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Encounters Film Festival, 1-11 June 2017

Films

SA/African International Feature Short Award Winning World Premiere
Swiss Focus Encounters Youth Experience With Guest Screening in CT Screening in JHB
Clear Filters

Luc Bendza’s childhood obsession with Kung Fu movies led to entering a Shaolin Temple at 15, to ultimately working with Jackie Chan.

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The African Who Wanted to Fly

All Governments Lie is a welcome tribute, not to the impossible notion of “free” journalism, but to a higher purpose: ethical journalism.

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All Governments Lie

In the United States, a city slicker wanders solo around the frigid countryside, leaving voice messages for someone who never answers. In Tokyo, a retired salaryman gets used to his now-empty days in the world’s largest …

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Almost There

Brexitannia explores the political / emotional landscape in post-Brexit UK, experts like Noam Chomsky weigh in with surprising insights.

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Brexitannia

Filmed over seven years, Cahier Africain follows both the progress of the exercise book as it makes its way to a vault at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, and the quiet desperation of the …

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Cahier Africain

Nothing will prepare you for this contemporary Mad Max journey across the Qatari desert towards a falconry competition.

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The Challenge

Communion focuses on Ola, an extraordinary 14-year-old who parents her autistic brother. A essay in familial tenderness and endurance. Filmmaker Anna Zamecka’s debut is a portrait of familial tenderness and endurance. Masterfully edited.

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Communion

As in previous work, Hendricks gains remarkable access to his subject, achieving a level of intimacy rare in documentary filmmaking. In providing such a personal portrait of a single household, and allowing the rich dialogue between …

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A Country of Fishers

Recruiting men from Craigslist as subjects, the filmmaker uses the camera to explore its influence on the intimacy between strangers. The filmmaker uses the camera to explore intimacy between strangers. The result: a heady mix of innocence, fearlessness and the erotic.

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Craigslist Allstars

Acclaimed Fokofpolisiekar and African Cypher director (and two time Encounters Audience Award winner) Little recruited musicians, sculptors, artists, a coastal forager, underwater wildlife filmmakers, conservation biologists, drone pilots – to spend 10 days and nights at …

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Deep Blue / Middle C

What is rare, however, is Lucy Witt’s courageous and unwavering dissection of the grooming process, the abuse, and surviving the aftermath. Repeatedly raped by her stepfather, her confrontations with him in her adult years are thought-provoking, …

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Dragan’s Lair

Eagle Huntress: this visual feast pays tribute to courage and the bond formed between a master of the skies and its earthbound mistress.

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Eagle Huntress

HE: “I find sex pretty good” SHE: “Maybe in another life.” Jan Gassmann’s explicit crisis film for Generation Y is a warts and all portrayal that closely follows four couples as they search for jobs and …

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Europe, She Loves

A masterful mix of Zola Budd and Mary Decker’s personal journeys juxtaposed against the broader political contexts of the time.

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The Fall

Put two Muslim players from Chechnya into the Beitar football team in Jerusalem and all hell breaks loose.

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Forever Pure

Married and still childless, she explores hers and others private suffering. Macky’s poignant voiceover addresses her mother, who died in childbirth, asking the painful questions that arise during her investigation. The taboo of openly discussing infertility …

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The Fruitless Tree

Former inmates recall the hell of prison life at an Israeli prison. Thought-provoking look at a highly charged and relevant subject. Ghost Hunting premièred at the Berlinale and took Best Documentary prize and an Audience Award.

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Ghost Hunting

South Africa through the eyes of David Goldblatt is an achingly beautiful place.

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Goldblatt

A dying town on the Bulgarian-Turkish border is the setting of this gentle yet captivating tale. The Good Postman reflects global concerns around identity, compassion and prejudice. Postman Ivan’s bid for mayor involves suggesting that Syrian refugees stay and revive his sleepy border village …not everyone agrees.

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The Good Postman

Four 40-olds at a Down’s Syndrome school in Chile reveal their setbacks and desires in this enchanting coming of age tale.

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The Grown-Ups

James Baldwin’s letters read with startling clarity by Samuel L. Jackson, provide for an extraordinary
 film

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I am Not Your Negro

This haunting multimedia film uses a mix of video, animation, photographs, children’s drawings, music and voiceovers to provide an account of the Director’s traumatic childhood.

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I Made You, I Kill You

This saw 1000s of women from Port Elizabeth boarding trains, determined to take part in an historical landmark in the struggle against the apartheid regime. Indwe tracks down some women to collect and record their personal …

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Indwe

Green Screen Gringo, Jáaji Approx, The Jungle Knows You Better Than You Do, Lupus, and Polonez / Polonaise

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International Shorts

This multi-linguist who, though he had his own jazz radio show at age 14 but never played an instrument, was an ardent supporter and life-long friend to many a jazz icon, most notably Dizzy Gillespie. As …

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Jazz: The only way of life

25 billion hits on 
the 2 million+ cat videos on the net can’t be wrong – cats are cool! A film about cats.

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Kedi

A testimony to the humility and determination of three reluctant heroes who risk their lives every day to save others.

