Full moon night cycle through the bustling streets of Cape Town
Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
Grab your popcorn for a line-up of films guaranteed to get those cogs turning
The 15th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is back for yet another year of thought-provoking films and documentaries sure to keep cinephiles glued to the screens in Cape Town and Johannesburg from Thursday, 6 to Sunday, 16 June 2013.
Chosen from a selection of more than 400 films, the festival line-up includes a collection of profound and inspiring African and international documentaries, two of which were Oscar-nominated and many more of which will screen for the first time, both in Africa and the world.
“As a proudly South African organisation, diversity is at the heart of what we offer and this year is no different. With films from Congo, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Kosovo, Morocco, the Netherlands, Sweden, Tunisia, USA, Zimbabwe and South Africa, prepare to journey across the globe and come back to tell the tale,” says Festival Director Lesedi Oluko Moche.
That said, one of the festival’s founding principles is to foster local talent and further develop the film industry, specifically the documentary-making industry, in South Africa.
As testament to that commitment, organizers are proud to announce that movie maker and attendee of the event’s inaugural filmmaking laboratory Riaan Hendricks will kick off the 10-day celebration with his film, “The Devil’s Lair”, at the annual by-invitation-only opening night.
Whether you’re a diehard film buff or merely just someone with a penchant for popcorn, get ready to partake in what is promised to be the most interesting and enlightening programme yet.
Highlights of the 2013 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
Billed as Africa’s premier documentary movie and short film event, the 2013 Encounters festival brings some of the world’s most acclaimed movies to South African screens.
Included in this year’s line-up are two 2013 Oscar nominees (“The Gatekeepers” and “How To Survive A Plague”) and winners from Berlin International Film Festival (“Marina Abramovitch: The Artist is Present” and “In Heaven Underground”), DOK Leipzig (“Columbianos”) and Sundance Film Festival (“Queen of Versailles” and “The House I Live In”).
Alongside the feature-length doccies, the 2013 Encounters programme includes a selection of shorts in three categories: Women Direct, Why Poverty and Al Jazeera New African Photography. The first category is a call to action initiated by the film industry – Filmmakers Against Women Abuse (FAWA) – in response to the slew of gruesome and high profile cases of violence against women in South Africa. Women Direct is the result of this campaign and the series features short flicks by female directors, all of whom are guests at this year’s festival.
In Why Poverty?, the follow-up to the Oscar-winning Why Democracy? series, the collection of films – each depicts a different country – deals with the increasing gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and aims to kick-start conversations about poverty.
Lastly, the Al Jazeera New African Photography showcase profiles the latest generation of Africa’s photographers. Take a walk behind the scenes and see the world through their lenses.
What’s more, doccie-buffs get to question the men and women behind the cameras in Q&As with international and local directors:
- Britta Wauer (In Heaven Underground)
- David France (How To Survive a Plague)
- Michelle Major (Venus & Serena)
- Tora Martens (Colombianos)
- Arya Lalloo (Jeppe on a Friday)
- Aryan Kaganof (An Inconsolable Memory)
- Dylan Valley (Incarcerated Knowledge)
- Heidi Grunebaum (The Village Under The Forest)
- Mark Kaplan (The Village Under The Forest)
- Mayenzeke Baza (Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man)
- Mosco Kamwendo (Comrade President)
- Nadia el Fani (No Harm Done)
- Riaan Hendricks (The Devil’s Lair)
- Shelley Barry (Mr. Shakes)
- Tamarin Kaplan (The White Picket Fence Project)
- Tapiwa Chipfupa (The Bag On My Back)
Industry events at the 2013 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
As always, aside from the exceptional audience component of the festival, the 10-day affair also boasts a handful of opportunities ideal for aspiring documentary film makers. This year, the highlights of the offering are master classes with the IDFA Bertha Fund and “In Heaven Underground” director Britta Wauer.
Not to mention, since the successful partnership with Al Jazeera in 2012, the hard-hitting Doha-based news broadcaster, once again, presents its one-day pitching forum session for local filmmakers. Sixteen movie makers are afforded the rare opportunity to present ideas for documentaries to the panel of commissioning editors, which includes award-winning South African born writer, film producer and director Jon Blair.
After a successful pitch in 2012, Mazenyeke Baza’s “Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man” – a film about the rite of passage circumcision rituals in South Africa – screened on Al Jazeera and is scheduled to show at this year’s Encounters Documentary Festival. For more information on how to attend the panel session, contact Nikissi Serumaga at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 4pm on Monday, 27 May 2013. Selections will be announced on Friday, 31 May 2013.
Tickets for the 2013 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
The Cape Town leg of the film festival screens at Nu Metro cinemas and the Fugard Theatre. Tickets are available via Computicket.com, Computicket outlets, the Fugard Theatre Box Office and select Nu Metro cinemas and costs R50p/p.
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