The documentary is more than sound bites of expert opinion or late night television wallpaper; the format is not limited by subject matter or style as the line-up of titles on this Festival demonstrates.

Life and larger than life, dreams and fantasy, philosophy and belief, daily lives and inner lives, war and peace, good times, bad times, present times and preoccupation's, fly-on-the-wall, in your face, docu-soap, soft-soap and hard-hitting, revealing and revelatory, inspired and inspiring. The breadth is breathtaking. So welcome to the second Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival.

This is a live event... most of the filmmakers will be in town in the first week to introduce their films and answer your questions. Our guest filmmakers from abroad are Niek Koppen and Hillie Molenaar [Holland], Patricia Plattner [Switzerland] and Paul Watson [Britain]. Their films will all have their South African premieres at this Festival. In addition we have two World Premieres - Lindy Wilson's The Gugulethu Seven and Narrative of Betrayal by Craig Matthew and Ronelle Loots. Among the South African filmmakers who will present their works are Lauren Groenewald, Munier Parker, Shareef Cullis, Akiedah Mohammed, Cas Rasch, Lungiswa Sithole, Francois Verster and Don Edkins.

Debate is an important part of this Festival and so we have invited academics, the people who were filmed and concerned members of the communities portrayed to come and discuss issues raised in these films. They, and you, are what will make this event a real celebration and we are pleased to welcome you.

We wish to thank all those who have made such pleasure affordable. Pro Helvetia [Swiss Arts Council] began it all last year and we thank Peter da Rin and Ines Anselmi in Zurich and Mirjam Asmal in Cape Town for their continued support. This year we are very grateful to Hans Glaubitz and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria and Claudia Landsberger and Holland Film, and to Jo Maurice and Gail Learmont and the British Council for helping us go truly International. Thank you to Nico van der Merwe and the staff at Cinema Nouveau Waterfront for the use of their facilities and for encouraging Documentary Festival audiences with low ticket prices. Time Atkinson generously supplied the video and audio equipment. We thank the French Institute in South Africa for their contribution.

Last year etv commissioned four first-time directors who attended the Close Encounters Documentary Laboratory to make half hour documentaries. We are proud that three of these films have been nominated for an Avanti Award.



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