Filming activities should be expanded to all: Emvula

14 Apr 2015 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 14 APR (NAMPA) – Chairperson of the Namibia Film Commission, Obed Emvula says there is a need to expand film activities to the regions of Namibia to train people in leveraging their resources for film and television content.
Emvula said this on Tuesday in his presentation on challenges and achievements of the Namibian film industry at a five-day Cultural Heritage and Creative Arts National Conference, which is currently underway in the capital.
He said currently, the main activities of the film industry are in Windhoek and Swakopmund, while the country's cultural and heritage assets are spread across the 14 regions; a situation that he added is not sustainable.
The well-known filmmaker explained that the film industry has a positive effect on tourism by increasing place recognition and has the potential to lift boundaries and connect people to a collective identity of heritage through visualization.
The film industry, he added, “Plays a primary role in building and promoting our national identity but without engaging the regions, we risk creating products in isolation and with no real market for our products”.
According to Emvula, cultural and creative industries, including film are centre stage in the ongoing efforts to ensure social cohesion and nation building, as well as the economic empowerment of the people of Namibia.
He noted the absence of a territorial distributor that is responsible for the marketing and circulation of films to local consumers, including cinemas, television and new media distribution technologies such as Video on Demand (VOD).
According to him, this makes it difficult for Namibians to know what local products are available at which store or site, while international producers have an advantage with their huge marketing budgets, selling their products cheaply to broadcasters and licensors such as DStv.
On the unlawful distribution of films, the Namibian filmmaker said many persons involved in piracy might not even be aware that what they are doing is stealing.
The conference, which commenced on Monday, is being held under the theme: 'Arts and Culture is the Seed for Social Change and Transformation,' and is aimed at developing a national strategy for the development of arts, culture and heritage.
It will end on Friday, 17 April 2015.