Wednesday is D-day for filmmakers

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Pinehas Nakaziko

Windhoek-Filmmakers have only until Wednesday to submit their works for the 2017 Namibia Theatre and Film Awards (NTFAs).

Eligible entries are short films, feature films, documentaries and music videos completed between September 13, 2014 and February this year. Students of film are encouraged to submit their works to be considered for the newcomer category.

Founded in 2010 by the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN), the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) and the Filmmakers Association of Namibia (FAN), the glamourous spectacle will this year take place on March 25 at the NTN. The NTFAs is the only national event that recognises the works done by performing artists and filmmakers.

Their hard work contributes immensely to the Namibian entertainment industry, with local content created for both theatre and on screen.

“The response has been a bit slow – however we are optimistic that we will receive a substantial number of entries in the final days, as this has been the trend with previous award shows submission as well as other film projects,” says senior media officer at the NFC, Nicola Muranda-Shivute.

She adds that they are mindful that the economy has been tough and unfortunately it has affected all sectors – the film and theatre industries included.

“You might be aware that the industries are not seen as lucrative business, so the funding is really limited which in turn affects the number of film and theatre projects produced per annum,” says Muranda-Shivute, adding that the extension of the eligibility period allows more projects to be entered.

The NTFAs aim to celebrate, recognise and honour theatre and film practitioners. Since its inception, the event has grown in scope, and this year promises to build on the successes of previous years.

Organisers say the NTN and NFC as partners in the NTFAs agreed to postpone the event to maximize submissions. “The award ceremony is still within the government financial year ending March 31, 2017, since the two institutions hosting the event are government divisions,” says Muranda-Shivute.

All participants and nominees for this year’s awards stand a chance to win cash prizes ranging between N$5 000 – N$20 000, depending on the category. Film category winners will also get an opportunity to attend a distribution workshop that will be hosted by a renowned German distributor as part of the award prize.

“With theatre, the judging process takes place as the production is taking place and this ranges over two years; a process which is directed by the NTN. Whereas with film, a call for submission of films is issued and filmmakers then submit their productions that must have been produced in a given period,” explains Muranda-Shivute, adding that submissions are then judged by a five-member jury.

“The public also get to vote for the Audience Choice award by attending public screenings that will take place on March 11 -18 at various venues around Windhoek,” she says. This year’s awards consist of 13 categories.

Entry forms can be collected at the offices of the NFC (corner of Feld & Newton streets), at the NTN Box Office (12 John Meinert Street) or downloaded from the awards official Facebook page @NTFA 2017. Alternatively, filmmakers can request an electronic copy via ntfa2017@gmail.com.

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