NFC struggles to fund new film projects

By Rosalia David

THE Namibian Film Commission (NFC) executive secretary Florence Haifene has said that there is great appetite for storytelling in Namibia with the entity receiving way more requests for film projects, film marketing and development of the industry than it is able to meet.

In an interview with Confidente, Haifene said the NFC receives only N$3 million annually to develop the local film industry, despite its potentially massive positive impact on the economy. “We are thus looking at collaboration and partnerships to meet some of our strategic objectives,” she stated.

According to Haifene, for the 2019/2020 funding cycle announced last year, the NFC received five applications for feature film funding but could only select four. While 15 applications were submitted for the experienced short films category, only five made the cut. For the newcomer short film category, 10 applications were received but only five selected.

Applications for funding for documentaries were eight, of which four were chosen.

“The NFC is busy engaging film experts for the training of selected candidates and will announce the dates in June. Training workshops will take place in line with Covid-19 regulations.
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” She further said all applicants have been notified by email of their status and those that have not received any notification yet can reach out to NFCs office for assurance.

Although the NFC has selected the applicants already, she clarified that they have taken a different approach to the selection process.

“We have adopted a new approach whereby we take longer to assess projects before funds are granted to ensure filmmakers have gone through the necessary training to improve their work for market readiness. Only then do they pitch to a panel of experts, and there after the final selections are made and funded.
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So, we are looking at a time period of about eight months or so,” she said.