Date Time Event Venue
June 2016
16:00 – 16:30 DFA: Business Model Canvas Wesgro, SA Reserve Bank Building, Cape Town City Centre
June 2016
10:00 – 11:00 Filmmakers in Conversation: I, Object Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
11:30 – 12:45
Master Class: Arnaud Colinart Virtual Reality
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
13:30 – 14:30
Industry: The Guardian Presentation
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
15:00 – 16:00
Industry: NFVF Presentation
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
16:00 – 16:30
Industry: Wesgro Presentation
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
16:30 – 17:00
Industry: Visions Du Réel Focus South Africa
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
June 2016
10:00 – 12:30
Master Class: Simon Wood
Big Fish, Cape Town
15:15 – 16:30
Filmmakers in Conversation: First Timers
Big Fish, Cape Town
June 2016
14:30 – 16:30 Filmmakers in Conversation: Shwabada Big Fish, Cape Town
15:00 – 16:00
Rita Coburn Whack Reading
See flyer for details
Central Library, Cape Town
June 2016
10:00 – 12:30
Master Class: Rita Coburn Whack
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
13:30 – 14:30 DFA: South African Documentary Retrospective Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
14:45 – 15:45
Filmmakers in Conversation: Black Filmmakers Forum: Show Me The Money
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
16:00 – 17:00
Workshops: Non-Fiction Podcasts
Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront
Industry: Al Jazeera Pitching Forum (JHB)
Goethe Institute, Jozi

Master Classes

Simon Wood Wood’s latest film The Silent Form premièred at Hot Docs 2016 and this is the second time he has had his work screened at North America’s largest documentary festival. Here Wood will discuss how South African stories can compete with big budget European and American films by posing global questions with a strong aesthetic. Wood will highlight the importance of avoiding the classic 3 year cycle of long form documentary whilst examining the creative opportunities in making shorter films. In the absence of high budgets he will explain how preparation is key in all aspects of production so as to realise a film for the international festival circuit.

RSVP to Sun 5 June 10am-12.30pm   Big Fish, The Foundry, 74 Cardiff Rd, Green Point

Rita Coburn WhackThe biography or portrait film is a popular trope of documentary storytelling. Three-time Emmy award-winner and the co-director of Maya Angelou and Still I Rise, Coburn Whack discusses the processes involved in the making of the “bio-doc”. Through a wide-range of topics, this session will cover issues such as what to select and omit in the telling of someone’s life story, how one creates characterisation and depth through other interviewee voices and the complications of realising a personal lived narrative into one on screen. In what promises to be a fascinating session, Rita will talk specifically about the making of her film and especially, to working with such a well known figure as Dr. Angelou.

RSVP to Sat 11 June 10am-12.30pm  Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road

arnaud-colimartArnaud Colinart is Producer and creative director at AGAT Films & Cie / EX NIHILO. He is particularly interested in applying new technologies and interactive mechanisms in the conception of narrative works, whether documentary or fiction.

“A World beyond sight:  in the making of the VR experience Notes On Blindness – Into Darkness
Having just won the prestigious Tribeca Storyscape Award for interactive works in New York in April, join Arnaud Colinart as he discusses the making of this award-winning virtual reality piece, Notes On Blindness – Into Darkness. The talk will be followed by a demonstration of the piece.

RSVP to  R50/ticket.   4 June 11.30am – 12.45pm  Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road

Industry Events

Charlie-Phillips-The-GuardianEncounters in collaboration with Bertha Foundation and The Guardian, is pleased to announce a new opportunity for African documentary filmmakers in Brief Encounters: An Online Short Documentary Pitching Forum & Prize.

Charlie Phillips, Head of Documentaries at The Guardian will be conducting closed one-on-one pitches of selected projects on the 4th of June 2016 at the Festival. The winning pitch will receive the Bertha-Encounters-Guardian Development Prize of US$ 2,000. This award is intended for research and development of the winning pitch. The process will be mentored by Charlie Phillips and Rebecca Lichtenfeld, Director of Social Impact Media at Bertha Foundation. The winning pitch will be announced during Festival

Guardian Documentaries Presentation

Charlie Phillips will discuss The Guardian’s documentary commissioning process for a strand
of short films of under 20 minutes designed for global online viewing, featuring global contemporary stories that surprise and tell viewers something new. Phillips will screen some of the best examples of Guardian docs and talk about plans for the future.

Charlie Phillips Biography

Charlie Phillips is the Head of Documentaries at The Guardian. Before joining The Guardian in 2014 he was Deputy Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest for 7 years, and prior to that he was Editor of Channel 4’s FourDocs.

RSVP to   Sat 4 June 1.30pm-2.30pm    Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road    Free entry

bertha_blue_transparent_500x500Encounters Eye LogoThe Guardian logo

Al-Jazeera-vertical_transparent_500x500The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, in partnership with Al Jazeera, is calling African filmmakers to submit proposals for the Al Jazeera-Encounters Pitching Forum taking place in Johannesburg during the 18th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival on Saturday, 11 June 2016.

