While COVID-19 continues to wreck the global film industry, filmmakers around the came together through the power of the lens to share their story.
Currently, the film industry, like the tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 as a film set usually requires a lot people close to each other and actors touching as they act out scenes.
The fruit of this collaboration was a short film called Alone Together where Directors from all around the world shot themselves and their families while they were in lockdown. The film premiered on 15 May and recently featured on the Maya Angelou Foundation Instagram TV. It has so far gathered nearly 30 000 views on Youtube and features a voice over from Maya Angelou’s son Guy Johnson.
Namibian filmmaker, Inna Goroh who took part in the film, representing Windhoek, said “A fellow film maker from London, who I have worked with in the past, reached out to me regarding a short film being worked on by a Director, about the global Lockdown. He sent me the current edit at the time to give me a sense of what kind of clips I could contribute to the film.”
He said when Namibia was suggested, he initially viewed it as helping a fellow film maker out but after watching the edit, “I felt like I was contributing to something cool. We as film makers are all in lockdown but we still get to create something cool together. It’s a very inspiring idea/ concept by Andrew Delaney. Hopefully those who watch it and have no idea where Windhoek is, would look it up and happen upon the incredible vistas our country has to offer. It’s also cool to get fellow film makers around the world aware of a place called Windhoek.”
The Namibian arts sector has not been spared from COVID-19. This week the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture announced a budget of N$5.5 million from its national budget as relief fund for the entertainment sector.
Goroh noted that many film makers, himself included, had projects lined up that had to be put on hold and eventually canceled.
“Many make their livelihood through the facilitation of international production and with the borders closed, that stream has been shut. Even internal film production has been affected as film makers who relied on companies now see the companies cutting spending to be able to stay afloat. The restriction on the number of people who may gather at a single location has also affected internal productions. A few film makers have tried to cope by using the film to learn, work on personal projects or really rest and spent time with family,” he said.
Andrew Delaney, who directed the film and curated the content from the film makers, said it was inspired by Angelou’s poem “Alone” which is about loneliness and togetherness and Alone Together itself is an intimate portrait of a world in lockdown, a montage of tiny moments that make up this new reality and although the architecture we live in might differ, but the impact is everywhere.
“The project really started as a way for me to keep busy and sane. It gave me a sense of purpose and a way to see my friends faces. As it grew, something else happened, I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. Through this I’ve met film-makers from all over the world – what united us was the desire to do something positive with our time and the joy of working as a team. A kind of connectedness that wouldn’t have happened without the need for isolation,” he said.
Delaney is a British director who has made music videos for George Michael, Lauryn Hill, Maroon 5, the Spice Girls and more. He co-directed the 2019 feature film ‘Love Is Blind”, starring Shannon Tarbet, Matthew Broderick, Aidan Turner, Chloe Sevigny and Benjamin Walker.