New art-house film project on at Goethe Institute
Goethe Institute Namibia recently introduced a new art-house film programme called Cinemaverse, co-curated by Namibian and Zimbabwean film makers Florian Schott and Nocks Chatiza.
Cinemaverse was born out of the need for films outside of the mainstream. According to ‘Katutura’ and ‘Baxu and the Giants’ director Schott, there are so many cinematic gems out there, beautiful, moving and important films that unfortunately Namibians don’t have access to on their usual distribution channels such as DsTV, Netflix or Ster-Kinekor.
Around mid last year, Schott, along with a number of other Namibian artists from different sectors were invited to the Goethe Institute to discuss planned exhibitions and programmes.
“As I fondly remember AfricAvenir’s cinema series, which Hans-Christian Mahnke curated and organised but sadly had to stop a few years ago due to workload and budget, I suggested bringing independent films back to Namibia. In AfricAvenir’s film series I watched so many fantastic films I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to watch otherwise that changed my view on film and sometimes the world. Controversial South African film ‘Of Good Report’ comes to mind, so does the classic ‘The Battle of Algiers’,” Schott explained.
Chatiza, who has been involved in film festivals in Berlin, Noway, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, hopes that Cinemaverse succeeds in bringing unique films to the Namibian audience and growing the film viewing culture that will enable the growth of the Namibian film industry.
“I believe as much as films should entertain the audience – they should also have social, moral and educational values. Films should be always about a Characters’ journey and character fulfilment, not about glitz and glamour, technology superiority and product marketing like what we see daily in the mainstream cinemas. Cinemaverse gave me the opportunity to experience and share those films that I believe their storyline will emotionally move/touch the audience. I love to use storytelling and film as a tool for positive social change,” Chatiza said.
Earlier this month, 92nd Academy Award Best Documentary nominee, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ film, ‘For Sama’ opened the Cinemaverse project. Apart from ‘For Sama’, films that make up the first half of the Cinemaverse programme are ‘Transit’ by Christian Petzold, ‘Akasha’ by Hajooj Kuka, ‘Systemsprenger’ by Nora Fingscheidt and ‘Sew The Winter To My Skin’ by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka. The second-half programme for Cinemaverse is currently being put together.
The next Cinemaverse film Transit by Director Christian Petzold will be screened on 4 March at the Goethe Institute. Entrance to the ‘Cinemaverse’ is free. More details on the films and their screening times and dates are available on Goethe Institutes website.