WELCOME TO THE THIRD ENCOUNTERS SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL. We have been heartened by the response to the Festival, by both the public and filmmakers, which makes this Festival grow and grow. In 1999 we screened 23 titles; in 2000 we screened 32 titles; this year, out of the phenomenal 300+ titles sent to us, we present 44 titles for your delectation. This is the first year that we will travel to Johannesburg and we are testing the waters with a 'Choice" selection of the Cape Town programme.

Encounters is gaining international recognition. We have formed an association with the Swiss Festival Visions du Réel and this year nine South Africans, among them the four 1999 Close Encounters filmmakers, attended this festival, courtesy of Pro Helvetia. Five South African films were screened there, two of them in competition: Pule Diphare' s JG Strijdom is Very, Very Dead and Lindy Wilson's Gugulethu Seven.

Last year over 50 filmmakers attended the Festival. This year we hope to prove just as popular... and can already name some of our guests. From abroad we welcome Werner Schweizer [Switzerland], Jan Heijs [Holland] and Darcus Howe [Britain]. Among the South Africans are Cliff Bestall, Pule Diphare, Craig & Damon Foster, Ingrid Gavshon, John Hendricks, Teboho Mahlatsi, Craig Matthew and Joëlle Chesselet.

This is a "live" and lively event. In addition to the filmmakers talking about their films we have organized many Panel Discussions. Experts, academics, people in the know and people in the films will be in the cinemas to comment on the films and answer any questions you may have about the issues they raise.

We wish to thank all those that have made this Third Encounters possible: Pro Helvetia , the Swiss Arts Council, Peter da Rin in Zurich and, in particular, Mirjam Asmal in Cape Town; the Royal Netherlands Embassy , Hans Glaubitz in Pretoria and Holland Film in Amsterdam; the British Council, Jo Maurice in London and Gail Learmont in Cape Town; the 16 European Union Conference Workshop and Cultural Initiative Fund [CWCI], Emmanuelle Gille in Pretoria; Cinema Nouveau , Nico van der Merwe, for his support of the Festival and encouraging audiences by means of our low ticket prices, and his staff in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Thanks to Tim Atkinson for his support, he provides the video machinery, and to the Victoria Junction Hotel for making all our guests so comfortable.

Last year, commissioned 2 films as a result of the Close Encounters Laboratory. We are pleased to screen these films and the four Close Encounters films from 1999. To date, 20 first-time directors have passed through the Laboratory, six have made films for and they and other Laboratory candidates have gone on to make their own films, elsewhere. is once again committed to commissioning films from the Laboratory, we thank them for their support.

Molly Slingsby is the Laboratory coordinator, Peter Eaton the Festival programmer, Laun Bowman and Jacqui Dolamore coordinated the Panel Discussions. Tania Bester is the programme designer. We thank them one and all for their efforts.



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