Call For Entries | Al Jazeera Pitching Forum at Encounters


Still from Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man by Mayenzeke Baza

On Saturday 15 June 2013 in Cape Town, two commissioning editors from Al Jazeera will listen to pitches from 16 African filmmakers. Each person has a maximum of five minutes to pitch their film, with an  additional 10 minutes allocated for feedback and questions from the panel. Visual aids will be provided for those that have DVDs or presentations during the pitch.

This is the second year in a row that Al Jazeera has hosted a pitching session during Encounters. In 2012, Mayenzeke Baza pitched Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man, which went on to screen on Al Jazeera earlier this year.


Interested parties should send not more than:

·         A one-page synopsis of their film

·         A one-page biography of the filmmaker, including complete contact details (telephone no, city of residence, home and work address)

To:  Nikissi Serumaga ( on or before 4pm, Monday 27 May 2013. 

Selections will be confirmed by Friday, 31 May 2013.

Please note that all participants who have been selected to pitch must be available for a one-day pitching workshop that will take place on Friday, 14 June 2013. 

The Al Jazeera Pitching Forum takes place on Saturday, 15 June 2013 at:

Protea Breakwater Lodge,
V&A Waterfront,
Cape Town. 

Al Jazeera English is an international news channel, holding over sixty bureaus which span six different continents. Since being established in 2006, it has continued to grow in reach and popularity due to its global coverage, especially from under-reported regions. The channel currently broadcasts to over 250m households across 130 countries. Its in-depth approach to journalism has won it numerous awards and plaudits over the years, including RTS News Channel of the Year 2012, Freesat Best News Channel, the Columbia Journalism Award, a DuPont award, and a George Polk award.

Al Jazeera is one of the world’s leading media corporations, encompassing news, documentary and sport channels. It was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to covering and uncovering stories in the region. It is now a media network consisting of over 20 channels – Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Documentary, the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies.

The Panel

Dominique Young

A senior producer based in Al Jazeera English’s bureau in London, Young commissions a wide range of documentaries on African and Middle Eastern subject matter, for broadcast in the channel’s flagship observational documentary strand, Witness, as well as other documentary seasons.

Witness broadcasts one 25’ film and one 48’ film each week. Witness films are character-led, first-person stories which set the context to the daily news agenda and provide an insight into key events of the day as they impact on the lives of ordinary people. Witness documentaries are inspirational and provocative with a global resonance and appeal. As far as possible, Witness stories are told by local filmmakers, as Witness aims to showcase the work of established and emerging documentary talent from around the world.

Diarmuid Jeffreys

An award-winning journalist and television producer with 30 years’ experience in the media industry, Jeffreys has been an executive producer at Al Jazeera English since 2008.  Now based in Doha, he is responsible for its People & Power investigative current affairs programme and a range of other documentaries across the network. In 2011, that output also included several films as part of AJE’s much praised coverage of the Arab Awakening. In the last three years his programmes have won an Amnesty Award for Best Television Documentary 2010, the Rory Peck Best Features Award 2011, Best Documentary 2011 from the Human Trafficking Foundation, and a 2013 Silver Medal for Best Investigative Documentary at the New York Film Festival. They have twice  been commended in the Best Investigative Documentary category by the Association of International Broadcasters. In May 2012, another series, Africa Investigates (in which African journalists target corruption and human rights abuses across their continent), won a One World Media Award.

With a new half-hour edition every week and broadcast throughout the year, People & Power pursues stories from all over the world; combining hard-hitting, revelatory and incisive television journalism with high quality filmmaking, probing deep into stories of global significance and investigating everything from political and corporate wrongdoing, human rights abuses and the origins of conflict to the plight of the world’s most vulnerable peoples. Over the last four years it has filmed everywhere – from Pakistan to Peru, from the USA to Afghanistan, from South Africa to Brazil, and especially across the Middle East as it has produce award-winning coverage of dramatic events in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Algeria and elsewhere.


For more information, visit Encounters.

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