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With the shelf life of local films expiring some time after a glitzy debut night and some cracks at international film festivals, Namibian film directors have been looking for a way to extend their products longevity while getting paid in the process.

Cut to AfricAvenir Namibia and its director, Hans-Christian Mahnke, who have recently secured a relationship with video-on-demand platform, AfricaFilms.TV, which will afford Namibian filmmakers the opportunity to sell their films online to a global market.

Founded by Senegal's Enrico Chiesa in close cooperation with Studio Sankara and the European Union's support programme for African, Caribbean and Pacific group states' cinema and audio visual sectors, AfricaFilms.TV is no less than a website where consumers can search for specific African films and either rent or download them for a fee.

"In terms of a filmmaker's profit, the rights share is pretty easy and it's all very transparent," says Mahnke.

"50 percent goes to AFTV and the rest is divided by the rights owners and their legal bindings with others. The contract is a non-exclusive VOD contract hence one can still sell film rights to other VOD channels at the same time. The territories are defined by the seller and one can choose the best option for oneself."

Boasting films by our own Simon Wilkie, Andrew Botelle, Tim Huebschle and with films by Perivi Katjavivi on the way, Namibian filmmakers join the ranks of what AfricaFilms.TV considers the best films, soaps, cinema, documentaries, concerts and shows from the whole continent and from the Diaspora.

"The aim is to reinforce the African film sector," say Mahnke. "To help African rights owners of film content to take hold of the digital distribution of their films, using VOD to extend their lifecycle and expand their reach to worldwide audiences."

In terms of local filmmakers wanting to get in on the action, Mahnke urges them to contact AfricAvenir.

"We act as agents; I can only sign the films which give us the go-ahead. The films we currently have signed with AFTV are 'Wanahepo - The Return of a Namibian Hero' by Per Sanden, 'Power Stone - The story of the Kwanyama Kingdom' and 'Born in Etosha', by Andrew Botelle, 'Testimony - Breaking the Wall of Silence' by Simon Wilkie and short films by Tim Huebschle, which are 'Beef', 'Looking for Iilonga', 'Rider without a Horse' and 'Orange Juice'.

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