Culture Spotlight Featuring Thanky Hamutenya (South Africa Edition)
Updated: Jun 18
Thanky is a 23-year-old Namibian filmmaker, writer, and director. Thanky has been telling stories since he was 6 years old and at the age of 12, he started writing hand-drawn comic books and short novels. However, it was after he watched Before Sunrise at 14 that he decided he wanted to be a part of the film industry. He has always been passionate about telling intricate stories that explore the daily struggles of the African youth as well as the hidden darkness caused by our own insecurities.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival South Africa? This was my first ever major film festival so I was very excited when I got in and I have to say I was not at all disappointed. I wasn’t able to make it to every event due to work constraints, but the ones that I went to, I got a chance to learn more about other films and the process of making them, which made me appreciate my fellow filmmakers even more.
Why are stories from the culture important? I think stories from the culture are very important because no one else can really best know how to tell our stories and make them relatable enough to be engaging. We have to be the forefront storytellers of our own culture as we are the only ones who know its truth.
What projects are you working on now? I am currently working on a short 30-minute film on abortion (which is illegal in my country), this will be the longest film I’ll ever make so I am kind of anxious but excited at the same time. The project is inspired by Eliza Hittman’s latest film “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”.
Why do you think the Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival South Africa is important? I think it’s very important because it is one of the best and few festivals that actually pander to African and Black storytelling. Also, the fact that the festival is free in South Africa helps quite a lot, because the advantages of being a black African storyteller sometimes is that you don’t really have the money to apply to the most prestigious festivals and showcase your film.