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Namibia mulls production incentive

The Namibian Film Commission (FC) is considering the introduction of incentives for international productions shooting in the southern African country, which is fast becoming a hot new international location.

Warner Bros’ Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, recently spent several months shooting in the country.

French director Jerome Salle’s Zulu, starring Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker, is also partly shooting in Namibia, which is also a popular location for TV shows, documentaries, music video and commercials.

The NFC has appointed international production consultant Martin Cuff to explore the introduction of incentives, which it hopes to have in place by 2014. Currently local production services companies can access a 15% VAT rebate when working with foreign shoots.

“We want to make the film industry part of the growth story in Namibia,” said NFC executive secretary Florence U Haifene. Located above South Africa and below Angola, the country’s locations include desert, savannah, mountains, forests and German colonial architecture.

The NFC was established in 2000 under Namibia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to develop a sustainable local film industry. It is attending Dubai Film Market for the first time.

“We want to introduce our culture and identify what are the opportunities here for us to explore,” said NFC commissioner Anna Shivute.

NFC set up a Film and Video Development Fund in 2010 that has so far financed ten short films from local directors. “Our industry is small but we’re developing skill sets through international productions,” Haifene said.

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