Similo calls for investment in local content

view original post

NAMIBIAN Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) director general Stanely Similo is calling on the corporate sector to invest in creating local content.

“If we as Namibians do not have our own content, we will be subjected to viewing content that is not us, and our stories will not be told,|” he says.
This follows on MultiChoice Namibia and the NBC earlier this year calling on local film producers to submit proposals reflecting authentic Namibian stories.
Over 200 entries were submitted, from which the best 22 were selected.
The first 13 scripts are expected to be produced towards the end of this year, Similo says.
Successful candidates will receive a budget of between N$350 000 and N$400 000 for their projects.
“The technical team probably had a hard time deciding which ideas to select. The films will be seen on the NBC and on the DStv Namibia platforms,” Similo says.
The criteria that were used during the selection included being Nambian and submitting work that has not been submitted before.
No specific theme is required, he says.
“We have an embedded value that women film-makers had to be prioritised in the selection process,” he says.
Similo says the arts need to be supported.
“There is great talent and creations which have to be showcased provided they are financially supported, however, funding remains a challenge,” he says.
Roger Gertze, the managing director of MultiChoice Namibia, says local content is key and the project is there to ignite the Namibian film industry.
“We do feel this project would be able to revive and ignite the film industry. Some productions that are winning awards would cement all initiatives underway to revive the industry.
“Namibia has been selected for a number of international films which have been produced locally, and we want to make sure Namibians get the economic benefit from it,” he says.
The deputy director of arts, M’kariko Amagulu, says the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture aims to help guide the art sector’s growth.
“We are looking for the possibility of setting up a fund that would enable us to give money to artists to create content.
“We have been discussing a number of ideas to create a conducive environment, together with various stakeholders, in supporting local content,” he says.
Namibia Film Commission senior media officer Nicola Muranda says the Namibian film industry has grown tremendously over the past decade – particularly in terms of standards and quality.
“This was definitely ascertained during the Covid-19 lockdowns when Namibian films performed extremely well in the international film festival circuits and online platforms over the last three years.
“The commission has also seen a great number of newcomers to the industry with innovative film concepts through annual short-film submissions and support requests.
“However, due to the effects of Covid-19 on private and public entities alike, the number of local productions that were picking up has reduced as we all battle to recover financially after the pandemic.
Muranda says the commission has the mandate to attract foreign productions to the country.
On the international front, big budget productions have understandably declined.
“The commission continues to promote our unique locations worldwide, while formalising our local industry to meet the standards of the international productions we receive,” she says.