Thuli Madonsela. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Thuli Madonsela. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

It was supposed to be an occasion for celebration on Thursday night in Cape Town when former public protector Thuli Madonsela addressed the audience at the opening night of the 20th Encounters Documentary Film Festival.

Madonsela was there to watch Whispering Truth to Power‚ a documentary about her last year in office directed by Shameela Seedat‚ which won a Special Jury Prize at the HotDocs Film Festival in Canada in May.

However‚ festival organisers were dealt a severe blow on the day of the opening when they received a letter from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) informing them that the film body would not be making its usual contribution towards the festival’s running costs.

Mandisa Ralane, Encounters board member and former director of the festival, told Times Select on Friday that she and her fellow board members "were just kind of shocked that on the opening day of the festival we received a letter declining our funding on a night where we were celebrating 20 years of the festival that has been run sustainably".

• For more on this story‚ please visit Times Select.

Hot Docs has received filmmaker permission to upload this trailer to the HotDocsFest YouTube channel.