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The White Line eyes the Oscars

2021-11-26  Paheja Siririka

The White Line eyes the Oscars
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Local film, ‘The White Line’ has been entered into the 2022 Oscars awards’ general category, making it the first Namibian production to successfully compete for the international academy awards.

The Oscars are regarded as the most prestigious and significant awards in the entertainment industry worldwide. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the awards are international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements, as assessed by the Academy’s voting membership. 

Director and producer of ‘The White Line’, Desiree Kahikopo-Meiffret told VIBEZ! yesterday the fact that the film was submitted and met the criteria is a win, and the team is overjoyed to be at the Oscars.

“The Oscars is what the world cup is to football; it’s a big platform for films to compete and to be shown at the world stage. We are competing against big Hollywood movies which were released this year, and it has come to this point now. It’s an exciting journey,” she shared telephonically from Los Angeles.

Kahikopo-Meiffret said the Namibian film industry is growing, and the fact that ‘The White Line’ is at the Oscars, is enabling the industry players to create the idea that it is possible to be at the Oscars.

“This is an opportunity to invite collaborations and help the industry grow. Our corporate world should see that the industry is growing and funding is needed.”  

She added that the industry players need to ensure that more research is done before embarking on production.

“Way back in 2017, when Girley (Jazama), Michael (Pulse) and I started, we promised to not just make a film that is going to be on the shelves; we said we are going to submit it to the Oscars and that is something creatives need to thoroughly explore; come up with the types of festivals we can submit it to. They need to do a lot of research,” said Kahikopo-Meiffret.

The film at the Oscars is not only about the industry; tourism is also coming into play; multiple industries that can be affected,said Kahikopo-Meiffret.

Set in 1963, ‘The White Line’ tells the story of illicit love between a black domestic worker and a white police officer after the Old Location uprising. The two subconsciously went against society’s norms and found solace in love in an era where love was restricted to you only loving your kind. 

The storyline is solid and consistent throughout. The lead actors Girley Jazama and Jan-Barend Scheepers, including the rest of the cast, embodied their roles and did it so exceptionally well.

The film has also enabled Jazama to scoop the 2020 Sotigui best actor in Southern Africa Award as well as the Sotigui D’Or award for her role as Sylvia Kamutjemo. The 100-minute historical drama features multiple languages: Otjiherero, Afrikaans, and English, and have English subtitles.

2021-11-26  Paheja Siririka

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