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08 September 2010

Encounters announces Audience Award winners

After a marathon 17-day run in Cape Town and a satellite in Johannesburg, Encounters is proud to announce the winners of the annual Audience Awards for Best South African and International Documentary.

The Best South African Documentary winner is:
The 16th Man directed by Clifford Bestall and
The Best International Documentary winner is:
Of Heart and Courage: BĂ©jart Ballet Lausanne directed by Arantxa Aguirre.

A special mention is given to the 2nd and 3rd runners up in both categories:
South African:
2. Afrikaaps directed by Dylan Valley
3. Thembi directed by Jo Menell

International:
2. Yes Men Fix the World directed by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno
3. Sathima’s Windsong directed by Daniel A. Yon

The Audience Award referee, Professor Tim Dunne, Head of Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, analyzed the eligible ballot forms submitted by the Cape Town festival-goers.

The 2010 programme of 50 films was selected from a record entry of over 800 films, and included several award winning and International festival favourites. Encounters was proud to host 29 South African and African films, and 26 International films.

“This year we challenged ourselves to secure most, if not all of the best films we shortlisted, despite some high screening costs. The popularity of local documentaries with our audiences is a clear indication of the calibre of the programmes selected”, said Festival Director Mandisa Zitha.

This year, Encounters broadened the Festival to two independent theatres, The Labia on Orange in Cape Town and The Bioscope in Johannesburg.

The Festival was organised on a minimal budget, due to funding challenges.

“Since its inception, Encounters has without doubt demonstrated that, even with limited resources, it is a festival that can be sustainable for many years to come,” said NFVF CEO Eddie Mbalo during the Festival opening ceremony. The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Festival.

The City of Cape Town came on board and pledged their support,
“The hosting of the encounters event shows how far the City has progressed in its push to become the host capital of major events in the World. having been one of the host cities for the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup event, Cape Town is looking forward to hosting more strategic events in order to consolidate this status. One of the major priorities in the City’s revised economic development strategy is the strengthening and growing of key sectors such as the creative industries and tourism that will contribute to the development of Cape Town. Supporting and hosting events like the Encounters Film Festival, a South African International Film Festival will add to the strengthening and growing of the film industry in Cape Town – film industry is part of the creative industries sector,” said Mansoor Mohamed, Executive Director: Economic Social Development and Tourism, City of Cape Town
This Festival and its projects are supported by:
The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Festival. Encounters is made possible by the further support of the City of Cape Town, Cape Film Commission, Provincial Government of Western Cape, Arts & Culture Trust & Breadline Africa, The Times, Nu Metro, Tempest Car Hire, Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, French Embassy, British Council, Goethe Institut, German Consulate General Cape Town and Cape Town TV.

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