Encounters line-up


The 2008 edition of the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival marks its 10 anniversary and features a record number of local documentaries (24). It takes place in Johannesburg (Hyde Park NuMetro) from 19 to 29 June and in Cape Town (V&A Waterfront NuMetro) from 3 to 13 July.

Films in the programme, which come from all over the world, cover a broad range of topics such as music, human rights, justice, the environment, popular culture, ideals of female beauty, surfing, love and survival. There are 11 world premieres.

“We are very proud that Encounters has reached its 10- year mark and that our passion for documentaries is shared by our growing audience. Encounters will continue to showcase significant films that the local public has not seen before and serve as the meeting point for documentary filmmakers, students, broadcasters and funders,’ said Mandisa Zitha, the festival’s director.

Among the films to be screened are Zulu Surf Riders directed by Carlos Francisco and Andre Cronje, Courting Justice by Jane Lipman, Uit my kop uit by Jeanette Jegger, You Chuse by Anita Khanna and Rehad Desai, 30 seconds by Kekeletso Khena, The Beneficiary by Themba Monare, Kabelo’s Zeroid Xpress by Thapelo Maleka, and five short films that are the result of the SABC and Jan Vrijman Fund Encounters Africa Shorts initiative: Dear Morris by Joanne Levitan, Old-time, Long-time Love by Mali Kambandu, Mbira’ My Music My Love by Dorothy Meck-Chimbuya, Silent Response by Maleka Pululu and Villant Virginia Ndasowa’s Where My Heart Belongs.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Encounters will be screening New Deal?, which captures the birth of the movement in Mitchell’s Plain in 1983, and hosting panels that will be attended by Valli Moosa, Popo Molefe, Mzwakhe Mbuli and Minister Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota in Johannesburg and Dr Allan Boesak and Professor Jeremy Seekings in Cape Town.

This year’s international festival guests are Dutch filmmaker Sunny Bergman, who will focus on body images, ideals of beauty and how the media influences and manipulates these; Emmy-award winning African-American director and producer Stanley Nelson, from the US, who will examine the Black American middle class; Cameroonian producer and director Cyrille Masso; the South African surf legend and former world champion Shaun Tomson and a survivor of flight 571 that crashed in the Andes in 1972, and was forced to eat his deceased friends and relatives in order to survive.

Encounters’ opening night films are Iron Ladies of Liberia, a portrait of Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and some of her female cabinet members, by Siatta Scott and Daniel Junge and Lucilla Blankenberg’s Don’t Shoot on Riaan Cruywagen, who is the world’s longest-serving newsreader. Both films are part of the award-winning Why Democracy? series by Cape Town-based executive producer Don Edkins.

For full schedule log onto www.encounters.co.za.

Included in Encounters’ industry events programme is the Producers’ Workshop, which will explore music rights, raising funds for documentaries, archive access and rights, local marketing and publicity.

The SABC Factual Department will be hosting roundtable discussions, providing members of the film industry with an opportunity to meet the team from Genre Factual in a relaxed and informal environment. A new brief with the theme of Human Rights will be announced and elaborated on by Acting Head of Genre, Eddie Manzingana, before the commencement of the roundtable discussions. Dates and venues: Johannesburg Friday 27 June, Goethe Institut; Cape Town Friday 11 July, Protea Hotel Victoria Junction.

The SABC Encounters Debate 2008 will open a debate on human rights.


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