Encounters.co.za
Guest Biogs
    2008 Festival Dates




Johannesburg
NU METRO HYDE PARK
19–29 June 2008

Cape Town
NU METRO V&A
3–13 July 2008
 
Booking Details

    South African International
    Documentary Festival

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    2008 Festival Dates




Johannesburg
NU METRO HYDE PARK
19–29 June 2008

Cape Town
NU METRO V&A
3–13 July 2008
 
Booking Details

Sponsors

Liza Aziz – Bongani Umama
Liza read Paedogogics (UND-W) and holds an Honours degree in Culture and Media Studies (UKZN). She taught in KZN, including at the School for the Deaf and the School for the Physically Challenged, and directed and scripted school based education programs. Since 1997 Liza has been working at Fineline Productions where she produces, writes and directs documentaries and magazine inserts for both the SABC and e.tv. She is a founding member and Chairperson of Action in Autism.

Tony Bensusan – New Deal?
Bensusan began his film career at the SABC just before the launch of television in 1975. In the 80s and 90s he was a sound recordist on numerous anti-apartheid documentaries, on feature films and TV dramas and now specialises in social documentary films. He has traveled extensively in Africa, working on more than a 100 documentaries. Living in Johannesburg, he is still very active in the industry and teaches aspirant sound technicians.

Sunny Bergman – Over the Hill
Bergman’s Philosophy and Politics studies (York University) inform and infuse her films, and she often uses her own life as inspiration, putting the old feminist credo “the personal is political” into practice. She operates the camera herself and has a very direct and honest way of approaching her subjects, which range from the un-realisation of hopes, to the complex food trade in Kenya to deconstructing beauty myths. In Keeping it Real, (screened at Encounters 2004) Bergman found that authenticity within the experience economy becomes a cliché
and ultimately supersedes reality. All the while she is experimenting – exploring formats, new ways to tell stories in a new activist and still filmic way. Besides her work as a filmmaker, Bergman participates in think tanks, writes and organizes cultural and political events. For a full biography and filmography click here.

Lucilla Blankenberg – Don’t Shoot
Blankenberg is a Cape Town based film maker and partner in the production company called Idol Pictures. Over the past 6 years she has
worked as producer / director and editor on many documentaries such as Casa De La Musica, which won two South African awards including the Encounters Audience Award in 2003, and Through My Eyes : Blanche La Guma, Home is Where the Music Is, A Truly Wonderful Adventure, The Devil Breaks My Heart and Brothers in Arms. She has also produced and directed the youth magazine show Sex, Drugs & HIV. Lucilla is currently developing a female boxing series called JAB, and has a few other drama projects in the pipeline.

Lederle Bosch – A Truly Wonderful Adventure
Bosch was born in 1964 in Graaff-Reinet. He was a political activist during the eighties and nineties and in 1997 he joined Idols Pictures and started teaching himself to edit for a small independent company. Lederle worked on several television documentaries, magazines and training videos before trying his hand at directing a documentary in 2003. His first effort was The devil breaks my heart: Ten years later for SABC1. A Truly Wonderful Adventure is his second directorial effort.

Don Edkins – Don’t Shoot, Coming of Age, Iron Ladies of Liberia
Don Edkins is a documentary filmmaker and producer. He was born in Cape Town in 1953 and left South Africa in 1976 for political reasons. In 1994 he returned to South Africa to vote in the first democratic elections. With an academic background in Development Studies and African Languages, he has extensive work experience in the field of media and development. In Lesotho he published a national popular educational magazine, and founded a mobile video cinema in 1993 that distributes and screens films at a community level. His films include Goldwidows (1990), The Colour of Gold (1992), and The Broken String (1996). He produced the Southern African series on truth and reconciliation Landscape of Memory (1998), and the multi-awarded documentary project Steps for the Future (2001/04) – a collection of 38 films about Southern Africa in the time of HIV and AIDS www.steps.co.za). He is Executive Producer of the STEPS International global documentary project Why Democracy? (whydemocracy.net) consisting of 10 long and 18 short films.

Liz Fish – Urban Cowboy
Award winning TV documentary Director and Producer Fish has been in the industry since graduating from UCT in 1982. Her work covers a wide range of subjects from anti-apartheid and human rights issues to youth
programs, current affairs and the environment. She has just won the KKNK Kanna award for Voëlvry as the “best South African short film in 2008”, which screened at the 9th Encounters Documentary Festival. Spirit of the Mountain won a merit award from
The SAB Environmental Award in 2007 and her best know work The Long
Journey of Clement Zulu was selected as one of the 10 best documentaries
for the Encounters 10th anniversary.

André Cronje & Carlos Francisco Zulu Surf Riders
Francisco and Cronje are video producers and both are proficient camera operators and editors whose ambition has been to produce documentaries. Finally a story emerged from within their circle of surfing buddies and, with copywriter Brennen Nortje, they set about making Zulu Surf Riders using their own resources.

