Updates & Info Home Booking Details Film A - Z South African Features South Africa Shorts Films International Features International Short Films Art Slot Master Classes Panel Discussions Guest Film Makers Schedules Press Releases Staff Contacts Buy DVD Previous Years

join our facebook group


Welcome to the 11th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival! It is with a tremendous sense of relief that we are able to say this.

It has been a challenging and an enlightening experience organising this year’s Festival. The current financial crisis and recession have impacted not only on Encounters, but on the television industry.

Faced with the loss of substantial funding we have been humbled by the support we have received from funders, film organisations, and friends, among them Vivien Cohen and the Human Elephant Foundation, the Africa Centre and Isla Haddow-Flood, and the Carrol Boyes Group, to mention but a few who came to our rescue.

We received a record entry of over 600 films including many entries from emerging filmmakers in South Africa. Of the 40 films in our final line up half are local, bringing to the fore a diverse mix of filmmakers, themes and voices.

We are grateful to the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) for their continued support, and to the Cape Film Commission, the Jan Vrijman Fund, Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, to the French Embassy, British Council and High Commission of Canada which have sponsored films and enabled the attendance of 5 international guests and 14 South African filmmakers. In addition we thank Tempest, our car sponsor, Exclusive Books and Nu Metro.

We extend a warm welcome to all our filmmakers including the internationals - Velcrow Ripper (Canada), Yoav Shamir (Israel), Katrin Hansing (USA) and Angèle Diabang Brener (Senegal). We welcome back our local Festival alumni - Liz Fish, Riaan Hendricks, Zola Maseko, Francois Verster and Lindy Wilson - and all the newcomers, including two "subjects" - Dawn Matthews and Hip Hop Pantsula. We are also pleased to welcome Philip Miller whose Rewind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony is celebrated in our Opening Night film Rewind, directed by Liza Key.

There is a record of 15 South African World Premières in the programme. We congratulate and salute all the filmmakers who are celebrating their first public screenings. We are delighted that you have chosen the Festival as the platform to launch your films. Our partnership with the Goodman Gallery exposes us to a different kind of filmmaking with contemporary works by South African artists in ARTSLOT. The Documentary Filmmakers Association launched the “My Town” project, 3-minute documentaries that will precede several films.

We thank the Press, in particular The Times, and Business Arts South Africa (BASA) for their support.
Lastly, I wish to thank the committed people that form the Encounters Team. Behind me stand Nazeer Ahmed, Nodi Murphy, Steven Markovitz, Nololo Lange, our part time staff and many enthusiastic volunteers.

I hope you enjoy the Festival and look forward to seeing you often.

Mandisa Zitha - Festival Director