The 16th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival will run from 5-15 June 2014 in Cape Town and Johannesburg, exposing audiences to a more diverse, complex, and surprising world than they could ever imagine.

Many of the international documentaries take you behind recent news headlines. In The Unknown Known, Oscar-winner Errol Morris uses declassified memos to guide former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld through a discussion of his controversial career under four different Republican presidents, shedding light on Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and the War on Terror. Return to Homs, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, takes you to the frontlines in Syria, where two friends fight back against the army transforming their city into a ghost town. The Green Prince, winner of the Audience Award at Sundance, focuses on the oldest son of a founding member of Hamas, who agrees to spy for Israel.

Many of the documentaries explore contrasting responses to injustice.
Dangerous Acts Starring The Unstable Elements of Belarus focuses on a theatre group defying ‘Europe’s last dictatorship.’ Fuck For Forest documents an environmental NGO with an unusual fundraising strategy: they sell their homemade erotic films on the internet.
Concerning Violence is a call to arms, with Lauryn Hill narrating Frantz Fanon’s critique of the dehumanizing effects of colonization.

But there is also beauty in this year’s selection. The Oscar-nominated Cutie and The Boxer celebrates the challenges and richness of both marriage and art. The award-winning Finding Vivian Maier depicts a nanny who’s posthumous cache of 100 000 photographs has seen her hailed as one of the world’s most accomplished street photographers.

Africa’s most prestigious documentary festival runs from 5-15 June 2014 at Nu Metro V&A Waterfront and The Labia in Cape Town and The Bioscope in Johannesburg.

For the full schedule and more information on the festival visit encounters


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