By John Ekongo
Lack of finance, proper training and motivation are the major factors derailing Namibia’s growth in the film industry.
This came to light during a consultative panel discussion on film making with a group of young people in the capital recently.
Filmmaker Abius Akwaake, Edwin Kanguatjivi, director of the Namibia Film Commission and Mushitu Mukwame, from the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, all agree that the Namibia film industry has a long way to go because it requires a lot of money but finding sponsors and financial resources is a mammoth task.
Another major setback that was identified by the panelists is the lack of training of Namibian filmmakers. According to Akwaake, “Filmmaking is an expensive industry and people are hesitant to see such money going into a production without any guarantee that it can be recouped once the product is finished. That any industry cannot guarantee and that is why financiers are hard to find.”
The few that succeed in receiving some sort of training in filmmaking struggle to find resources to make productions.
On his part Kanguatjivi said the lack growth of the film industry is largely due financial constraints.
The Namibia Film Commission is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, Act No. 6 of 2000 to promote and develop the Namibian film industry, while at the same time regulating and encouraging international film productions.
Kanguatjivi indicated that his organisation’s budget is simply not enough to boost the growth of the Namibian film industry. Although there are commendable efforts being made to support the industry via promotion and support of local programmes, a lot still needs to be done.
Contrary to his two counterparts, the NBC executive feels that for Namibians to succeed there should be a beginning.
“We need to start somewhere and we need to realise that fast. Acknowledging that funding and finances are difficult to come by, lying idle and not making an effort will not be beneficial to Namibia or the industry if it wants to grow.
We cannot wait for someone to tell our stories, we need to do so ourselves.
Money will always be a situation we can wish away, but the truth is that the environment is right to believe that you can do it,” Mukwame told the small crowd in attendance.