Private Project

A Fire in Africa

The OvaHimba of the Namib Desert are descendants of the Ancient Egyptians from the era of Queen Nefertiti, and was once the richest nomadic tribe in Africa. Now, however, they find themselves on the brink of extinction. Trapped in the 1904 Herero-Nama war, they settled in the godforsaken wastes of Kaokoland after fleeing genocide at the hands of the German army and marauding Nama gangs. Having grown weary of the name 'OvaHimba', which means 'beggars', reigning Chief Nguzu believes their only hope for survival lies in the hands of his grandson, Omusuverua [the protagonist].

  • Gerhard Uys
  • Emil Kolbe
  • Gerhard Uys
  • Japan Mthembu
    Key Cast
    "Omusuverua Muharukua"
  • Rod Alexander
    Key Cast
    Snip en Rissiepit
  • Paulus Masuku
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 26, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    222 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    Namibia, South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Film, Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • London
    United Kingdom
    March 12, 2022
    LIFA Best Picture
Distribution Information
  • Filmhub
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Gerhard Uys

Gerhard Uys, adorned with an impressive array of seven academic qualifications, holds an unmatched distinction in South African cinema with his Ph.D. in Motion Picture Production. "A Fire in Africa" serves as a testament to his directorial brilliance, captivating discerning film enthusiasts. Dr Uys has also made significant contributions to scriptwriting, with his screenplay "Frankie's Flyer" published by Dizzy Emu in Hollywood, printed in Las Vegas and licensed to Grundy TV Australia, and distributed by Amazon Books.

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Director Statement

"A Fire in Africa" challenges traditional filmmaking by embracing an unconventional directorial style and an intellectually engaging approach. In the spirit of great directors like Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, and Sir David Lean, who foresaw the impact of television on high-art films, this film seeks to rekindle the dramatic power of cinema in a world dominated by small screens and lower-quality audio.
Rather than relying on character-driven storytelling, this narrative is visually oriented, employing a range of figurative techniques to captivate the audience. The film invites viewers to explore intricate metaphors, symbols, and motifs, such as the protagonist's search for water juxtaposed with the decay of structures in the ghost town of Kolmanskop. By doing so, we challenge our audience to decipher hidden meanings and embrace a thought-provoking cinematic experience.
"A Fire in Africa" is not just a film; it's an intellectual journey. It seamlessly weaves together a down-to-earth narrative with an enigmatic undercurrent, appealing to both mainstream and high-art enthusiasts. At its core, the film delves into the theme of human sustainability, symbolized by the executive toy "equilibrium" introduced towards the end, prompting viewers to search for deeper significance in the story.
Throughout the history of entertainment, creators have grappled with the question of whether to elevate artistic taste or cater to the desires of the audience for instant gratification. "A Fire in Africa" chose to break away from conventional techniques and styles, focusing on the extraordinary because it is the extraordinary that is truly dramatic. To prepare audiences for this unique experience, we have produced "The Making of A Fire in Africa" video, which not only explains some of our concepts but also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the filming process, including the challenging 90-second helicopter scene that required a full day to capture. You can watch this video at