Behind the scenes with ‘Life’

Movie Life Producer Gustav Nuuyoma. Photo:

In an exclusive interview with, ‘Life’ director Gustav Nujoma provides an intimate glimpse behind the scenes of his latest film.

‘Life’ tells the story of a young couple grappling with the harsh realities of living in Windhoek.

Their journey tragically reaches a peak in a series of poor decisions and due to the influence of negative surroundings.

Nujoma says the aim was never just to evoke emotion, but to share a compelling story that demanded to be told.

“We had other projects in line, but sidelined some of those projects to film ‘Life’. So it really shows how important this story is,” he says.

The film was shot in Windhoek, specifically Havana, and faced a few significant challenges during production.

“I remember one time the electricity went off during the shoot. In Havana, electricity is not available in most parts. We had to wait for at least 15 minutes. The actors even went out of the mood, and we had to reset everything,” Nujoma says.

Despite these hurdles, he says he found comfort in the familiarity of working with a few seasoned teams.

“It was easier to know who I was working with and what the directors wanted, because we have worked on a few productions before,” he says.

The film stars Monica ‘TopCheri’ Pineas and Carter Hartz, with Hartz bringing depth to his character from his previous role in the short local film ‘BriefCase’.

“We did auditions for all the roles, but Carter and Monica were specifically chosen in terms of who fits the role. For instance, some characters needed to be slimmer or taller,” Nujoma explains.

Half of the cast members are locals who have attended local arts institutions, such as the College of the Arts.

Their dedication and passion for the project were evident throughout the production, Nujoma says.

“I really appreciate the commitment of the crew. When we initially wanted to release the movie, we realised we were not happy with the product. We ended up going back on set to do reshoots,” he says.

Funding for the film was made available in 2022 after it was pitched to the executive directors of Optimistic Pictures Studios in 2021.

“We thought we could do a few more majors. I wanted to do more, but due to the limited budget, we couldn’t do that,” Nujoma says.

Despite these constraints, he says he hopes the film would change viewers’ perceptions of therapy and mental health.

To aspiring film-makers, Nujoma offers some advice: “At Optimistic Media, we always welcome people. We welcome people to come here and ask any advice or anything about how to get into the industry.

“We may not be able to give you an opportunity, but we can always give you advice or direction.”

Nujoma says his company, Optimistic Media, has more projects in the pipeline.

As a fully locally owned media firm based at Katutura, the company is committed to embracing and nurturing local talent, he says. –

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News