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Namibian film premiere of Man On Ground by Nigerian Director Akin Omotoso presented by AfricAvenir Windhoek and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek,Saturday, 29 June 2013, 7 p.m. at Goethe-Centre Windhoek

Each year, on June 20, the United Nations celebrates World Refugee Day. On Saturday, 29 June 2013, 7 p.m., AfricAvenir Windhoek and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek present the Namibian film premiere of Man On Ground by Nigerian Director Akin Omotoso, South Africa 2011, 80 min.

The World Refugee Day is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. The screening of Man On Ground honours the courage, the strength, and determination of women, men, and children, who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

Dr. Lawrence Mbangson, Resident Representative of the UNHCR in Namibia, will be special guest to this screening and will be available for a Q-and-A after the screening.

Synopsis:
There are three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth. No one is lying, but memories shared serve each differently. Ade (played by Hakeem Kae-Kazim) and Femi (played by Fabian Adeoye Lojede) are expatriate Nigerian brothers. Ade is a successful banker in London, while Femi, once a political dissident in his home country, has had to escape to South Africa, live in refugee tenements and work menial jobs. The brothers have not only been physically estranged, their relationship is riddled with unspoken betrayal, guilt and scorn, which they have carried since the early days of their youth.

During a short visit to Johannesburg, Ade discovers that his brother has been missing for a week. He sets out to investigate Femi's mysterious disappearance, reconstructing the pieces of his everyday life and the cruel hardships he endured just to survive. A riot erupts while Ade is visiting Femi's former boss in one of the townships. Ade is forced to take shelter with the employer. The mounting violence outside seeps into their exchanges and, eventually, prompts an explosion of revelation.

Awards:

  • Best Film, Jozi Film Festival
  • Best Ensemble Cast, Monaco Charity Film Festival 2012
  • Best South African Film at the 10th Tri Continental Film Festival, 2012
  • Nominated for seven and winner of Special Jury Prize, Best Film and Best Actress, African Academy Movie Awards, 2012
  • Awarded Best Producer, Best Director, Best Director of Photography, Best Editor, and Best Indigenous Film, 4th annual African Audio Visual Awards (TAVAs), Lagos, Nigeria, 2012
  • Awarded Best director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound Design, Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, Lagos, Nigeria, 2013

Official Selection:

  • Toronto International Film Festival 2011
  • Berlin International Film Festival 2012
  • Africa International Film Festival 2011
  • Dubai International Film Festival 2011
  • Durban International Film Festival 2012

The story of a film:
On the evening of Sunday 11th May 2008 a gang of young men in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township forced their way into a hostel on London Road and initiated a merciless attack on residents they deemed to be foreigners. From this spark, the murder, rape, and looting directed at the bodies and belongings of non-South Africans spread within days from Alexandra to informal settlements in Diepsloot and the East Rand, where a Mozambican man, Ernesto Nhamuavhe was burned alive while bystanders laughed. Known to the world as “The Burning Man”, Ernesto Nhamuavhe, a husband and a father, is the primary inspiration for MAN ON GROUND.

The violence generated profound national and continental shock and soul searching. Akin Omotoso, Fabian Lojede and Hakeem kae-Kazim decided to pool their resources and commissioned a Research Study into the violence. The Research took three months and over the next couple of years, the three would discuss the best possible way to tell the story. Various drafts and possibilities were discussed until the story of a man’s search for his brother provided the perfect context to guide the story. Producer Rosie Motene joined the team early 2011.

To fund the production stage of the film, the team opted for the CROWD FUNDING approach.

Crowd Funding describes the collective, cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Local filmmakers Khalo Matabane and Tim Greene used this approach to fund their features films Conversations On A Sunday Afternoon and A Boy Called Twist.

Letters were sent to family and friends and friends of friends asking them for donations beginning at R1000 in return for an Associate Producer credit. No donation was considered too small. The first letter went out on the 1st of March and the first donation was R1,500 on the 25th of March. Additional sponsorship was provided by the equipment house Media Film services, Southern Sun Hotel Hyde Park, The Kgolo Trust, The International Organisation of Migration and The City Of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services.

Shooting commenced on the 1st of June 2011. It was a nineteen day shoot. A few days into the shoot, a key sponsor failed to come through. As the team confronted the brutal reality of shutting down the shoot, support came in the form of ChrisDon Productions and the shoot was able to go ahead. Production wrapped on the 23rd of June 2011.

Date: Sat. 29 June 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium

This screening is made possible through the financial assistance of the Finnish Embassy.

The film series African Perspectives is supported by the FNB Foundation, the Finnish Embassy, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, the Goethe-Centre Windhoek, and WhatsOnWindhoek.

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2013

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