It's been a long time since last year's festival and now, so much has happened in 2010 both locally and internationally. What has not changed is our commitment to deliver to our audience films that challenge us, that move us, that inspire us to think through and speak out. In the context of the present media landscape this festival and other initiatives which aim to widen democratic space remain critically important.
2010 has seen an unprecedented amount of high quality, independently made South African documentary films released. Perhaps due to the meltdown at the SABC, local filmmakers have been forced to turn to their own imagination and passion to find the stories they want to tell and make the films they want to make. Only time will tell whether this lateral expansion will be sustained but for the meantime audiences can look forward to a diverse feast of films.
2010 has also been a year where Africa has come into focus. The paucity of independent production on the continent has always made programming extremely difficult, but this year we had a bumper crop of documentary cinema from Africa submitted to the festival. We have chosen some of the most poignant of these stories. Enter the worlds of Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso to experience Africa in new and challenging ways.
On the festival front it been tremendously difficult as the recession has started to bite hard into the budgets of our financial supporters. As a consequence we have sadly had to drop the Cape Town leg and severely curtail our outreach activities. Our hope is that the National Lottery will renew their funding for 2011 and the two following years so as to secure the future of the festival. We call on all our supporters who are in a position to help effect support to communicate with us.
On behalf of the Festival Team and all our partners, we welcome you to the 8th Edition of the Tri- Continental Film Festival.