Namibian Oscars committee promise stellar future

Multiple sectors to benefit

12 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Namibia now boasts an 8-member Oscars Selection Committee, enabling the selection of local films for the Best International Feature Film Award category at the prestigious awards.

Committee chairperson Obed Emvula is a writer, actor and producer himself. Amongst others, he co-wrote and played the role of Shivago in the Namibian smash-hit film, Katutura.

Emvula says that he is over the moon at the establishment of this committee.

“The Oscars is a new platform for us as the Namibian film industry to say ‘eyeballs – here we are, look at us’.”

According to Emvula, Namibia has been readying itself for this opportunity for a long time, despite the sudden announcement of the committee.

“I think we have seen the success of so many Namibian films like Kapana, The White Line, Katutura and Baxu and The Giants, to name just a few. This truly is a celebration of so many Namibian films as well as the creatives who make these films,” he said.

There is no doubt that this development will grant Namibian films an opportunity on the world stage.

According to Emvula it also adds credibility to locally created films.

“We just needed a credible link; only a few countries have that link. This is a way for filmmakers to find a path to the Oscars, which we know to be a very competitive arena.”

He adds that this will also stimulate other sectors of the Namibian economy. “Art is a revenue puller. Many people visit Paris for example, because art has depicted it as a romantic location. We can do the same for Namibia. This also serves as a great platform to promote Namibia and Namibian products,” he said.

The committee members serving alongside Emvula have no shortage of film experience. He is joined by Tim Huebschle, a seasoned Namibian director who is known for projects like #LANDoftheBRAVEfilm and the Walking Forward docuseries.

Another committee member who needs little introduction, is singer-songwriter, actress and director, Lize Ehlers.

Abius Akwaake previously joined forces with Emvula on the 2007 film Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation.

Richard Pakleppa and Bridget Pickering previously worked as producers on Pakleppa’s 2012 piece The Taste of Rain. Pickering also has a colourful resumé as a producer, director and production manager.

Linda de Jager served as a long-time producer of hit TV-series Carte Blanche. They are joined by Madryn Cosburn.

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