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Last Men in Aleppo

After Vegas, Sounds of Blikkiesdorp, Before the Flight

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Laurence Bonvin shorts

Silent autistic boy, Owen memorises Disney movies to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood. Oscar nominated.

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Life, Animated

Masterful and poetic – this is an immersive, full-sensory, no-holds barred look at conditions in a Gujarat factory.

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Machines

When Colonel Honorine Munyole, head of the DRC Protection of Women and Children Unit, is transferred to Kisangani, the women of Bukavu are distraught, claiming they will be without protection. Once installed in Kisangani, she loses …

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Mama Colonel

Maurizo Cattelan explores the fragile Pinocchio figure behind the bad-boy artist myth. A crash course in everything Cattelan!

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Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back

Shot in black and white, with news footage in colour, the film expresses the free-flowing and sometimes chaotic nature of the movement and the events of the time – as well as the response from the …

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Metalepsis in Black

Grude handed two African Union soldiers a camera and told them to film anything ‘important’. One year, 523 tapes and some seriously talented editing later, here is the story of the banality and tedium of soldiering …

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Mogadishu Soldier

Van Riebeeck’s almond tree hedge, the voices of a botanist and a tour guide weave a multilayered depiction of the rise of segregation in the Cape.

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The Remnant

In a fascinating geopolitical drama, Danish filmmaker Mik-Meyer closely follows Ravalomanana as he attempts to return from exile in South Africa to Madagascar, under the threat of arrest and bodily harm. With fly-on-the-wall access to Ravalomanana’s …

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Return of a President

At the beginning of the film, Silva arrives in an isolated Portuguese village where he meets the young Ana who, drawn to the strange old man, gradually enters both his physical and interior world. Exquisitely shot …

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Rio Corgo

Made for ‘Cool For You’, this experimental short explores thermal vision and the enhanced gaze of 21st Century warfare, remapped onto the intimacy of the human body with sadomasochistic overtones.

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She whose blood is clotting in my underwear

Moloi’s document of a grassroots organisation taking on the intransigence of their government, and the Germans, tells a broader tale of post-imperialism and identity politics that pervades modern Namibia, resonates across the continent, and speaks urgently …

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Skulls of My People

African Film School, Father’s House, Mamajara, Promised Land Fallacy, Say It With Flowers

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South/African Shorts 1

Don’t Hide The Madness, Invasion, Sheriff (or it takes a child to raise the village), and S’lungile: We will be fine

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South/African Shorts 2

As We See It, Loraine, Louise’s Miracles, Nanlaban, Oscar

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South/African Shorts 3

Africa for Africans, Can I Please Go to the Bathroom?, Interview with Aunt Anthea, I Walk Alone, Meaning to a Beginning

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South/African Shorts 4

Stranger in Paradise is a hybrid role-play that challenges 
every viewer to examine their 
own preconceptions. Powerful and thought-provoking.

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Stranger in Paradise

A counterpoint to Rehad Desai’s Miners Shot Down, this provides, not just a history of oppression, police violence, sanitised corporate indifference and lies that made Marikana inevitable, but also a view of the rebirth of politics …

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Strike a Rock

Beautifully crafted, Strong Island won the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling. A painful intersection of private tragedy amidst public/political bigotry.

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Strong Island

Forcibly moved here by the apartheid government, now their homes are under threat by a mining company in cahoots with the Entembeni Zulu Royal Family, and who seek to exploit the land over the heads of …

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This Land

Tickling Giants: the rise (and fall) of Bassem Youssef, the so-called “Egyptian Jon Stewart” whose satire show once had 30,000,000 weekly viewers.

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Tickling Giants

Complex and challenging exploration of the international
 big game hunting industry and the ethical issues that surround it. Essential viewing.

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Trophy

How do you commemorate soldiers who died in wars perpetrated by their oppressors? Mudzingwa and Ledwaba correctly seek no easy answer to this complicated question. At its narrative core is the Ditrupa, a celebration of military …

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Troupes of War: Diturupa

The Soweto uprising of 1976 is well documented: students peacefully protested the mandatory inclusion of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. By nightfall over 200 lay dead. The less well-documented ‘76 protest action by activists in …

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Uprize!

Through interviews with her cousin in Dresden, and her uncle who remains in the family home, what seems straightforward becomes beguilingly complex and somewhat quixotic: more is gone and lost than retained and knowable. The intersections …

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Waithira

The ritual kale zombi – a mix of dance, trance-inducing percussion and flagellation – re-enacts the trauma of slavery in remote Haiti.

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Whipping Zombie

More consecutive #1 hits than the Beatles but endless scandals involving drugs, sex, and a violent husband eventually eclipsed her rocketing star. A must-see biopic.

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Whitney: Can I Be Me?

An unflinching look at the 2014 events triggered by the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Citizen journalism at its best.

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Whose Streets?

With her icon husband ‘safe’ in prison, Winnie faced the brunt of apartheid cruelty and an adoring, fickle public that first cast her as the Mother of the Nation, and then cast her down as a …

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Winnie