Rehad Desai & Anita Khanna – You Chuse
Director / Producer Desai has a Masters degree in Social History (Wits 1997), a postgraduate degree in TV and Film producing (AVEA 2000), and runs the Tri Continental Film Festival. In 1996 he began as a Producer/Director, focusing on historical and socio -political productions. Khanna has scripted a number of documentaries for Uhuru, Desai’s production company, including his best known film, Born into Struggle, which won awards at Encounters, Apollo and the CT World Cinema
Festivals in 2004, and was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival in 2005. Desai’s Bushmans Secret won the Silver Dhow (Zanzibar) and the Jury Prize (Amazonas, Brazil) in 2007. Khanna is currently in development on a 13 part drama series for SABC, and an independent feature screenplay, Zebra, supported by the NFVF and SCRAWL and selected for competition by the Amiens Film Festival.

Quinton (a.k.a.) Bertram Fredericks – Streets on Fire
Fredericks, born on the Cape Flats in ’68, was expelled from school in ’85 for political activity. He has since been a salesman, clothes manufacturer, law and economics student and community and small business representative. He is a traditional healer and a training & development facilitator for some of the biggest production companies in Cape Town. Towards the end of 2006 he was awarded a R1,2 million contract with the MAPPP-SETA, and is currently implementing his training model through a Training & Mentorship Programme with Film Afrika and his company Pitch Black Films.

Jeanette Jegger – Uit my Kop uit
Jegger completed an MA in Film Production at the University of Bristol in 2000 and, upon returning to South Africa, realised that the only way to make a film was to get out there and do it. And so, with the support of friends and other grassroots filmmakers, she made Krisimesi, also exploring children’s unique perspectives, which has, in its different versions, screened at various international film festivals and won several awards. She teaches film and has a production company with
Matthys Mocke.

Mali Kambandu – Old-time, Long-time Love
Zambian Kambandu has been “telling stories in my head for years!” She took part in pogrammes such as the Script Factory in London and Raindance (British Independent Film Awards), where she worked as a script reader. Her first film Eden’s Playground, made with a grant from the HIVOS/Sithengi Film Fund, will
première in June 2008 in Lusaka. Her second short film, A Healing called Rose, was produced by the Soul City Institute and Curious Pictures, and will première in 2008.

Tamarin Kaplan – Breaking the Line
Kaplan studied Film and Media at UCT and was on the Dean Merit List for 2 years. Thereafter she worked for a number of international companies before producing and co-directing a series for e.tv called Behind the Name, which focused on some of South Africa’s entertainers and personalities. Currently,
Tamarin is directing music videos for Sony BMG. It took her 4 years to secure the funding for Breaking the Line which premières at this Festival.

Liza Key – Distant Cousins
Key is the director of SCRAWL, an annual laboratory for South African screenwriters, in association with the Sundance Institute and Performing Arts Labs (UK). She also was the director of the Mail & Guardian Film Festival from 1986 to 1995. Her films include: A Question of Madness (Dimitri Tsafendas – Hendrik Verwoerd’s assassin), The Man Who Knows Too Much (2001, on Wouter Basson) and Karoo Kitaar Blues (2003), which was selected for IDFA’s Joris Ivens Award. She is
in post-production with Rewind: A Cantata for Voice Tape and Testimony, is developing The Cry of Winnie Mandela, based on the novel by Njabulo Ndebele, and completing her
MA in Music.

Sifiso Khanyile – “Spiderman” and Romeo
Kanyile began as a runner on commercials, after which he attended the Film & TV Unit at Monash. After some freelance work he directed Spiderman and Romeo, mentored by the Little Pond Production Trust, a production company for former students of Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking.

Kekeletso Khena – 30 Seconds
Khena developed and directed the short film Inkanyezi Yobusuku for the Out In Africa Happy Snaps Filmmaking Workshop in 2007, a film which has screened at numerous international festivals. She is a student of the Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking and directed 30 Seconds, mentored by the Little Pond
Production Trust.

Joanne Levitan – Dear Morris
Levitan’s film producing and directing career spans 10 years, and almost every genre has – from undercover investigations to kid’s TV; from current affairs to comedy; from talk shows to documentaries. In 2002, Joanne
worked for the United Nations in Holland, covering the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal and she returned to South Africa determined to tell stories that have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Jane Lipman – Courting Justice
Lipman was a current affairs producer and director for CBC (Canada) for nine years and made award winning documentaries. Since her return to South Africa she has produced and directed for both local and international broadcasters. Her focus on women at risk and gender violence has reulted in a flagship programme with UNICEF, the NPA and SABC, training young women, many of them abuse survivors, in Life Skills and TV Production. She has a feature film in development, The Great Escape.

Thapelo Maleka – Kabelo’s Zeroid Xpress
Maleka studied film and television at Monash, and is a freelance camera operator and editor. He directed Kabelo’s Zeroid Xpress, mentored by the Little Pond Production Trust, a production company for former students of Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking.

Cyrille Masso – The Encounter
A pioneer in Cameroonian independent cinema Masso, upon completing secondary school, enrolled at the National Television Training Centre. A year at the FEMIS in Paris in 1998 was a turning point in his career. Upon his return to Cameroon he formed Malo Pictures in 1999, and has produced numerous fiction films and documentaries, some of which have won prizes at international festivals. He received the Special Jury Prize for Fiction for his first feature film Confidences at FESPACO in 2007 .

