Jan 262015

Return to Homs trailer


Encounters, with the support of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), will host a Producers Lab to support teams from seven South African documentary companies to gain skills and tools necessary to operate optimally on the international scene.

Lab Description
The Producers Lab is an intensive four-day programme, a unique opportunity to accelerate your project and benefit from the experience of acclaimed, multiple-award-winning Syrian documentary producer Orwa Nyrabia (Return to Homs).

The teams will participate in a project-focused development process, led by Nyrabia, including valuable one-on-one consultations. Other top industry professionals will also tutor in their field of expertise: the role of the producer, creative producing, co-production, raising local and international finance, navigating film festivals, distribution and international sales.

The support will also include two Skype sessions with Nyrabia, one before the Lab and one after.

The targeted process will support producers in advancing their projects, gaining critical knowledge and skills, thereby growing their company’s capacity.

About Orwa Nyrabia
Orwa Nyrabia is a Syrian documentary producer, co-founder of PROACTION FILM and DOX BOX Doc Film Festival in Syria, and currently the CEO of PROACTION FILM GmbH in Germany. He continues to produce documentary films from Syria and the region, most recently the award-winning documentary films Silvered Water (Cannes and Toronto 2014) and Return to Homs (Opening Film, IDFA 2013, Winner Grand Jury Prize, Sundance 2014). Orwa graduated from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts Damascus in 1999 and went on to study Audiovisual Financing & International Co-production at the Sorbonne (2006).

The course is designed for small, micro and medium-sized production companies, and is specifically for individuals from previously disadvantaged backgrounds (including women and disabled people).

Companies must have produced at least one documentary.

Each company can apply for a maximum of two participants, as the programme is open to producers, directors and writers.

Applicants must be available for the whole duration of the four-day programme, including individual Skype meetings with the facilitator.

The workshop will take place from 23–26 March 2015 in Cape Town.

Encounters and the NLDTF will cover the full costs of the programme, which includes:
• travel and accommodation
• course materials
• all meals

The selection committee will comprise of appointed representatives from the industry and Encounters. Applicants will be notified by email within two weeks of the submission deadline.

Submitting Applications
Extended Application Deadline: Thursday, 5 March 2015

Applicants must submit:
• Project Proposal, treatment and synopsis
• Project materials: trailers, scene selects or rough cuts via a link, WeTransfer or Dropbox
• Company profile
• CV of Producer (s) and other Project Applicants.
• Filmography
• Contact co-ordinates
• DVD copies or links to other film(s) made

Nazeer Ahmed
Email: nazeer@encounters.co.za
Tel: (021) 465-4686

Dec 042014

vivian web


Congratulations to the 15 documentaries shortlisted for next year’s Oscars, especially to Finding Vivian Maier (above), which screened at Encounters last year. Watch the trailers for all the Academy Award shortlisted documentaries below:

Art and Craft

The Case against 8

Citizen Koch


Finding Vivian Maier

The Internet’s Own Boy

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Keep On Keepin’ On

The Kill Team

Last Days in Vietnam

Life Itself

The Overnighters

The Salt of the Earth

Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Nov 172014

unearthed web

Unearthed, winner of the 2014 Audience Award for Best South African Film


The organisers of Encounters South African International Documentary Festival are calling for entries from South African and international filmmakers for the 17th edition of the festival, which will run from 4-14 June 2015 in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Due to the extraordinary number of entries Encounters has decided to charge a nominal submission fee of USD15. African filmmakers are exempt.

• Audience Award for Best South African Film
• Audience Award for Best International Film

Deadline for submissions:
• 25 March 2015

Please note that we will be pleased to consider works in progress / rough cuts if your film will be ready in time for the festival itself. If you need an extension on the submission deadline, please contact Nazeer Ahmed on nazeer@encounters.co.za


Want to submit a film? African or South African documentaries, click here. International documentaries, click here

Best regards,
The Encounters Team
Tel: +27 21 465 4686
Fax: +27 21 461 6964