WINDHOEK– Some Namibian learners who participated in the annual film festival project will hopefully go to the Stockholm International Film Festival in Sweden next year where some of the films they produced as part of the project would be screened.
The Stockholm International Film Festival and Star For Life Namibia hosted a Red Carpet Film Premiere at the National Art Gallery of Namibia , for 100 learners from different schools. Learners took part in an annual film festival project which ran between July and August this year, to honour them for their hard work and for completing this project. The project was led and facilitated by Namibia’s award winning best film director, Joel Haikali, and it’s part of building arts and culture amongst learners in Namibian schools. According to Haikali, 23 short films were produced as a result of ten workshops. “The qualities of the films are more than what I expected and each film is so unique in its own right. For me it was important that learners understand the process of film-making and become media literate. I wanted them to know that it does not take three minute to shoot a three minute film. But I am impressed with each and every film and with the effort and commitment from the learners,” says Haikali.
He adds that the red carpet premier screening was an opportunity for them to present their work to the audience, and in many ways that was an empowering process too. “I am one of the people who believe that we cannot speak of the youth empowerment while leaving out cinema film as a medium to engage the youth into discussion about issue facing them,” says Haikali. Everina Kalenga, the Country Manager of Star For Life, says the aim of the project was to give the learners an opportunity to address some of the social issues they are facing in their schools and society and project it in a story form. Also, it was meant to empower and enhance the learners’ artistic skills and to give them a taste of what the world of filmmaking entails. “All the films will be send to Sweden where some will be screened during the Stockholm Junior Festival week in March 2014. Our hope is to take some of the learners to Sweden during this time,” adds Kalenga
Malvis Amakutsi from Acacia High School says the project was very educative and a very good experience for him. “I was a writer, actor and an editor. I learned that movie-making is complex and it took three days to shoot a three minute movie. It is a lot of work and passion. Film making is a good venture and people must start supporting filmmakers,” says Amakutsi.
For Frans Kalumbu, a learner from the Jan Jonker Secondary School, and a main actor in most of the films, the project was an amazing experience as he learned how to act. “I now know I can work with different people from different backgrounds, and film making might just be the career I might pursue,” says Kalumbu.
The Stockholm Film Festival is an annual film festival held in the Stockholm, Sweden. Last year the film festival expanded its work to Africa and worked with some of the learners from South African schools where Star For Life is also active.
By Sabina Elago