Encounters Names Audience Award winners


The Village Under The Forest


Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

The Village Under The Forest has won the Audience Award at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival for Best South African Film, while Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present was voted Best International Film. The 15th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival ran from 6-16 June 2013 at The Bioscope in Jozi and at Nu Metro at the V&A Waterfront and The Fugard in Cape Town.

The Village Under The Forest explores the hidden remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, which lies under a purposefully cultivated forest plantation called South Africa Forest. Directed by Emmy-winner Mark J Kaplan and written and narrated by scholar and author Heidi Grunebaum, The Village Under The Forest unfolds as a personal meditation from the Jewish Diaspora.

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Encounter the World’s Best Documentaries


The 15th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival runs from 6-16 June 2013 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  

Africa’s premier documentary event will screen the most-talked about documentaries from around the world, including two 2013 Oscar nominees (The Gatekeepers and How To Survive A Plague) and winners from Berlin (Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present; In Heaven Underground), DOK Leipzig (Colombianos), and Sundance (Queen of VersaillesThe House I Live In). 

Documentaries broaden our experience of the world, showing us places few of us would otherwise see. We’re incredibly excited about this year’s streamlined lineup. Every year, most of the screenings sell-out, so we recommend booking early. 

– Festival director Lesedi Oluko Moche



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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.

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Call For Entries | Encounters Masterclass with IDFA Bertha Fund


With an ever-increasing demand on the limited funding resources available for filmmakers, it has become crucial to present a persuasive proposal and sound finance plan to potential funders. During Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, six participants will be given the unique opportunity to meet IDFA Bertha Fund manager Isabel Arrate and receive one-on-one counsel and guidance on their proposals.

With previous experience in festival production, programming and film financing, Arrate has been fund manager for 10 years.The IDFA Bertha Fund is the only fund in the world solely dedicated to stimulating and empowering the creative documentary sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.

Interested parties should send not more than:
1. A one-page synopsis of their film
2. A budget summary
3. Provisional finance plan (not compulsory)
4. A one-page biography, including complete contact details (telephone no, city of residence, home and work address)

To:  Nikissi Serumaga (manager@encounters.co.za) on or before 4pm, Monday 27 May 2013.

Selections will be confirmed by Friday, 31 May 2013.

The 15th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival runs from 6-16 June 2013 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

For more information, visit Encounters.