For the first time since its establishment, the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) will be offering bursaries to students wishing to pursue a career in filmmaking at any reputable institution in SADC.
For the past four years, the NFC has only funded third-year TV production students from the College of the Arts.
However, this year things are different, and local students can now choose to study courses including but not limited to pre-production, production, and post-production at any reliable institution in Southern Africa.
"It's really to ensure that we have skilled people within the industry to make sure that whoever is in the industry is really able to do the job and do it correctly. So we hope that with this bursary they come back and that they contribute to the industry at large, not only for their own good but also to add to more productions," explained Hertja Katjivena, a media officer at the commission.
Applicants must be Namibian citizens, have already been accepted at a credible institution anywhere in SADC, and show a need for financial assistance.
"We are primarily interested in students who would otherwise be unable to commit to an undergraduate study program, as well as individuals who are financially unable to pay for their own studies. Even if you are in a program and you have been finding the last two years within your program difficult and you are self-funded or whatever, this is an opportunity for you, and if for one reason or another, you cannot afford to continue your third year or second year because of some financial problems, you are open to applying."
The bursary will, among others, cover tuition fees and study materials, but other necessities like stipends and accommodation will depend on the number of applications received.
"We consider how much we can disburse and how many students we need to cover whatever needs there are. We will look within our budget. What could work? Should we fund two students to ensure that all their costs are covered, or should we fund three students and just give them tuition and let them figure out their own accommodations and daily stipends or whatever? We will really be guided by the number of applicants we receive, the kinds of programs they request, and the costs of those programs we receive from them."
About 20 applications have been received so far, and the closing date for applications is Thursday, January 19, 2023.