African MIPDOC Trailblazer


South African filmmaker Karin Slater has been chosen as the African MIPDOC Trailblazer for 2008. MIPDOC, the premiere documentary market, runs from 5 to 6 April in Cannes, France.

Duing this third annual MIPDOC Trailblazer event, Reed MIDEM and recognised associations and festivals from around the world will highlight pioneering work in the documentary field, promoting regional talents and trends, recognising the very best in creativity and innovation.

Joining Slater will be Trailblazers from Greece, South Korea, Japan and Canada. Slater was selected by the Encounters Documentary Festival, who form part of the Trailblazer global jury.

Slater’s films have not only screened at Encounters but also at other major festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Hot Docs and Africano Film Festival in Milan to name a few. Her interest in the environment is evident in her films “Prenessa” and “The Dolphins” (2006) and “Onse Water” (“Our Dear Water”) (2006). She has fashioned lyrical, exquisitely framed portraits of extraordinary ordinary people in their natural habitats as exemplified in the humane “Meaning of the Buffalo” (2004) and “From Nkoko…with Love” (2005).

Along with the four other Trailblazers, Slater has been invited to attend MIPDOC and utilise the range of networking opportunities available to them. The other Trailblazers are: Rea Apostilides (Greece), Daniel Cross (Canada), Bo Hwan Ku (South Korea) and Yufuko Kuroda (Japan).

Encounters is proud of its association with the Trailblazers, MIPDOC and Screen Africa (the Reed Midem African representative). “We feel that the International Trailblazers Tribute is an important platform to promote African talent to the International Television business community,’ say the Encounters team. (See full report in March issue of Screen Africa)

Encounters, a partner of Reed MIDEM, is hosting the 10th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival. The Festival will showcase films from around the world with a special focus on South African work. In celebration of its 10th edition, Encounters promises a highly entertaining and stimulating line up of films. Encounters will be held in Johannesburg from the 19 to 29 June, and Cape Town from 3 July to 13 July 2008.


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