The Fifth annual Encounters South African Documentary Festival took place in Cape Town and Johannesburg from 21st July to 10 August. The Festival's Jameson Audience Awards have been finalised. More than fifty films competed for this year's Awards.

In the category of Best International Film it was neck and neck between the Irish produced Chavez: Inside the Coup and the Last Just Man, a powerful documentary chronicling one man's attempt to halt the Rwandan genocide. Last Just Man by Canadian Steven Silver clinched Encounters' Jameson top honours. Steven Markovitz co-director of the Festival said "We are encouraged to see an increasing audience interest in political films."

In the category of Best South African Film, Casa del Musica by Jonathan de Vries - a film following jazz legend Robbie Jansen and historian Vincent Kolbe from Cape Town to Cuba - took the award; and Between Joyce and Remembrance by Mark J Kaplan came a close second. Winner de Vries said "it is great that documentary making is finally being taken seriously by South African audiences and sponsors. It is cool to win an award!"

In an exciting development, South African distributor Ster-Kinekor Pictures has agreed to theatrically release Casa del Musica. Helen Kuun of Ster-Kinekor Pictures said: "Audience support is what makes or breaks a film, and the Encounters process of singling out an audience favourite is an extremely valuable exercise any which way you look at it. Releasing the Encounters winner will form part of our continued efforts to support South-African produced content & South-African film initiatives. We are thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to handle Casa Del Musica's distribution locally."

Group Brand manager of Jameson Whiskey, Dirk Conradie said, "It was great to be associated with the Encounters Festival especially in light of Jameson's involvement in International Film festivals such as Cannes and the European Film Awards. We are proud to be sponsors of the award especially because it reflects the audience's choice in film."

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