Namibian film Kapana this week also jumped onto the winning bandwagon like medallists Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, beauty pageant queen Chanique Rabe, as well as the chess Olympiad team when it won the Best Narrative Feature for 2021 at the DC Black Film Festival.
The DC Black Film Festival (DCBFF) is a USA film fiesta dedicated to exhibiting quality films, web series and television content by and about people of African descent.
They support emerging artists striving to add diversity to the images, tastemakers and storytellers working in the entertainment industry. The DCBFF aim to play an integral role in discovering, celebrating and helping films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, media and public.
“I am so proud of this award. Thank you DC Black Film Festival for featuring Namibia’s first LGBTQI+ film and awarding us this honour, especially as you are a mainstream film festival,” posted Phillipe Talavera, the director of Kapana.
Talavera told VIBEZ! this is recognition coming from a mainstream festival and not one that is specifically addressing LGBTQI+, and the fact that they selected Kapana means a lot.
As an inclusive festival, the only stipulation for submitting is that one or more of the above the line crew is of African descent.
DCBFF seeks to ensure that at least one of the key decision-makers or performers in a film are of African descent, while keeping the door open for artists of all ethnicities to submit.
“The feedback I got from the festival is they were impressed with the cast gelling together and how the story was told. They were further impressed by the ensemble, the entire cast and how believable they were in telling the love story. They found the story moving, and it is special when such feedback comes,” commented Talavera.
He stated that they don’t do projects to get rewards; they do them to make a difference.
“But it is always nice when you are being recognised for the work that you do and when this work is valued beyond Namibia. It’s quite special, and that is what Kapana did,” said Talavera.
Kapana has been showcased in many festivals across the world, including countries such as India, Peru, Canada, Austria, Italy and Sweden.
Directed by activist Talavera and promoted by the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation, Kapana is the first LGBTQ+ film produced in Namibia.
The protagonists are George – an emancipated and worldly insurer – and Simeon, who sells barbecue meat (kapana) in typical open markets in Windhoek.
A seemingly impossible love story that will teach spectators to overcome prejudices and discrimination in the name of a refreshing lightness never superficial nor trivialising.
One of the main actors, Adriano Visagie, told VIBEZ! it is an overwhelming feeling and he didn’t expect to win, especially with the many distractions such as the pandemic and acting opportunities not being as available as before. He said boundaries were pushed – and today, people are looking for ways to get hold of the film.
“This film is the reason why I won my second international award as an actor. It’s big for the country because it is opening so many doors in the right direction for the Namibian film industry, and the entire cast was overwhelmed. Our athletes and Chanique Rabe winning shows that we are working hard,” said Visagie.
He further said the win is big for Namibian cinema – and the Namibian Film Commission shares this sentiment.
“Do we smell an Oscar coming soon; we are just keeping our fingers crossed, because the work Phillippe does speaks for itself,” said Visagie.
Kapana is appearing in different film festivals, including South Africa, and other states like Nepal, Ghana, Mexico, Germany and Nigeria.