Pubcaster, fest put out call for black filmmakers

Encounters encourages diverse subject matter

JOHANNESBURG – Six black South African filmmakers will be invited to make documentaries on white people for a bold new series called “Black on White.”

The series of six hour segments has been commissioned by the Encounters Documentary Festival and Laboratory and pubcaster channel SABC1 in partnership with Fuzebox Productions and O-Dacity Films.

Encounters wants six challenging, provocative, humorous films about what black people feel and think about “white people, whiteness, white worlds.”

“We know there are untold stories about race,” says a spokesman. “We believe that ‘Black on White’ is a vehicle for those expressions.”

Acknowledging that the series is likely to be contentious, Encounters is looking for black filmmakers “that have the courage to say that race matters in this country, and who can express these ideas using the different traditions and genres of documentary filmmaking.”

The deadline for submissions is May 24 and the docs will premiere at the seventh Encounters Documentary Festival in July 2005.

Encounters recently appointed Sam Pollard, associate professor in film at New York U, as head trainer. Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s films including “Mo’ Better Blues,” and won an Emmy for HBO bio sketch “Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson,” and an Oscar nomination for the feature-length doc “Four Little Girls.”

The Encounters South African Intl. Documentary Festival will be held in Cape Town from July 16 to Aug. 1 and in Johannesburg from July 31 to Aug. 8.