South Africa and Namibia signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the Durban Intl. Film Festival, paving the way for stronger ties between the neighboring countries.
The MoU, which was signed by members of South Africa’s National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) and the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) June 21, provides a framework that will support and strengthen existing film bodies in both countries.
“The MoU is a gateway to firmer and solid collaborations between our two industries,” said NFC chairperson Obed Emvula.
The agreement will also offer a platform to promote co-productions between South African and Namibian producers, as well as facilitate foreign shoots, boost skills exchange, and promote the distribution and exhibition of local films between the two territories.
“Our mandate as the NFVF is to form solid partnerships,” said CEO Zama Mkosi. “Not just in South Africa, but across the African continent.”
In Durban last week, the NFVF’s Terrence Khumalo said that South African delegations have also been working toward strengthening ties with Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Burkina Faso, and are eyeing a co-production treaty with Kenya, three years after the countries signed an MoU.
For Namibia, the agreement will help shore up a young, emerging industry that stands to gain from its larger neighbor’s more developed biz.
Noting that nearly half the foreign productions coming to Namibia are from South Africa, Emvula said “the growth and the need to form firmer ties” was clear.
“The production service business is already an enabling pool to market great crew from South Africa and Namibia, as was evident with ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ a great beyond-border collaboration that resulted in six Academy Awards in 2016,” says Emvula.
“We hope this brings about increased opportunities [for] funding and human resource skills,” he says.