U.S. Mission South Africa Hosts American Film Showcase Filmmakers for Encounters Documentary Festival and Film Premier

Media Advisory | June 1, 2017

The U.S. Mission to South Africa is pleased to announce the visit of Emmy-nominated film producer Carolyn Hepburn and social innovation strategist Lina Srivastava May 31 – June 10, 2017.  The filmmakers are participants in the U.S. Department of State’s American Film Showcase, which facilitates “film diplomacy” by funding the participation of American filmmakers in screenings and workshops around the world.

During their visit to South Africa, the filmmakers will facilitate screenings, workshops, and master classes for South Africa’s up-and-coming and experienced filmmakers in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town.  They are also participating in the Encounters Documentary Festival in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  For a schedule of their participation at Encounters, please visit www.encounters.co.za/.

Hepburn co-produced the Oscar-nominated film Life, Animated, which will make its South African premier at the film festival.  She also produced the Emmy-nominated film, 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, which won the Special Jury Prize for Social Impact at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015.  Life, Animated will be screened at Encounters at 8:00 p.m. on June 3, followed by a question and answer session (Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg http://www.thebioscope.co.za/).  It is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.   

Srivastava is the founder of the Creative Impact and Experience Lab (CIEL), a social innovation strategy group in New York City.  She has been involved in social engagement campaigns for documentaries such as Oscar-winning Born in Brothels and Emmy-nominated The Devil Came on Horseback.  She also has a wealth of experience working on strategic project design for organizations such UNICEF, UNESCO, the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The American Film Showcase is a U.S. government-sponsored program that brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent fiction films, and documentary know-how to audiences around the world, offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers.  Funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and produced by the University of Southern Carolina’s School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the Showcase highlights the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation, dialogue and debate. For more information on AFS, please visit americanfilmshowcase.com.

In addition to Encounters, media are invited to cover American Film Showcase events hosted by the U.S. Mission to South Africa in Gauteng and Bloemfontein.  For more information, please see list below and contact U.S. Embassy spokesperson Cindy Harvey at Harveycr@state.gov to confirm participation.

Carolyn Hepburn – Film Screenings

Friday, June 2:
10:00 – Screening of 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets and Q&A at Rosa Parks Library, Ipelegeng Community Center, Cnr. Kumalo & Phera Streets, Jabavu, Soweto

Monday, June 5:
10:00 & 16:00 – Screening of Life, Animated and Q&A, University of the Free State in Bloemfontein

Lina Srivastava – Master classes: How to become a social impact filmmaker

Wednesday, June 7:
10:00 – Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking, Johannesburg
14:00 – Olive Tree Theatre, Johannesburg

Thursday, June 8:
10:00 – Vaal University of Technology
14:30 – City of Johannesburg Film Resource Unit

For more information: Cindy Harvey USEmbassySApress@state.gov