Close Encounters Documentary Laboratory 2002

Eight documentary filmmakers will be selected for an all-expenses-paid week long Laboratory, in the company of filmmakers such as the 2002 Oscar nominated director, Christian Frei, to develop their ideas for a one hour documentary. The Laboratory takes place during the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.

The Close Encounters Documentary Laboratory, which for the past three years has been open only to first-time directors, is now calling for experienced directors with proposals for 48 minute films to take part in the 4th Laboratory in Cape Town, Sunday 21st - Saturday 30th July 2002.

The Laboratory entails an intensive week working with established international and South African filmmakers as Tutors, providing a supportive atmosphere in which to develop projects. The week culminates in a pitching session to Simunye SABC1 which intends to commission three films that fall within its brief and budgeting practice.

"We are very excited about the new focus of the Laboratory. We are looking forward to working with experienced filmmakers and Simunye SABC1 and developing longer, more substantial films. It's a response to the repeated requests of South African documentary directors to give them "time out"... the opportunity to work in a supportive environment, with some of the best documentary directors in the world.

Most South African documentary directors do not have the opportunity to significantly develop their films before production. This Laboratory will give them that chance. Then, of course, we have Simunye SABC1 as the exclusive broadcast partner. So, besides the care and interest in the development stages we have the real promise of films being made."
- Steven Markovitz & Nodi Murphy, Festival and Laboratory Co-Directors

"Simunye is proud to be associated with the Encounters Documentary Festival. We share a commitment and passion for building a strong documentary story-telling culture in our country. Apart from our commitment to a weekly documentary strand for our viewers, the channel has also committed to the development of talent in this genre. Our work with Encounters is a demonstration of this commitment and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership."
- Siven Maslamoney, Simunye Head of Programmes

The Laboratory has been very successful, in three years 9 half-hour documentaries have been produced for and of those 4 have won national awards. In addition many of these films have been screened at international film festivals.




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