Film industry can alleviate unemployment says Mushelenga
During a visit to a film production site in Arandis, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Peya Mushelenga said the local film sector has the ability to alleviate unemployment and bring development to the country.
Mushelenga said he now has a clearer picture of the foreign direct investment attracted to the country by film industry players, adding that there is a need for the government to look critically into this sector.
“The importance of collaboration to ensure that we have incentives for foreign producers cannot be overemphasized,” Mushelenga said.
On Monday, 13 September, the minister led a delegation to the production site of ‘Ein Platz an der Sonne’ (A Place in the Sun), a multi-million dollar international film production currently filming at the coast, a first since the advent of Covid-19. The film is directed and authored by German filmmaker, Lars Kraume and Executively produced by Thomas Kufus.
During the visit, Deputy Minister of Education Arts & Culture, Faustina Caley called for continuous collective collaboration between the different stakeholders for further investment in youth development and training. Her Ministry is working together with the National Arts Council in that regard.
According to Namibian Co-Producer and Facilitator of ‘Ein Platz an der Sonne’, Joel Haikali, over 1644 Namibians are employed on the production in front and behind the camera. This includes award-winning actor Girley Jazama, who plays the female lead alongside German actor Leonard Scheicher.
Haikali said it took two years of pitching against South Africa to convince German executive producers to pick Namibia as a location.
Haikali highlighted the challenges faced by local facilitators to attract more foreign investment into the sector with a lack of incentives and benefits to investors. He indicated a need to find the best collaborative models amongst the various government agencies to smooth processes and ensure that most of the budget spent remains in Namibia and not in South Africa as has largely been the case for years.
Kraume’s film is funded through German subsidies and other private investors to the tune of N$130 million. It follows a young German anthropologist on a study mission in the midst of a war, through the then Deutsch Süd West Afrika, in an attempt to disprove the race theory. His journey becomes one of trying to find a young Herero woman he met in Berlin, during a colonial exhibition.