Namibian film Hairareb scoops two SOTAMBE Awards

WINDHOEK, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Dantagos Jimmy-Melani, executive producer of the Namibian film Hairareb, expressed her gratitude to the African audience for their appreciation after the film won two awards at the 2022 SOTAMBE International Film and Arts Festival which took place on Sept. 24 in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.

Jimmy-Melani was on hand to collect the Best Feature Film Southern Africa for herself and Ellen Ernst, and the Best Director Award for Oshoveli Shipoh.

Upon her return to Namibia Monday, Jimmy-Melani said that the feedback from the African audience shows that there's a commonality in storytelling that resonates across the continent. "Many of them whom I have engaged with through Hairareb are seeing a Namibian film for the first time."

"They continue to express their excitement and appreciation for the way in which Namibian culture is depicted through the film," she said.

The event was held by the SOTAMBE Film Institute, a Zambian institution established in 2014, focusing on supporting the film industry in Zambia and Southern African Region. In a local language, SOTAMBE means "come and watch."

More than 80 participating filmmakers attended the spectacle, which showcased over 80 films from across the continent along with press briefings, Master Classes, networking cocktails, workshops and art exhibitions.

Hairareb is based on a book by August Bikeur, previously performed as a radio play in the Damara Nama language, a non-Bantu language widely spoken in southern Africa and rich with click consonants, and later developed into a script by Aina Ligola Kwedhi.

The tale is told through the eyes of one of Namibia's oldest and most deeply rooted tribes, capturing love during a time of devastating drought and hence a fitting representation of Namibian cinema for both local and international audiences.

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