Call for Submissions: Bertha-Encounters-Guardian Online Documentary Pitching Forum & Prize

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, in collaboration with Bertha Foundation and The Guardian, is pleased to announce a new opportunity for African documentary filmmakers in Brief Encounters: An Online Short Documentary Pitching Forum & Development Prize.

Filmmakers from across Africa are invited to pitch ideas for documentaries of between 5-20 minutes in length. 10 – 15 projects will be pre-selected and these filmmakers will pitch in one-on-one sessions with Charlie Phillips, The Guardian’s Head of Documentaries. The event will take place during the Encounters Documentary Festival on Saturday, 4 June 2016 in Cape Town. Selected applicants who cannot attend will be able to participate via Skype.

The winning pitch will receive  a Bertha-Encounters-Guardian Development Prize of US $2,000. This award is intended for research, development and initial production of the winning pitch. The process will be mentored by Charlie Philips and Rebecca Lichtenfeld, Director of Social Impact Media at Bertha Foundation. The winner, however, is not guaranteed a commission from The Guardian.

Submission Details:

  • Applicants should submit a ONE PAGE proposal that includes a brief synopsis and treatment.
  • Biographies of filmmakers should be no more than a paragraph.
  • Links to previous works and promo of proposal, if available.
  • Please include a Skype address.

ONLY the first 100 submissions will be considered.

*Any application that does not follow criteria will not be accepted.

Send to: with Brief Encounters in the subject line.

Submission deadline: 20th May 2016 at 4pm SAST
Download this call for entries

Brief Encounters is aimed at relevant, original, stand-alone films (ideally not shortened versions of feature length films) that will appeal to a wide audience. Projects can be on any subject and it is strongly advised that interested filmmakers watch as many of The Guardian docs as possible to get a sense of the kinds of subjects and style.