20 May 2009
Encounters Documentary Festival in crisis
The future of South Africa’s premier documentary festival, Encounters, hangs in the balance since its principal sponsor, the SABC, yesterday withdrew their financial support for the 2009 edition of the festival.
This is due to the SABC's new austerity measures. Encounters is now faced with the task of raising sufficient funds in the coming week if it is to take place as planned. The dates of the 2009 edition are 2 - 19 July in Cape Town. Unfortunately, Encounters already has had to withdraw from Johannesburg this year since the Gauteng Film Commission also withdrew its financial support.
"We are appealing to individuals, government and the corporate sector to come forward to help save the festival. We now have one week to solve our funding crisis", says Festival Director Mandisa Zitha.
The festival, now in its 11th year, showcases South African and International talent and promotes the growth of the documentary industry. Encounters has screened hundreds of documentaries to an
audience of over 80,000 people. It has commissioned over 40 documentaries and runs access programmes, out reach programmes, schools programmes, workshops, masterclasses and seminars.
Encounters is an important event on the annual film and festival calendar.
"We hope that we can still receive sufficient support to ensure a successful festival this year. We believe, if we can get through this current crisis we will be able to produce an even stronger 2010 edition" Zitha says.
Anyone who is able to provide financial support to the Festival is urged to contact:
Telephone: 021 4654686
Mobile: 083 2611044