Welcome to the Encounters Documentary Festival 2006!

So, what’s new? First is that you will notice our new locations – Nu Metro cinemas in Hyde Park and V&A Waterfront. This 8th edition is back to full strength – we have a total of 65 titles chosen from over 550 entries! We also have numerous Master Classes with international filmmakers and the SABC Workshops.

Three films by Jean Rouch, who made most of his films in West Africa. And to give us more perspective on this great filmmaker we have three guests who have worked with Rouch – Bernard Sugurue, Claude Haffner and Sue Levine. We are grateful to the French Embassy for their assistance in making this possible.

Nick Broomfield must be one of the most respected British documentary filmmakers alive today, and we screen 3 of his films including his latest on Eugene Terre’blanche – His Big White Self. We thank the British Council for their assistance with these and other British titles.

Our African Focus features 5 titles, and we are pleased to welcome two of the filmmakers – Salim Amin (Mo & Me) and Jean-Marie Teno (The Colonial Misunderstanding).

We have 3 titles from the Archives – remembering a history best never forgotten. We thank the National Film, Video and Sound Archives for their continued support of this Festival.

The international titles number 24 and we have a number of international guests: Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh (Gitmo: the New Rules of War). We thank the Swedish Film Institute and the European Union’s Conference Workshop and Cultural Initiative Fund (CWCI) for their assistance in bringing them here; William Nessen (The Black Road); Anna Bucchetti (Dreaming by Numbers). We thank Holland Film for their assistance in bringing her here; Jean Pierre Krief (Saddam Hussein, The Trial); Leila Khaled, the subject of the Swedish film Leila Khaled Hijacker; and Sky Sitney, Programme Director for Silverdocs.

We have a record 20 South African titles, including a World Première of Michael Raimondo’s short film Johnny Appels – The Last Strandloper, 4 films from the Black on White series developed on a Close Encounters / SABC Laboratory. Filmmakers will attend some of their screenings.

We also thank the NFVF and the SABC for their sponsorship, Jameson for our Audience Award and libations, Nu Metro, Exclusive Books and OpenNetworks.

CWCI has enabled us to take Encounters further than ever before. We have an Outreach (Funda Centre, Soweto and Zolani Centre, Nyanga), where we will screen a total of 13 films, including the World Première of Echoes of the Past by Thabang Molibeli. We also have an Inreach whereby we can provide transport and 1800 complimentary tickets for film students and members of filmmakers’ associations.

That rounds it off to 2 World Premières, 65 films from 15 countries, 8 screens at 4 locations, 37 filmmakers and guests in attendance, and you, the audience. Enjoy!