OUT OF AFRICA
Ever since he made the independent classic Killer of Sheep Charles Burnett has had more than his share of tough times finding financing for his films. But this news story in Variety may detail his strangest career moment yet: the crew shut-down of his latest feature, Where Others Wavered due to lack of payment by the government of Namibia, where the film is shooting.
From the article:
“Principal photography started April 25 in the capital of Windhoek on the movie about former freedom fighter Sam Nujoma ( played by “Alias” thesp Carl Lumbly), who helped Namibia gain independence from South Africa in 1989 and who stood down as president last year. The Namibian government is backing the feature, which also stars Danny Glover.
However, filming ground to a halt Tuesday — the day after Nujoma and Prime Minister Nahas Angula visited the set to officially launch production on the N$50 million ($8.5 million) movie.
The government allocated $2.5 million initially and had expected the Pan-African Center of Namibia (Pacon), which is overseeing production, to supply the balance.
However, Pacon announced in April that the government — not Pacon — would provide a further $6 million.
Producer Abius Akwaake blamed the cash-flow problems on public holidays and the difficulty in tracking down government officials to authorize payments. He hoped difficulties would be resolved by the weekend.
The coin has been a sore point for some Namibians concerned about the amount of money the government of this poor country is spending on a film promoting itself, and about possible misuse of funds.”