Philippe Talavera was born in France where he also completed his studies. He has a PhD in Veterinary Sciences, a DEES in Human Biochemistry and he studied performing Arts. He went to live in South Africa in 1995 and Namibia (where he still resides and is a permanent resident) in 1997. He created the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation in 2001.
Founder and Director of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation, Philippe Talavera has worked in Namibia on HIV prevention and education programmes through the arts since 2000. As Director, he has led the organisation in developing its creative programmes with both school-going and out-of-school youths. He has pioneered the use of IEC media and outreach programmes, including OYO’s youth magazine, OYO, young, latest and cool, national and regional youth tours, and videos and DVDS of the numerous plays and films OYO has produced.
As Artist director of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation, Philippe is in charge of the artistic vision of projects the organisation embarks on. As choreographer and director, he has produced many works, some of whom have received international acclaim. He has developed a unique way to communicate complex issues to people on the ground, yet also appealing to policy makers and decision makers.
Talavera’s video work includes:
Kapana (2020), winner Free to be Me Award (Roze Filmdagen, Netherlands), best narrative feature African Diaspora Cinema Festival (Italy), best narrative feature DC Black Film Festival (USA), best narrative feature Black Star International Film Festival (Ghana), best international film PRIDE Queer Film Festival (Australia), winner Best director at the North Eastern International Film Festival (UK), winner Kim Renders Memorial Award for outstanding performance (Reelout queer film festival, Canada), runner up best international film, audience award (Out on Film, USA), Official Selection Pan African Film Festival 2021), Kukuri (2018), about Child Marriage, nominated as best movie Southern Africa at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2019, official selection Garden route international film festival South Africa and Ananse film festival Ghana. Salute! shot in correctional services (October 2017) winner Best Actor Southern Africa at the Sotigui Awards 2019 (Burkina Fasso), nominated as best movie Southern Africa at the AMVCA 2018 and presented at the AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam (July 2018). Pap and milk (2016), the mini-series my best interest: episode 1: left alone and episode 2: stinking boy (2012 winner best female actor at the 2014 Namibia Theatre and Film Award), episode 3: why can’t I be like everybody else? (2013) and episode 4 crippled (2014), now that I can talk about it (2013, winner best male actor at the 2014 Namibia Theatre and Film Award),Sex and Chocolate (2011) and Teddy Bear love (2011), winner of the special youth prize at the Lola Screen festival 2011,We were young, produced end 2009 and released beginning 2010, winner of the second best youth film at the Lola Screen festival 2010, Kenya and nominated best editor at the Windhoek Film Festival 2010, A Crack in the Wall (2008), which deals with the trauma of rape, selected for the Lola Screen festival, Kenya and the ZIFF festival, Zanzibar. Video versions have also been produced of Five Minutes of Pleasure (2007) (featured as an official selection of the Wild Cinema Windhoek International Film Festival (nomination best film, best actor B. Ochurub and best script) and the 5th Amakula Kampala International Film Festival); The Hostel Monologues (2006); and the mini-series Love Can Cry (2002) (official selection of the 2003 Festival Panafricain du Cinema et de la Television de Ouagadougou (FESPACO)).
Talavera’s documentary work includes:
Adapting to a changing climate-The case of Ongwediva Constituency (Oshana region), on commission by UNAM with funding from SouthSouthNorth, 2021Namibia’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution, on commission by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism with funding from UNDP and GIZ, 2020Various programs with OYO youth groups: My sugar daddy (2012), What were you thinking? (2011), Make a move (2010 – winner of the special youth prize at the Lola Screen festival 2011), Because of them (2009), Standing Together (2007); Be Excellent (2006); and Maturwisa (2005) (various funding)