The art of filmmaking is a profession very much in its infancy in Botswana.
Stereotypically, it is not a vocation that the average Motswana would consider as a potential, or even realistic career path.
26-year-old Linnet Vass however, is not your average Motswana.
In 2014, shortly after completing his honours degree in Digital Film and Television production at Limkokwing University, the Jakalas native decided to follow his dreams, taking his destiny firmly into his own hands.
Using the money he had originally saved for his graduation ceremony, Vass chose instead to spend it on something more worthwhile – financing his own company.
And thus Vass Digital Plus was born.
As well as filmmaking, the multimedia company specialises in video production, photography and graphic design.
‘‘We offer services such as designing posters, flyers, compact and digital versatile disk (dvd) sleeves for different artists,’’ says Vass, enthusiastically telling Voice Money that business is thriving.
‘‘I have worked with high-profile artists, like MMP family, where I did Lebala ka nna music video in 2014. I also work with models, different companies for videos and people getting married. Our services are offered at affordable prices which is why we flourish,” stresses Vass, noting that at present he has three employees, including a graphic designer, video editor and a camera operator.
The enterprises’ offices are currently based at Vass’ block 9 home in Gaborone, although plans are imminent to relocate to a bigger location.
Whilst his company’s success shows that Vass has an eye for business, his passion undoubtedly remains filmmaking.
“I developed a love for the film industry when I was in Naledi Senior School because of a show I used to watch on SABC called Precious Africa. This instilled within me a deep desire to eventually venture into not just video production but also related fields, such as photography and graphic design.”
“What prompted me to start the business, just to name one, is a movie made in South Africa called Tsotsi. It is a good film which even won an Oscar award,’’ reveals Vass, adding that it is his ultimate dream to one day win an Oscar himself.
Vass is potentially in the process of turning those dreams into a reality, proudly revealing that he has just started work on what he describes as ‘his big project’.
“I am currently in the pre-production stage on a full movie that will be filmed in Gaborone. It is about a young, smart teenager who gets lured into dealing drugs by a trusted family member. His life gets turned upside down when his actions inadvertently lead to the death of his mother. It is a great movie that all Batswana will be proud off and will also create employment for the youth in the creative industry,” says the filmmaker excitedly,
According to Vass, the key traits one needs to succeed in the filmmaking industry include: creativity, patience, an alert mind, determination, the ability to write and finally, an appetite for hard work.
Fortunately they are all qualities that Vass seems to possess in abundance.