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AfricAvenir Co-Launches the Namibian Movie Collection in Windhoek

On November 11th, 2009 at 18h00, AfricAvenir in cooperation with Joe-Vision Production and the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) will launch its joint Namibian Movie Collection, to be placed at the Multimedia Library of the FNCC.

Tahar Cheria, a Tunisian filmmaker once said that African cinema is like a creature with only a head, but without a body. The head are the authors, filmmakers, and their films. The missing body is the lack of infrastructure for production, distribution, screening and training.

In the Namibian context, this leads to the following questions: How can a Namibian film industry exist if nobody gets the opportunity to watch the films that are produced locally? How can a movie culture and the local film industry be developed without any platform for distribution, exhibition and promotion?

The Namibian Movie Collection, initiated by Joel Haikali, founder of Joe-Vision Production, in cooperation with the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) and AfricAvenir International, is a first step in addressing these issues and serves as a point of reference for Namibias creative development and unique cinematographic identity.

We believe this is necessary and crucial towards achieving the overall objective, the development of the Namibian film industry.

The Namibian Movie Collection, which will be launched on November 11th, 2009, consists of Namibian films. For the purpose of promotion, filmmakers agreed to grant non-commercial rights of their films to be part of the collection and the FNCC granted space in its Multimedia Library for public access. For a broader dissemination and exposure of Namibian film work, a catalog of the Namibian Movie Collection is published and promoted on the website of AfricAvenir, introducing Namibian films and filmmakers to an international audience.

The majority of films included in this collection are made by Namibia based filmmakers, while foreign films with relevance to the Namibian film landscape are also included.

A lot of the collected material is what we call NGO work or corporate productions, whereby an organization commissions a director to do a film on a certain topic. This phenomenon is currently predominant in Namibia, for the mere fact that filmmakers need to generate income. In the current situation lack of funding for one’s independent and creative production prevails, leaving the local film industry depending on the NGO and corporate sector. On top of that, the filmmakers mostly don’t even own the rights to these products.

In the long-term, we hope that the given situation changes and that the majority of collected films will be independent film productions that are adequately funded. We hope that more Namibians will be encouraged to make films telling their own stories.

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