Almost 6000 Encounters documentary festival goers have spoken – the winners of this year’s Audience Award are Shamiela’s House, directed by Robyn Rorke (Best South African Documentary) and Angel’s in the Dust, directed by Louise Hogarth (Best International Documentary).

The Top 3 South African Films are:

  1. Shamiela’s House directed by Robyn Rorke;
  2. Zulu Surf Riders directed by Andrè Cronje and Carlos Francisco;
  3. The Shaman’s Apprentice directed by Catherine Winter.

The Top 3 International Films are:

  1. Angels in the Dust directed by Louise Hogarth;
  2. Iron Ladies of Liberia directed by Siatta Scott Johnson and Daniel Junge;
  3. Stranded – I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains directed by Gonzalo Arijon.

The 10th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2008, which is supported by the Gauteng Film Commission, had full houses in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and also great attendances at the industry events.

Commenting on the Audience Awards, festival director Mandisa Zitha said: “Encounters values the Audience Awards as they are a gauge of audience tastes and preferences. We are grateful to our festival-goers that attended the screenings, gave critical input to the filmmakers through our Q&A and panel discussions and voted for our Audience Award. It has become evident that South Africa has the capacity to grow an intelligent and engaged documentary film audience. We will continue with the Awards which give us insight when selecting for next year.”