For the 1st time in 2006, through the support of the European Union’s Conference Workshop and Cultural Initiative Fund, Encounters will expand its access programme with the intent to broaden its audience base. To add to the existing Inreach programme, we will now have an Outreach in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. A mix of 13 quality documentaries will be screened over 4 days at each Outreach venue: Funda Community College, Diepkloof, Soweto and Zolani Multipurpose Centre, Nyanga, Cape Town.

The Outreach, situated in easily accessible community based facilities, will promote culturally diverse activity and film literacy. Through the Outreach, Encounters aims to attract audiences who, historically, have not had the opportunity to attend the Festival. Entry to the screenings will be free. By showcasing a range of films from South Africa and abroad, the township audiences will come to recognise documentary films for their informative, challenging and entertaining values.

Guest filmmakers will attend screenings, introduce their films and participate in Q & A sessions. Through engaging with the filmmakers, the audiences can debate and discuss issues raised by the films, in that way expanding their understanding and appreciation of the genre. The feedback from the audiences will serve as a form of evaluation for the filmmakers and will surely influence their future projects.

The Inreach targets film students and township based filmmakers. Encounters will provide transport and 1800 complimentary tickets to the specific groups so they can attend the Festival and Workshops. Here they will have the opportunity to discuss practical and abstract ideas pertaining to documentary filmmaking. The outcome of this will lead to more networking opportunities, broaden horizons and fuel aspirations.