In its burgeoning state the Namibian film industry is taking its baby steps into becoming self-sustaining. It has become typical of a film production to be hyped on upon release but eventually fades.
The Third Will, a Namibian television series that premiered in 2015, is on a quest to driving the Namibian narrative forward. However, this is unlikely to become realistic due to the shortage of financial resources. Since its inception, the series has only received funding from the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) during the post production in its third season. Executive producer, Frans Kruger, says it takes about N$800 000 to shoot a single season. “Our quest right now is to find sponsors who would help us sustain this project. We do not want the Third Will to end because our ultimate goal is to transform it into a soapy. What mostly matters to us is the development of our actors. We have noticed that there are people who would like to do acting as a full time career but due to financial strains we are unable to create such a platform,” he says.
The series has a cast of 35 people who have full time jobs. This poses a challenge to the production work because the cast is usually only available after working hours. “After their day jobs we still expect these people to give their 100 percent effort on set. On scenes that we have to shoot during the day we expect these people to take leave from their jobs which can also be a struggle,” says Kruger. Hence, the idea is to turn the series into a soapy, which could create jobs for the actors. Kruger adds there is no market for youth who are studying arts, hence a soapy could help establish employment for these young people. Besides, the ‘Third Will’ does not only recognise qualified actors. We have so much talent in Namibia. That is why we accept anyone who is interested in acting and we groom them on set,” says Kruger.
The riveting series, with its fourth season now in shooting, weaves together a tapestry of feuds, deceit and ambition. It revolves around the family of a multi-millionaire Hendrick Kamati who suddenly dies of Heart Attack. When he signed his will he left one copy with the lawyer and took the original to his mistress. He gets a heart attack on his way home and the original will slips out of his hand. It is then picked up by his gardener who is later chased out of the house when Kamati passes on.
The gardener tries to take the will to the mistress but is chased away by the mistress’ sister leaving with the will. Thus the fight is on to find the Third Will.
Kruger is concerned over the Namibian film industry’s lack of support. “Notwithstanding the effort being done by the NFC, the government needs to come on board to support the NFC for them to reach out to the film industry. Namibia has so much talent and we need to get our brand out there,” he appeals.
Apart from funding, sponsors could also reach out by advertising their products on the series or having product placements during the shooting.