Four documentaries produced by Filmmakers Against Racism (FAR) form part of this year�s 2009 Berlinale Forum at the prestigious 59th Berlin International Film Festival, taking place in Germany from 5 � 15th February.

Affectionately known as Alex
2008, South Africa, direction: Danny Turken, production: Neil Brandt & Khalid Shamis, Luna Films

Baraka (Blessing)
2008, South Africa, direction: Omelga Mthiyane & Riaan Hendricks, production: Marianne Gysae & Don Edkins, Steps/Day Zero Films

The Burning Man "Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave"
2008, South Africa, direction: Adze Ugah, production: Desiree Markgraaff, Bomb

Angels On Our Shoulders
2008, South Africa, direction/producer: Andy Spitz, Production: Left Eye Productions

All four filmmakers, including founding member of FAR, Rehad Desai, will be present at the screenings.  According to festival organisers, they will discuss the impetus to create FAR, what lies in store and how FAR plans to proceed and sustain its actions once the acuteness of the xenophic violence in South Africa is past.

"The xenophobic violence that erupted in South Africa in May last year was horrifying, saddening and angering in different turns. These events were the impetus for the country's leading independent filmmakers to come together and form a united front against violence and xenophobia. The collective Filmmakers Against Racism (FAR) launched on 23rd May 2008, has produced a series of documentary films and public service announcements which document the violence and their consequences, offering the most insightful perspective and critique on xenophobia.

Rehad Desai, founding member of FAR, said in an interview that he did not believe that the crisis had been dealt with properly. "We can not address the issues of xenophobia until we have addressed the core problems. I hope the documentary series keeps the issue alive, because we need to start asking the right questions if we are to find a lasting solution." Far more than television or any other media, films have a longer life and larger relevance in their documentation of events. FAR's attempt is thus not only to provide a lens on xenophobia but also to lead the way using film as a tool of intervention and affecting change. It underscores their wish to make a clear statement of their solidarity, their understanding and acceptance of different cultures through the medium of film.

"Panellists, the socially conscious and activist FAR filmmakers, will reflect on how filmmakers can behave in situations of extreme duress. How does one decide what is the right thing to do? What moral obligations do filmmakers have in a country in transition? They will throw light on the impervious circumstances that brought them together for the first time to act with immediacy, produce and distribute films within a relatively short span of time."