Namibia: Film industry can reduce unemployment, Mushelenga says

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During a visit to a film production site in Arandis, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Peya Mushelenga said the local film industry has the capacity to reduce unemployment and bring development in 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 critically examine the sector.

“The importance of collaboration in ensuring that we have incentives for foreign producers cannot be overstated,” Mushelenga said.

On Monday, September 13, 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 on the coast, a first since advent of Covid-19. The film is directed and written by German filmmaker Lars Kraume and produced by Thomas Kufus.

During the visit, Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Faustina Caley called for continued collective collaboration between different stakeholders for more investment in youth development and training . His ministry works in collaboration with the National Arts Council in this regard.

According to Namibian co-producer and host of “Ein Platz an der Sonne,” Joel Haikali, more than 1,644 Namibians are employed on the production in front of and behind the camera. This includes award-winning actor Girly Jazama, who stars as the female lead alongside German actor Leonard Scheicher.

Haikali said it took two years for the fight against South Africa to convince German executive producers to choose Namibia as the location.

Haikali highlighted the challenges faced by local facilitators in attracting more foreign investment to the sector with a lack of incentives and benefits for investors. He indicated that it was necessary to find the best models of collaboration between different government agencies to facilitate the processes and ensure that the major part of the budget spent stays in Namibia and not in South Africa, as was the case during years.

Kraume’s film is funded by grants from Germany and other private investors to the tune of N $ 130 million. He follows a young German anthropologist on a study mission in the midst of war, through the Deutsch Süd West Afrika, in an attempt to refute the theory of race. Her journey becomes that of trying to find a young Herero woman she met in Berlin, during a colonial exhibition.

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