Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 June 2017
at the
19th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

Call for submissions

Eyes on the prize! A second opinion is a useful thing and Encounters, in partnership with the South African Guild of Editors (SAGE) and the Refinery Cape Town, are inviting documentary filmmakers who are ‘almost there’ with their feature-length films to take advantage of the inaugural three-day ROUGH CUT LAB.

There are 3 places on offer and all filmmakers whose films are currently in post-production, and who would welcome the opportunity to have the keen and dedicated peer attention of SAGE award-winning editors and the Refinery’s post-expertise to help polish their work, are encouraged to apply.

The Encounters Rough Cut Lab takes place in Cape Town from Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 June, during the 19th Encounters Documentary Festival 1 – 11 June 2017.

Three Director & Editor teams and their films will be selected from all applications received by the deadline of Friday 5 May 2017.


The films must be:

  • A South African production
  • No less than 5 weeks into edit
  • An advanced rough cut
  • No less than 70 minutes – feature length – upon completion.
  • All footage must be accessible on USB 3 or firewire hard drives
  • Invited filmmakers must be available for the full period of the Rough Cut Lab.



  • Online screener link of rough cut, Vimeo preferred
  • Software package details
  • Synopsis 1 page
  • Director’s vision/treatment 1 page
  • Editor’s vision/treatment 1 page
  • Bios of Director and Editor 1 page
  • Post production schedule and timeline to completion
  • Bullet-point list of “problems”
  • Short point description of work achieved thus far.


Post applications to: pa@nullencounters.co.za

Subject line: Rough Cut Lab

By: 5pm Friday 5 May 2017

The Small Print:
  • Check that everything required for your submission is delivered
  • Incomplete submissions will be disqualified
  • Encounters Rough Cut Lab will be acknowledged in the film credits

Encounters Rough Cut Lab – Cape Town

Since its inception in 1999, Encounters has been dedicated to stimulating the local documentary industry – first with the Close Encounters Lab which has produced some 48 films (feature length, shorts and mobis), and now, with the inaugural Encounters Rough Cut Lab, hosted in partnership with the South African Guild of Editors (SAGE) and The Refinery Cape Town.

The “targets” of Rough Cut are films and filmmakers in the advanced stages of their production cycle. The opportunity for instrumental, knowledgeable advice and feedback will provide that polish for films as they enter the festival and distribution markets.

South African Guild of Editors (SAGE)

SAGE is a voluntary non-profit organisation for post production professionals. With more than 100 members, the Guild represents most of the best talent in the feature film, TV drama, documentary and sound editing fields. The volunteer Executive Committee, all professionals in post production, give of their free time to maintain the organisation.

SAGE aims to ensure that editors are not isolated, and endeavours to increase communication between post production professionals for moral and technical support. SAGE holds events where their members meet to share their experience and expertise. Represented nationally, SAGE actively seeks new members and supports current members as the industry advances and expands. SAGE is a member organisation of South African Screen Federation (SASFED) which represents the broader film industry to government.

Refinery Cape Town

What we would really like to see is filmmakers engaging with us a lot sooner in the process.  Getting us involved at a point where we can really add value and, more often than not, assist in saving costs. We want to make filmmakers aware, especially young filmmakers, that we have an open door policy and all the expert post-production information they need can be easily accessed. This is key to our involvement with the Encounters Film Festival.

Refinery Cape Town

Refinery Cape Town is a full service post production facility that supplies end to end customised solutions. The facilities are designed with stereoscopic, HD, 2K & 4K workflows in mind. Media management specialists of front-end film to final mastered deliveries, Refinery Cape Town has the latest technology in the market and budget friendly solutions.

It offers a tailor-made complete, full-service post production solution for long format projects, from daily deliveries through the editorial process, DI and deliveries and sound 5.1 mixing. Its filmography is an impressive list of local and international feature films, television projects and documentaries.