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Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is Africa’s premier documentary event, celebrating its 15th edition in June 2013. It is the longest standing documentary film festival in Africa. Encounters partnered with Africa Media Online to bring the award-winning South African films from the Encounters Festival over the past 5 years to KwaZulu-Natal privince. The past SA winning films from the festival were held in a beautiful setting at Michaelhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and began with the first screening at 7 pm on Saturday April 6, 2013 and continued throughout the day on Sunday April 7, 2013.

Encounters best of SA docs as voted by audiences ran parallel to the very first edition of DocuFest Africa a documentary photo and archives festival which was run over the same weekend at Michaelhouse.  The screenings were launched on Saturday evening with a screening of Jozi Film Festival winner Orania by German Director, Tobias Linder. The Encounters South African documentary winners from 2008 to 2012 were screened on Sunday April 7, 2013.

Encounters Programme

Orania: Tobias Linder Sat 6 April 19:00-20:30
Shamiela’s House: Robyn Rorke Sun 7 April 09:00-10:00
Orania: Tobias Linder Sun 7 April 10:00-12:00
The 16th Man: Clifford Bestall Sun 7 April 12:00–13:00
Forerunners: Simon Wood Sun 7 April 14:00-15:00
The African Cypher: Bryan Little Sun 7 April 15:15-16:45

Cost: R40 per film |  Book and pay by credit card online or pay at the door

Queries: email rosanne@africamediaonline.com or call 082 829 7959

 

Saturday April 6, 2013

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Orania

Director: Tobias Linder

Germany, 2012, 94min, Afrikaans with English subtitles

Time: 7 pm on 6  April and 10am on 7 April

Ticket: R40

http://vimeo.com/40233232

 

Orania is situated in South Africa’s barren Northern Cape province. All of the 800 inhabitants are white Afrikaans people, also referred to as Boers. They live here on private property which was bought in 1991. People of other cultural or ethnical descent may not live or work here. Thus, Orania is a culturally homogeneous place in a historically multicultural country. By carefully observing its protagonists, the film explores the mechanisms behind this societal experiment.

Tobias Lindner has studied Cinematography at the University of Applied Science in Berlin. He wrote his thesis on the development of ethnographic documentary as a filmic genre. Orania was his postgraduate film project. It is currently shown at the Raindance Film Festival, nominated best documentary.

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Sunday April 7, 2013

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2008

South African Documentary winner is:

Shamiela’s House

Director: Robyn Rorke

South Africa 2008 48min English, Afrikaans with English subtitles

Time: 9 am

Ticket: R40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u3FDj4NqcA

A house is far more than four walls and a roof. To Shamiela it represents a home, stability and a safe haven for her family. Alocal housing scheme is launched and Shamiela applies for a house and succeeds. Growing up underprivileged and moving from house to house across the Cape Flats, Shamiela cannot believe that the wait is finally over. When she moves in, she finds that not only is the house in an extreme state of disrepair but also, she must now pay more than double the original agreed figure. Then rumours spread that the housing company is evicting people from their houses due to non-payment. Principled and dignified, Shamiela has only one option: to join a protest group and fight for her right to a decent roof over her head. This honest and intimate slice of Cape Town life takes on the perspective of the community as Shamiela and her troop navigate the corruption and mismanagement that has caused considerable heartache, insecurity and emotional trauma to some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Robyn Rorke is a young director/producer living in Cape Town. She has a background in Anthropology, and uses its main methodology – deep hanging out – to make intimate films that she hopes challenge stereotypes. She directed Pam and Ashraf – a short about two lovers and revolutionaries set on the Cape Flats as part of the first South African IKON series. She currently has two documentaries in production and is a finalist in the NFVF’s Women Helmers competition.

