinema Film Festival Trust received no less than 18 Namibian entries for this year’s festival, ranging in genre from Documentary to Short Film to full-length Feature. The Namibian selection in competition will be screened during the 2007 festival at venues throughout town – something Namibian audiences can look forward to. “The jury will make its final decisions public at the close of the festival at an auspicious event to be held at, and sponsored by, NICE on 4 April 2007, and shall see a selection of aspiring and prominent film makers alike vying for prestigious prizes in various categories. Winners of the various categories will not only receive official Namibian Film Award certificates, but also prize monies,” the organization promised.