Dorothy Meck-Chimbuya – Mbira’ My Music My Love
Meck-Chimbuya studied Broadcasting Journalism at the Harare Polytechnic. After years at ZBC she was the Senior Editor for News, Current Affairs and Production Departments. She has attended many international training courses (Malaysia, Germany, Netherlands) and began directing documentaries. Back in Zimbabwe she is involved in producing and directing both documentaries and feature films.

Nami Mhlongo – God Loves Sinners
Mhlongo first trained at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism through Open Window Network, the umbrella body for community television structures, and made a short insert for SABC’s News Maker called My City, My Tongue. He attended Monash, worked as a sound technician, then produced and directed God Loves Sinners, mentored by the Little Pond Production Trust.

Steve Kwena Mokwena – A Blues for Tiro
Kwena, read History , Sociology and Politics at Wits and for his Masters Degree at Leeds, is a historian, Museum curator and independent filmmaker. Mokwena’s work focuses on history, memory and healing. As a filmmaker he has also made Organise or Die – A profile of Gwede Mantashe for the National Union of Mine Workers and executive produced Township Soul. He is very involved in the development of memorials and museums and curating historical exhibitions. In 2005, Mokwena was awarded the distinguished visiting scholar fellowship by the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands. Mokwena is currently working as Head of rogramming for Soweto TV a new community based television station based in Soweto.

Themba Monare – The Beneficiary
Monare studied film at WITS, then worked as a AD on drama series for television. He directed The Beneficiary, mentored by the Little Pond Production Trust, a production company for former students of Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking.

Villant Virginia Ndasowa– Where my Heart Belongs
Malawian film director/producer Villant Ndasowa holds a BA (Hon) degree in Media Production (Film and Television) (Middlesex University & University of Luton), and has worked in both film and TV in Malawi. Her film The Mystery Mountain was the first Malawian film to be screened outside the country. She has recently produced a feature, Unbreakable Bond.

Stanley Nelson – A Place of Our Own
Nelson’s work, as a director and producer, has been recognized by the industry, festivals, communities and foundations and he is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, among them – the MacArthur “genius”
Fellow, an Emmy, the Sundance Special Jury Prize and the George Foster Peabody award. A teacher and frequest festival jurist, he is also Executive Producer of Firelight Media, an NPO documentary production company dedicated to giving voice to people and issues that are marginalized in popular culture. He is perhaps best known for his
groundbreaking historical documentaries, films that illuminate critical but overlooked history. For a full biography and filmography click here.

Rob Nicholls – Birdman
Nicholls has been directing for the past five years for Groundglass. He hails from the creative side of the advertising industry, is an avid artist and makes music videos for acclaimed local musicians. Rob is currently directing a number of awareness features for Groundglass’ forthcoming environmental television series, 2econd World.

Makela Pululu – Silent Response
Pululu, born in the DRC in 1965, came to Cape Town as a refugee in 1998. He began as a best boy and Lighting Workshop Supervisor at MCC and has made three short films Being African (2002), A Shadow of Hope (2005) and Amina My Daughter (2007). In 2008 he participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus and his proposal, Forgotten Gold was selected for the Berlinale Doc Station.

Robyn Rorke – Shamiela’s House
Rorke is a young director/producer living in Cape Town. She has a background in Anthropology, and uses its main methodology – deep hanging out – to make intimate films that she hopes challenge stereotypes. She directed Pam and Ashraf – a short about two lovers and revolutionaries set on the Cape Flats as part of the first South African IKON series. She currently has two documentaries in production and is a finalist in the NFVF’s Women Helmers competition.

Karin Slater – Laxmi’s Blessing
Slater, a Producer, Director and Cinematographer, was selected by Encounters as the African Trailblazer at MIPDOC, Cannes 2008. As a student at Technikon Natal she won the Best Student Director Award in 1989. Thereafter she raised and filmed big cats in the wild for Londolozi Productions. Animal Powers (National Geographic 2000) won four Avanti awards including Best Director. The Meaning of the Buffalo (2004) was listed as a New York Times Critics Pick. She has filmed for wellknown internationals and teaches Independent Documentary at
Selkirk College, Canada and in Johannesburg.

Shaun Tomson – Bustin’ Down the Door
Durban born Tomson first surfed at the age of 10 and soon showed his champion potential when he won the South African Boy’s title a few years later, and in his teens the Gunston 500 six times in succession. His style, grace and professionalism are legendary, as was his tuberiding. His Business degree was interrupted by fame and fortune on the waves – he won the World Title in 1977 and was in the world top 16 from 1976 – 1989. Years later he completed his degree, and is a businessman with his own clothing label. He is the author of the best seller Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple lessons for riding through life. He is the Executive Producer of Bustin’ Down the Door.

Catherine Winter – The Shaman’s Apprentice
Winter has been a journalist, writer and photographer for the past 24 years. In 1994 she began to make films and in 1999 she directed My African Mother, developed on the Encounters Laboratory, which won an Avanti for Best Documentary. She continues to work as a concept and script-writer, camera person, and editor on various audio-visual projects.