Locally produced film to get international exposure at AIDS Conference in Amsterdam
Local film ‘Salute’ from the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation Trust has been selected to feature at the AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam on 25 July.
The biennale conference is organised by the International AIDS Society, the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals.
Philippe Talavera, Director of the Trust said it is a great honour for them to know the film has been selected for the conference, but at this stage it is unlikely that they will be able to attend the conference due to funding restrictions.
“However it is important at such international platforms to showcase what Namibia does and the work done on Salute was participatory, involving inmates during the writing stage but also as extras and was shot on location at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, yet highly professional,” he said.
Talavera said the fact that the AIDS 2018 Conference selected the DVD shows that it is a relevant tool and other countries can learn from the work they did and international exposure is important and Namibia needs to invest in such opportunities.
‘Salute’ is about a young Namibian man, Carlito who is sentenced to five years imprisonment because of fraud. Nothing can prepare him for his new life in custody. He is naive and gets lured in the group of the General, a dangerous criminal who rules over his cell.
“There are some dramatic elements to make it an interesting film, but it also has a strong message, because it shows that what happens in jail does not stay in jail,” added Talavera.
Furthermore, Talavera said that it is important to ensure that inmates are free from HIV infection if the country is to reach a zero new infection for Namibia.
“No matter how difficult it still is in Namibia to address gay relationships, we need to discuss them and ignoring an issue does not make the problem go away,” he added.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic.
The 22nd International AIDS Conference will be hosted in Amsterdam from 23 to 27 July.