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Race and Identity in South African filmmaking

Race and Identity in South African filmmaking : Debate at Encounters

In the past few months there has been much debate about racial issues in the South African film arena. Tsotsi won the Oscar® and the whole country was celebrating, but there have been critical statements made about issues of representation of black identity in that film. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu made a statement during the TRC anniversary this year, stating that there are still white people who are not thankful for the forgiveness of black people after apartheid.

This statement has incited hostile emotions amongst some South Africans and filmmakers subscribing to the Moviezone web discussion group. Has the new South Africa changed the way that white filmmakers represent black identity? Do black filmmakers now have more access to filmmaking? Is the film industry still dominated by white males? Encounters would like to address questions of access, representation and privilege in the documentary film industry by hosting a panel discussion during the 2006 Festival.

There are many documentaries on the 2006 Festival which highlight these issues including the Black on White series, the South African Archive films and the African focus.

Planned as a forum for debate Encounters has invited a number of filmmakers and representatives of the SABC to sit on a Panel, with a facilitator chairing the event. There will be opportunity for questions and comments from the floor.


Wednesday 19th July @ 6.30pm- 8.30pm

JHB panellists:

Beathur Baker, SABC Commisssioning Editor

Sipho Singiswa, Black Filmmakers' Network

Angus Gibson, Producer/Director

Khalo Matabane, Filmmaker

Facilitator: Tony Kgoroge, Actor

Entrance Free. Seating Limited

Johannesburg: Nu Metro Hyde Park 14 July – 23 July 2006

Encounters is made possible through the sponsorship of the NFVF, the SABC, the European Union’s Conference Workshop and Cultural Initiative Fund (CWCI), Jameson (for our Audience Award and libations), Nu Metro, Exclusive Books and OpenNetworks. Other organisations that provide vital assistance are the Department of Arts and Culture, British Council, French Embassy, Holland Film and the Swedish Film Institute.

Visit for full information on the Films, Master Classes, Workshops, Guest Filmmakers and screening schedules.

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