Producer Dylan Voogt of South Africa’s Stage 5 Films and Germany’s Die Gesellschaft DGS are partnering on “The Girl from Wereldend,” a period film set in colonial-era Namibia.
The female-directed feature is an ambitious South Africa-Namibia-Germany co-production that reflects the southern African nation’s intent “to push the culture of collaboration,” according to the Namibia Film Commission’s Joel Haikali.
Speaking at the Berlinale Africa Hub on Tuesday, where the NFC announced the launch of a $1 million co-production fund for filmmakers of African descent, Haikali pointed to growing efforts to develop the Namibian industry by building bridges with its foreign counterparts.
“There’s so many incredible synergies that sometimes just need encouragement,” he said.
Namibia has attracted big-budget studio productions like “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “10,000 B.C.,” and “The Mummy,” drawn to the country’s diverse and dramatic landscapes. The local talent pool for servicing work is small but professional; larger productions benefit from the country’s ties with neighboring South Africa. Equipment that can’t be sourced locally is just a two-hour flight away. Plans to build Namibia’s first film studio are also in the works.
After Namibia and South Africa signed an MoU in 2016, Haikali said a co-production treaty could be formalized by early next year, when Namibia also hopes to introduce a rebate scheme. He also announced that the NFC began treaty talks with its German counterparts in Berlin this week, as the two countries look to build on their historical ties.