Encounters returns as it announces first four films to screen at the festival

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo. (Photo: Gallo Images)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo. (Photo: Gallo Images)
  • After two years, Encounters returns as an "in-person" event.
  • The festival will take place from 23 June to 3 July.
  • Four documentaries have been announced so far, including Music is My Life.

The 24th edition of the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is making an in-person return.

After two years the festival’s films will once again be screened in selected cinemas in Cape Town and Johannesburg from 23 June to 3 July.

Music is My Life, the much-anticipated homage to Joseph Shabalala and his legendary music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, will make its world premiere at the festival on opening night.

Directed by emerging young filmmaker Mpumi "Supa" Ngcuka, a graduate of the Chelsea Arts School, New York Film Academy and the AAA, Music is My Life is the official story of the  iconic doyenne of South Africa’s unique isicathamiya (a capella) sound and the music group that infused itself into the heart of a nation and the world.

Also screening at the festival will be Girl Taken, the story of Zephany Nurse. The film tells a tale of hope and loss, of a broken family battling their way towards finding togetherness again and explores the concept of nature and nurture.

The prolific multiple award-winning documentary filmmaker Jane Lipman brings us an intimate portrait of George Bizos in another African premiere for the festival. A thirteen-year-old Greek village boy and refugee from Nazi occupied Greece becomes a South African and international icon. The film documents his journey to becoming a South African human rights and constitutional lawyer through the brutality of the apartheid years. He defended heroes such as Steve Biko and Chris Hani.

Shameela Seedat, whose award-winning film about Thuli Madonsela entitled Whispering Truth to Power opened Encounters in 2018, returns to the festival with African Moot, straight from revered Canadian documentary festival, Hot Docs. African Moot delves into the complexities of the global legal world, as aspiring lawyers gather for the annual African Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

More films will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

The following cinemas will be screening the 2022 Encounters’ line-up:

Cape Town: The Labia Theatre, The Bertha House Mowbray, and The Bertha Movie House Isivivana Community Centre Khayelitsha.

Johannesburg: The Bioscope Independent Cinema, CineCentre Killarney.

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