Encounters announced the winners of the 6th Jameson Audience Awards 2006 on Monday 7 August. This is a popular vote by the audience of the Festival in Johannesburg and Cape Town and administered by Professor of Statistical Sciences, Tim Dunne.
Best South African Film: Men of Gold directed by Vincent Moloi
Men of Gold
Leonard and Arthur have left behind their life of privilege to hustle on the streets of Johannesburg, selling jewellery, fixing shop tills and begging from passers-by. Their friendship is all they have and they joyfully acknowledge that they are just centimetres from hitting rock bottom. But when Arthur goes missing, although he makes an attempt to find him, Leonard resolutely sticks to his routine. Johannesburg was the City of Gold, but now the fake gold in this city is a means to an end for a poor, white hustler spouting his warped wisdom on the street.
Best International Film: Mad Hot Ballroom directed by Marilyn Agrelo
Mad Hot Ballroom
In New York, eleven-year-olds from all walks of life, communities and opportunities compete in the annual Schools Ballroom Dancing Competition. This uplifting and enchanting film charts the first tentative and awkward dance steps of three disparate classes from Primary Schools hailing from trendy Tribeca, uptown drug-infested Washington Heights and Italian/Asian Brooklyn. With the competition looming ten weeks away, the classmates learn to rumba, meringue, tango, foxtrot, to swing and deport themselves with grace. Some of the kids are troubled and rebellious and it is a joy to see them claim the spotlight with such finesse, but the strength in this endearing film comes from its astute glimpse into the mind and aspirations of vital, straight-talking and engaging average New York kids on the verge of adolescence.
Encounters is pleased to confirm record attendance figures of 16 584 for 2006. This represents a 30% increase from the 2005 edition.
Encounters will be releasing various titles from the 2006 festival on DVD. If you would like to receive information on them or have any specific inquiry regarding any titles from the festival please contact Nazeer Ahmed on firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2006 sponsors and partners of Encounters are the European Union’s Conference Workshop and Cultural Initiative (CWCI), the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Department of Arts and Culture, the French Embassy, the British Council, the Swedish Film Institute, Holland Film, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Nu Metro Theatres, Open Networks and Exclusive Books Fanatics.