South African Craig Matthew selected for his Living Archive Project
Encounters South African International Documentary Festival has partnered with MIPDOC, the international showcase for documentary screenings held annually in Cannes, for the International Trailblazer Awards.

Encounters has had the task and privilege of naming the African Trailblazer, directors selected for their creativity, innovation and personal vision in the world of documentary making, since 2006. This year, the African Trailblazer is one among seven international filmmakers representing Europe, the Middle East, North America, Australia, Korea and Japan.

Encounters' Director, Mandisa Zitha, said: "South African filmmaker Craig Matthew, whose films have screened at Encounters, has been selected specifically for his Living Archive Project. Matthew is making use of an extensive archive of material and new forms of multi layered and multi sensory media, harnessing new technologies to seamlessly navigate landscape, physical archives and memory.

"We celebrate his inventiveness in developing new forms of presenting and developing documentary materials. Unlocking new revenue streams for filmmakers and offering viewers a more interactive experience than linear films illustrates that Craig is breaking new ground and creating new opportunities."

The International Trailblazer Award ceremony takes place annually at MIPDOC, which this year ran from 28 -29 March, at the Hotel InterContinental Carlton in Cannes, ahead of MIPTV.

"As both a market and a forum for creativity, MIPDOC is delighted to welcome the International Trailblazers who reflect the diversity of visions in documentary making," said Laurine Garaude, Reed MIDEM's acting Director of the Television Division.

The seven International Trailblazers 2009 are:

  • Marianna Kaat - European Trailblazer selected by the European Documentary Network (EDN, Denmark).
  • Craig Matthew - African Trailblazer selected by Encounters (South Africa)
  • Nahed Awwad - Middle East Trailblazer selected by the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel (Qatar).
  • Robert Lang - North American Trailblazer selected by the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC).
  • Mark Hartley - Australian Trailblazer selected by the Australian Film Institute (AFI).
  • Jeong Ook Lee - Korean Trailblazer selected by the EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF, Korea).
  • Ayumi Ito - Japanese Trailblazer selected by the Association of All Japan TV Program Production Companies (ATP).

For biographies of the Internationals Trailblazers 2009, go to