While preparing the premiere of its latest film, ‘Kapana’, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) - a Namibian Trust aiming at creating social awareness using the Arts – just received the news that ‘Kukuri’ has been selected as part of the Garden Route International Film Festival 2020 (GRIFF) in South Africa. ‘Kukuri’ had previously been nominated as best film Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewer Choice Award 2020.
GRIFF is an independent International Film Festival offering quality films across a number of genres and offering pure entertainment for filmgoers. It is a permanent feature on the Knysna events calendar for visiting professionals, amateurs, local, national and international film enthusiasts and makers.
Due to the Covid19 Situation, the festival converted to a two-part festival: Virtual Online Festival 21st September 2020 to 11th October 2020 and physical screenings in towns in the Garden Route as Drive-In Cinemas to adhere to social distancing measures. Town visited are Calitzdorp George, Knysna, Ladismith, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Riversdale and Sedgefield.
The festival still aims at allowing networking, events and activities to maximise selected films exposure on a virtual platform. Details will be communicated soon.
Kukuri is a young girl from the Kavango region who dreams of becoming a lawyer. Her dreams get shattered when her grand-mother starts plotting to get her married to the local brick-layer. Philippe Talavera, director and producer, said ‘it is hard-breaking to know that in 2020, in Namibia, child marriage still happens in some communities and some girls’ dream are crushed on the name of culture and traditions. Every child – both boys and girls – deserve the same chance. It is time for child marriage to end. I am thrilled the film will now be presented at this prestigious festival in neighbouring South Africa. I hope ‘Kukuri’ will keep giving hope to girls who find themselves trapped in such situations.’
The film, shot on location, is in the local languages, with subtitles. It stars George Antonio (seen in ‘Salute!’) and a local cast led by Hanty Kashongo as Kukuri, Nangana Mushavanga, Diyanni Longwani, Renah Xuesom and Mbango Munyima. It was produced and directed by Philippe Talavera, with Bernd Curshmann as director of photography, Kauna Hoabeb as sound, Nyandee Mbarandongo as first assistant director and rehearsals director and Una Hoebel as makeup and special effects. Award winner Haiko Boldt did the editing and Ponti Dikuua produced the soundtrack.