Encounters Rough Cut Lab Call for Submissions


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


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. Read More…

Vacancy: Film Programmer

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is seeking applications for the position of Film Programmer.

This individual will work alongside the Festival Director and will be responsible for charting the Festival’s artistic vision, including curating the main film programme and developing and implementing its film-related events (year round & Festival). The suitable candidate will have an extensive knowledge of documentary cinema and the local and international industry landscape. Read More…

Audience Awards


The Backsberg Encounters Audience Awards

and the

Bertha Foundation-Encounters-Guardian Development Prize

Over 10,000 people flocked to Encounters this year, enjoying the offerings of film screenings, a Virtual Reality and Interactive documentary exhibition, Master Classes, Industry presentations, pitching sessions and live events. Read More…


Encounters film festival in partnership with British Council Connect ZA presents Darkstar (UK)

Darkstar (Aiden Whalley & James Young) will be coming to the shores of Cape Town and the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg in June 2016. The duo has made great contributions to the UK’s electronic scene. The tour will take place from the 5th to the 12th of June. Read More…


As the new Festival Director it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 18th edition of the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.

I’ll always remember my first ‘Encounter,’ a decade ago – a packed theatre with a rapt audience, participating in every shot, scene and sequence of the extraordinary documentary being screened. For me, the energy of people coming together to share, discuss and enjoy documentary cinema is the very essence of Encounters. This year’s programme flows from this and I invite you to experience what is on offer in the three key areas of the Festival. Read More…

Call for Submissions: Al Jazeera-Encounters Pitching Forum

AL JAZEERA-ENCOUNTERS PITCHING FORUM CALL at the 18th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, in partnership with Al Jazeera, is calling African filmmakers to submit proposals for the Al Jazeera-Encounters Pitching Forum taking place in Johannesburg during the 18th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival on Saturday, 11 June 2016. Read More…

New Director appointed

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival announces appointment of new Director.

On behalf of the Board — Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza, Mandisa Zitha, Dr. Susan Levine, Dr. Ciraj Rassool, Nodi Murphy and Steven Markovitz — Encounters is pleased to announce the appointment of Darryl Els as the Director of the Documentary Festival. Read More…