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.

Encounters recently advertised the vacancy and received some 32 applications for the post.

“We were most encouraged by the calibre of the applicants,” said Co-Founder Nodi Murphy. “It demonstrates that there is a healthy interest in the Festival and the genre.”

“Encounters is well established but we believe that Darryl will take the Festival to new heights,” said Co-Founder Steven Markovitz.

Els is no stranger to curating film programmes and developing audiences as he is a founding member of the successful independent Johannesburg cinema, The Bioscope. A Wits graduate, he has worked in documentary production and as a researcher with a specific interest in South African cinema history. He has curated and presented programmes at various institutions and film festivals most recently as part of the Visionary Archive project in Berlin.

“Encounters has played an important role in developing my own knowledge and love of documentary film. I am delighted to be joining such a long running institution”, said Els.

Encounters, established in 1999, is the pre-eminent documentary festival in Africa and takes place annually in June in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Screening the best of African and international documentaries, Encounters hosts Master Classes, producers workshops, pitching forums and has commissioned over 50 documentaries.

Key Festival funders have included the National Film & Video Foundation, the Bertha Foundation, Al Jazeera and the National Lotteries Commission.