The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), a Namibian non-profit aiming to creating social awareness through the arts, is set to premiere its latest film, titled ‘Lukas’ at Ster Kinekor Grove Mall on 1 February.
Over the years, the organisation has produced internationally acclaimed movies, such as ‘Salute!’, the first ever Namibian film nominated as best film in southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, as well as ‘Kukuri’ and ‘Kapana’, the winners of major awards on four different continents.
OYO’s films aim to spark debate and discuss issues often not addressed in the public space.
‘Lukas’ addresses the struggles and triumphs of children living and working in the streets.
The film is directed by the founder of OYO, Philippe Talavera, and is based on a script written by Mikiros Garoes.
Talavera says the film offers a poignant exploration of the lives of street children, providing a raw and authentic portrayal of their challenges and the unwavering spirit that propels them forward.
“It’s based on interviews done with 17 children and young people currently living on the streets of Windhoek, and four young people who have been in conflict with the law due to their lives on the streets,” he says.
The film is fictional, but based on facts, he says.
It features young actors Alejandro Cooper, Hernandes Goanatgosi and Treazurique Titus.
“It sheds light on the harsh realities street children face and questions how society both fails and, at times, exploits such children,” Talavera says.
Hard and unapologetic, the film is also profoundly human, fostering empathy and understanding, he says.
“This was a massive production,” says Talavera, who worked with a cast of 50 people.
He says they were lucky to have some of Namibia’s greatest names in the industry in some key roles, such as Dawie Engelbrecht, Roya Diehl, Mara Baumgartner, Lucky Pieters and Felicity Celento, as well as in the many cameos of Adriano Visagie, Senga Brokerhoff, Sven-Eric Muller, Lize Ehlers, Armas Shivute Armas, Herman ‘Kassi’ Hausiku, and Nadula Hainane.
“The film was the hardest film I ever shot, since we shot it during the coldest two weeks of July. But everybody worked so hard to ensure the success of this project,” the director says.
He says the premiere will be an evening of emotion, reflection, and a shared commitment to making a difference.
“The red carpet will be rolled out and will be an opportunity for all to take photos with the stars. It will be followed by the screening of ‘Lukas’.
“A Q&A with the director and cast after the screening will provide for deeper insight into the making of the film and the social issues it addresses.”
Following the premiere, the film will screen at Ster Kinekor Grove Mall for a week.
Tickets for the premiere can be purchased from www.webtickets.com.na or at webticket outlets at Pick’n Pay.
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