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South African Documentary winner is:

The 16th Man

Director: Clifford Bestall

SA / 2010 / 50min

Time: 12:00 noon

Ticket: R40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t-CRD9rxPA

1995, what a wondrous year! South Africa had held its first democratic elections and, no longer a political and sporting pariah, it was to host the Rugby World Cup. Hope and excitement were tangible. Hard as it is to imagine, however, the off-field events were even more momentous. The 16th Man reveals the extraordinary political acumen of Nelson Mandela, for it is he who saw and used the opportunity of an international sporting tournament toheal and reconcile a nation that had been, and perhaps still was, on the brink of civil war. It tantalisingly recreates the tension and drama on and off the pitch. It intertwines footage of the games, happenings in the country and key interviews with those at the heart of events, to tell the amazing true story of how the contest, and the thrilling Springbok victory, changed everyone involved and the country with it. The 16th Man is based on John Carlin’s Playing the Enemy, which is also the inspiration for the Clint Eastwood film.

Clifford Bestall has the distinction of being the first filmmaker to win two coveted Grierson Awards for Killers Don’t Cry (2001), which documented the process of reforming dangerous Numbers members in a notorious South African prison. Among his other international awards are: a Peabody for WGBH Frontline’s Apartheid’s People (as co-director); and the Best Factual Moment on British television in 2005 for The Long Walk of Nelson RolihlahlaMandela, a series he produced, directed and filmed. In 1985 he was named the Television Cameraman of the Year by the Royal Photographic Society. He has been a regular contributor to Encounters and has mentored filmmakers on the Close Encounters Laboratory.

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2011

South African Documentary winner is:

Forerunners

Director: Simon Wood

South Africa | 52 min | 2011

Time: 2:00 pm

Ticket: R40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j0mgluBk1o

A cousin in jail, three households to support, problems with the ancestors, stressful sales targets, new babies – the lot of the new black middle class is not all BMW M5s and patent leather sling backs. Wood’s film sets out to find the reality behind the black diamond myth, the individuals behind the lifestyle, by following four upwardly mobile young go-getters as they make their way through a ruthless, demanding, often critical world. Mpumi is trying to open a rural care centre while dealing with ‘country time’. Miranda is raising a child alone as well as holding down an executive job. Martin is trying to find the missing element in his life. Karabo’s father has died and he must return to Soweto as the paterfamilias. Each is an illuminating journey, just as Wood’s film shines a welcome spotlight on the world of South Africa’s recently rewarded. Success is by no means guaranteed, and if it comes, at what price? A layered, intelligent, deeply moving film deserving of a wide audience.

Simon Wood‘s Forerunners premiered on Friday the 15th of April at the Pan African Film Festival in Cannes. It was one out of only eleven films to be shortlisted for the official selection in the documentary category of the competition. At the closing ceremony the film won a special jury prize; the judges cited the film ‘For it’s writing quality, film mastery as well as its mature and modern outlook of a category of people searching for perspective’.

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2012

South African Documentary winner is:

The African Cypher

Director: Bryan Little

South Africa | 89min | 2012

Time: 3:15 pm

Ticket: R40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqSW6rKEkQw

Spectacular dance is front and centre in Little’s film. It’s a lifestyle, a badge of belonging and a way of both explaining and succeeding in the ghetto. The film follows township crews from the Cape Flats to Mamelodi and beyond as they perform, laugh, philosophise and rehearse ahead of the Red Bull Beat Battle. The stunning dance scenes are infectious – quite literally world beating – and anyone who has ever cringed at some of the SA’s Got Talent fools should see this. Backed by an electric, eclectic soundtrack Cypher stands as an important barometer of what’s going on out there in the most important dance laboratory of them all – the street. Addictive cinema.

In 2009 Bryan Little‘s first feature-length documentary, Fokofpolisiekar, won both the best documentary award and the audience award at Encounters. Since then he has been featured in the Shots International showreel as one of the top 50 up-and-coming commercial directors in the world and in2010 he was hand-picked to attend a Werner Herzog director’s workshop in New York. Last year, the Mail & Guardian identified Little as one of the top 200 young South Africans.

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