Vaya premieres at Oshana Film Festival today

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WINDHOEK

The AfricAvenir in partnership with New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) presents the first film festival in the Oshana region from today until next Tuesday, which is independence day.

Film lovers in Oshakati, Ondangwa and Ongwediva can expect exciting, inspiring and entertaining films from across Africa during the five-day festival. The South African/Nigerian feature Vaya (2016), is directed by well-known director and actor, Akin Omotoso. For the Nigerian-born actor, writer and director, who’s spent more than two decades living in South Africa, “Vaya” strikes a personal chord with its themes of “new spaces, new challenges and new opportunities.”

Vaya weaves together three separate stories to create a gripping yet compassionate portrait of small-town characters immersed in the intimidating, alluring, and dangerous world of big-city Johannesburg and Soweto. Beginning on a train travelling from the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg, Vaya focuses on three passengers and follows each of them into the city. They’re strangers to one another, yet bound by interlocking destinies and a shared naïveté. Imagine a South African spin on Amores Perros and you’re partway there.

Nkulu (Sibusiso Msimang) is charged with retrieving his father’s remains from the capital and bringing them back home for burial. What he doesn’t know is that a whole other set of relatives have their own plans. Zanele (Zimkhitha Nyoka) is chaperoning a young girl who’s en route to reunite with her mother, a singer who manages a tavern. When Zanele meets the mother’s charismatic boyfriend, he promises that he can get her on TV as a dancer, but there’s more to this offer than meets the eye. Nhlanhla, excited by the prospect of getting rich quick, is caught up in criminal activities — ranging from kidnapping to murder — the moment he gets off the train. Vaya will have its Namibian Premiere during the 1st Oshana Film Festival on Monday, 20 March, 5pm, Rossing Foundation Education Centre, Ondangwa Community Library, Ondangwa. Entrance is free.

Vaya is followed by Jogo de Corpo – Body Games, a Namibian-Brasilian and Angola co-production, released in 2013. AfricAvenir organised the Namibian Premiere in Windhoek, bringing the movie now closer to the Angolan speaking population. The film won the Ousmane Sembene Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2014. It continued to win Best Editing of a Documentary, at the Portsmouth International Film Festival, 2014.

Jogo de Corpo or Body Games, directed by Namibian Richard Pakleppa, presents a sensual tapestry of combat games from both sides of the Atlantic. Jogo de Corpo tells a story driven by Mestre Cobra Mansa’s need to understand the ancestry of his art form, Capoeira, as part of a wider concern with his Afro-Brazilian heritage.

By playing capoeira and engaging with Capoeira masters from Rio and Bahia Cobra takes us into a world of Africa in Brazil. It is the world of “Capoeira Angola” where Capoeira players kick, spin and dodge to songs that evoke African ancestors, the world of enslaved forefathers and masters and a mythical place called “Angola”.

In the real Angola Cobra Mansa follows the traces of a powerful Brazilian myth about Capoeira’s African origins. This myth links Capoeira to a legendary Angolan game called Engolo – the Zebra dance. His search takes him to remote villages in southern Angola where Engolo players teach him “the art of bending with the wind” and tell of Engolo players who enter the game through being possessed by their ancestors. This Portuguese language film, with English subtitles is presented during the Oshana Film Festival on Monday, 20 March, 7pm, at the Rossing Foundation Education Centre, Ondangwa Community Library, Ondangwa. Entrance is free.

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