Oshi: the passionate storyteller
Oshosheni Hiveluah is a determined young woman on a mission - steadily building a career as a filmmaker. Born in Luanda, Angola, during the liberation struggle, Oshi - as she is affectionately known - has also lived in the former German Democratic Republic.
She says it’s not easy to be a filmmaker, but she is motivated by the fact that she wants to bring something different to the genre.
After returning to Namibia in 1990, she completed her high school career in Windhoek and studied further in Cape Town. It is when she returned in 2004 that she decided to take up filmmaking on a full-time basis. She says although it can be tough making ends meet, she is passionate about her craft.
“I am a Namibian female with a passion for storytelling, and not just through films, but I find other mediums such as theatre, dance, poetry, visual arts and music equally exciting. For the most part I am a film director and screenwriter. Most of the time, people are like: 'Really that's what you do? Do you make money from doing that?' Lol. If you persevere and dedicate and learn that obstacles are just that - obstacles - and not an impenetrable iron door, you find a way to make money from your passion,” she says.
“Sometimes it works out sometimes not so well, but for the most part artists just need to get in tune with their business side and learn how to market themselves and their art. I am still in the process of learning and mastering that, because art in essence is subjective, but there are some things we all like, because we see a part of ourselves in them,” she adds.
Her hard work has already off, as she walked away with an award at last year’s Film and Theatre awards for her film 100 bucks. “Aaaah shooting 100 Bucks taught me so much. My biggest challenge was working with the actors and ensuring that first-time actors, experienced actors and theatre actors were all performing relatively equally in terms of the range. They needed to be on the same level. There was no room for some actors to outshine others, because everyone needed to carry the storyline during the time that particular character had the 100 dollar note,” she says.
“The shoot for me is always the most exciting, but also nerve-wrecking, because you know you spend so much money in one day and you have to get the shots to be able to tell the story that you want to tell. You don't want to end up in the edit suite with not enough material. I learnt a lot about what not to do and what I can do better, but for the most part the biggest lesson for me was: 'Don't compromise on your art ever!'” she adds.
This and that about Oshi
Oshosheni Hiveluah is a Namibian writer/filmmaker, based in Windhoek. She recently made her directorial short-film debut with Cries at Night, a film about reconciliation in modern Namibia. Cries at Night made its premiere at The Academy of the Arts in Berlin in February of this year. It has also shown at the 18th PAN AFRICAN FILM & ARTS FESTIVAL in Los Angeles. Oshosheni is currently busy with research, before she embarks on shooting her first full-length feature.