OYO has produced films that will premiere at the Garden Route International Film Festival in July

The Ombetja Yehinga Organization’s (OYO) latest productions, “Be a Lady” and “Be a Man”, will have their world premiere at the Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF) in July in South Africa.

The director and founder of OYO, Dr Philippe Talavera, explained on Friday that the two films were first poems before the OYO invited personalities to bring the poems to life, converting them into two short films by seven minutes.

Speaking about the poems, Talavera said the poems are powerful and often sarcastic, but they are all based on what young people hear almost daily. “Unless we change the narrative, we will not achieve gender equality and win the fight against gender-based violence and I hope that hearing these worlds put back to back, young people will start thinking about what it means to them,” Talavera said.

“The films will be shown from July 12-16 at GRIFF and later they will have their Namibian premiere at the Goethe Institute on August 13 as part of the ‘Caring Namibian Man’ photo project and the photos and clips will then be used in schools to discuss issues of masculinity-femininity and the meaning of gender quality in a modern Namibia,” Talavera explained.

Talavera added that it is a great honor for them to have been selected by GRIFF. “It is an exciting annual festival in South Africa and this year they are taking over a physical festival in Mosselbay and we feel privileged to have been selected alongside some quite exciting new work from SADC and beyond,” said he added.

The films were produced and directed by Philippe Talavera, with Joshua Homateni as director of photography, Vincent Mboku for editing, Una Hoebel as make-up artist and Ponti Dikuua for music and were made possible thanks to the support of the Embassy of La Finland in Namibia.