This is the second time Bryan has won the Encounters' Audience Award: his Fokofpolisiekar: Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do documentary was named Best South African Film in 2009.
Joe Berlinger's Under African Skies won the Audience Award for Best International Film. A sell-out success at Encounters, Under African Skies tells the inside story of Paul Simon's trip to South Africa to record Graceland and his return last year to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The bestselling, Grammy-winning album introduced African music to the world and has been included in numerous Best Album of All Time lists by the likes of Rolling Stone and Time, but the trip was heavily criticized at the time, as it undermined the cultural embargo against Apartheid. Under African Skies' depiction of the inherent conflicts between the arts and politics were particularly topical in light of the recent Brett Murray controversy.
Encounters ran from the 7th to the 24th of June 2012 in two cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg, screening 52 documentaries from across the globe, including 16 world premieres. Overall, attendance was up by roughly 10% compared to last year.
"This year's festival proved that there's an audience hungry for quality documentary films," says outgoing festival director Mandisa Zitha. "12 different films sold out and we saw strong audience responses to a wide variety of films, including Under African Skies, An African Cypher, Marley, Saving Rhino Phila, Call Me Kuchu and Anne Frank Remembered. We were also very happy with our new partnerships with Al Jazeera English and The Fugard Theatre, which both worked incredibly well this year."
The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of Encounters, which is also made possible by the further support of Al Jazeera, The Cape Film Commission, Goethe-Institut, US Consulate General / AFS, The Times, Tempest Car Hire, HCI Foundation, Nu Metro, UCT, The Callsheet, What’s On, Mahala.co.za and CTV.
For more information visit the Encounters website.