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June/July 2011

The organisers of ENCOUNTERS, the annual South African International Documentary Festival, are calling for entries from South African and International filmmakers for 2010 the 12th edition of the festival.

ENCOUNTERS will show a selection of documentary films from around the world, with a particular focus on South African work.

Filmmakers must guarantee, should their film be selected, that permission from the rights holder are secured for a minimum of six screenings at this Festival.
The deadline for submissions 20th March 2011

Encounters is the only South African distributor dedicated to distributing documentaries to the South African public. Encounters promote and sell films to television, through DVDs and in cinemas.

For additional information feel free to contact Nazeer Ahmed at distribution@encounters.co.za

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

Download the 2011 Encounters Entry Form & Regulations


Encounters announces Audience Award winners

After a marathon 17-day run in Cape Town and a satellite in Johannesburg, Encounters is proud to announce the winners of the annual Audience Awards for Best South African and International Documentary.

The Best South African Documentary winner is:

The 16th Man directed by Clifford Bestall

The Best International Documentary winner is:

Of Heart and Courage: Béjart Ballet Lausanne directed by Arantxa Aguirre.

A special mention is given to the 2nd and 3rd runners up in both categories:

South African:

2. Afrikaaps directed by Dylan Valley
3. Thembi directed by Jo Menell


2. Yes Men Fix the World directed by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno
3. Sathima's Windsong directed by Daniel A. Yon

The Audience Award referee, Professor Tim Dunne, Head of Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, analyzed the eligible ballot forms submitted by the Cape Town festival-goers.

The 2010 programme of 50 films was selected from a record entry of over 800 films, and included several award winning and International festival favourites. Encounters was proud to host 29 South African and African films, and 26 International films.

"This year we challenged ourselves to secure most, if not all of the best films we hortlisted, despite some high screening costs. The popularity of local documentaries with our audiences is a clear indication of the calibre of the programmes selected", said Festival Director Mandisa Zitha.

This year, Encounters broadened the Festival to two independent theatres, The Labia on Orange in Cape Town and The Bioscope in Johannesburg.

The Festival was organised on a minimal budget, due to funding challenges.

12th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2010

"Since its inception, Encounters has without doubt demonstrated that, even with limited resources, it is a festival that can be sustainable for many years to come," said NFVF CEO Eddie Mbalo during the Festival opening ceremony.

The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Festival.

The City of Cape Town came on board and pledged their support,

"The hosting of the encounters event shows how far the City has progressed in its push to become the host capital of major events in the World. having been one of the host cities for the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup event, Cape Town is looking forward to hosting more strategic events in order to consolidate this status. One of the major priorities in the City's revised economic development strategy is the strengthening and growing of key sectors such as the creative industries and tourism that will contribute to the development of Cape Town. Supporting and hosting events like the Encounters Film Festival, a South African International Film Festival will add to the strengthening and growing of the film industry in Cape Town – film industry is part of the creative industries sector", said Mansoor Mohamed, Executive Director: Economic Social Development and Tourism, City of Cape Town

This Festival and its projects are supported by:

The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Festival. Encounters is made possible by the further support of the City of Cape Town, Cape Film Commission, Provincial Government of Western Cape, Arts & Culture Trust & Breadline Africa, The Times, Nu Metro, Tempest Car Hire, Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, French Embassy, British Council, Goethe Institut, German Consulate General Cape Town and Cape Town TV.


Welcome to the 12th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival!

As documentary film gains momentum globally, the international film festival community has been thrust into a financial crisis, signaling a threat to the democratic space provided by film festivals. Additionally, with a crisis in broadcasting internationally, that
community is now faced with a challenge and is having to find new ways to operate.

We are proud of our involvement with Sichuan TV Festival (China),
Tempo Documentary Festival (Sweden), Africadoc (France) and BBC
Myworld Competition.

This year, we are operating with the same budget as we did in 1999 when the Festival began, so the cocktails won’t be as fancy. Despite radical budget cuts we will continue to host this Festival annually for the benefit of our stakeholders and our audiences.

Look through our programme, and you will discover that we have scoured the international festival scene, film magazines, websites and recommendations from fellow cinephiles to bring you excellent films that reflect the genre locally and internationally.

We received a record-breaking 800 films from around the world, an indication of our reputation internationally. The selection process was rigorous and we enlisted the help of over ten film readers from across various fields (academia, film, media industries).

We have done (almost) everything to bring you a programme of 50+ films including international award winners, festival favourites and SA World Premières.

We welcome our international guests Denis Delestrac (France / Spain), Yoruba Richen (USA) and Stefanie Brockhaus and Andy Wolff (Germany). We welcome back our old friends - Cliff Bestall, Rehad Desai, Jo Menell, Riaan Hendricks and Omelga Mthiyane to
the Festival, and the rest of the local fraternity exhibiting their films this year.

We are excited at the emergence of a new independent theatre The Bioscope, in Joburg, and are hosting a ‘Satellite’ Festival there. We wish to thank the National Film and Video Foundation, for upholding their mission and vision to support local film festivals, and
for remaining the sole principal funder of Encounters. Our Festival is further made possible by various funders, partners and friends whose logos are on our sponsorship page.

Thanks to the Encounters team: Nazeer Ahmed, Nodi Murphy, Steven Markovitz, Carol de Vos, Nololo Lange, Out In Africa ; our numerous, generous volunteers, Twoshoes Design, and everyone else that took a pay-cut.

It’s all about documentaries now for the next 17 days, so sit back and laugh, be provoked, excited, challenged and moved... and then come back for more!

Last but not least – the Festival hang out space is La Playa – they are offering a 20% discount on food and drinks to all Film Festival patrons who can produce a valid ticket and you can smoke on their balcony !

Mandisa Zitha – Festival Director