Encounters is pleased to announce that it will host the 5th Al Jazeera – Encounters Pitching Forum and a maximum of 12 African filmmakers will be selected to pitch to an Al Jazeera commissioning editor. The Call is open to projects at any stage of development or production and each selected filmmaker will have a maximum of seven minutes to pitch their film, with an additional 7 minutes allocated for feedback and questions from the Al Jazeera commissioning editor. Projection equipment will be provided for those that have DVDs or other visual presentations to augment their pitch. Selected applicants who cannot attend will be able to participate via Skype.

The Pitching Forum has been highly successful in creating opportunities for filmmakers, last year Al Jazeera commissioned two one hour documentaries from projects at the Forum.

For more about submission guidelines, please read our press release here.

RSVP to Sat 11 June 9.30am  Goethe Institute, Johannesburg

Visions Du Réel, Festival International de Cinéma Nyon April 21 – 29, 2017
The Focus programme, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, announces its 2017 call for creative documentary film projects from South Africa. Projects can be in and phase of development.

The application deadline is October 15, 2016.

jasmin-basicThe Focus aims at drawing attention to an Eastern or Southern country. It is about allowing the general and professional public to discover a guest country – its social and cultural specificities – and encouraging exchanges and encounters between film institutions, producers, directors and distribution companies from different countries.

Jasmin Basic is a film historian and curator and holds a Master of Arts in Cinema. She has collaborated as programmer and coordinator with countless festivals, in Switzerland and abroad. Since 2013, she’s in charge of the Focus section at Visions du Réel. Email her at


RSVP to Sat 4 June, 4.30pm-5pm Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road.

Filmmakers in Conversation

Tina-Louise SmithTina-Louise Smith leads this panel discussion to examine the realities of film funding for black documentary filmmakers provincially and nationally.

RSVP to Free Entry, first come first served Sat 11 June 2.45pm-3.45pm   Workshop 17, Watershed,  17 Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

This session explores the complex relationship between filmmakers and their subjects. Developing trust, negotiating access and walking the fine line between the public and the private. Offering insights into these and other questions, Uga Carlini and Alison Botha (Alison: a Tale of Monsters, Miracles and Hope) and Tora Martens and Niki Tsappos (Martha & Niki) discuss their respective films, reflecting upon their relationships.

Uga CarliniAlison on setTora Martens-Judith Belle

RSVP to Free Entry, first come first served Sat 4 June 10am-11am Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road

Encounters is delighted to host four filmmakers whose début feature documentaries première at the Festival. Join Nadine Cloete (Action Kommandant), Nhlanhla Masondo (Shwabada), Davison Mudzingwe (Lost Tongue) and Ben Stillerman (Taking Stock) in conversation with Dr. Liani Maasdorp as they discuss the trials, tribulations and triumphs of making their respective films.

Nadine Cloete Nhlanhla Masondo Davison Mudzingwa Ben Stillerman

RSVP to Free Entry, first come first served Sun 5 June 3.15pm-4.30pm   Big Fish, The Foundry, 74 Cardiff Rd, Green Point

Nhlanhla MasondoCome and join us for a discussion and workshop with Nhlanhla Masondo, the Director of SHWABADA: The Music of Ndikho Xaba. The discussion will include exploring approaches to the documentary narrative; a filmmaker’s agency; heritage, memory & recollection; getting over the funding hump, and other challenges for the in independent filmmaker. The Gauteng Film Commission will be in attendance and this will be an opportunity for you as a filmmaker to find out more about what the GFC can do for you, their programmes and approach.


RSVP to Wed 8 June 2.30pm-4.30pm   Big Fish, The Foundry, 74 Cardiff Rd, Green Point


rasmus_bitschRadio, through podcasting, is experiencing a renaissance and shows are attracting millions of listeners.  But what is behind the buzzwords and where is the South African podcast revolution?

Join the workshop  for a discussion about local and international podcasting, including tips on how to start your own.

Rasmus Nielsen Bitsch is a freelance journalist, producer and writer, resident in Cape Town and is co-owner of  the production company Sirius Tales. He founded Sound Africa Podcast (

Duration: 45mins


RSVP to Sat 11 June 4pm – 5pm   Free Entry, RSVP required   Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road

Documentary Filmmakers Association

The Business Model Canvas is a design tool to help businesses get their first principles right – starting with who their customer might be. During the intensive workshops participants learn to apply the tool to their projects and leave with an enhanced understanding of how the elements of a project interconnect, and the skills to apply this versatile tool to future projects.

The 2015 Durban FilmMart was tailor-made for South African filmmakers and producers, all of whom saw immediate benefits. This year we are offering the workshops to festival goers at the Encounters Film Festival 2016 to ensure this remarkable tool enhances YOUR projects, too!

RSVP by 31 May 2016 to with ID please for speed of access Fri 3 June 4pm – 4.30pm  RSVP required   Wesgro, 18th Floor, South African Reserve Bank Building, 60 St Georges Mall, Cape Town City Centre Photo ID required to enter SARB

Thinking about documentaries: where has the local documentary tradition come from, what are the local trends and what opportunities are there for making a living in the documentary tradition.

  • We will explore the growth of the documentary industry over time particularly looking at what could have aided and abetted form and distribution.
  • What films are presently being made?
  • Are we in an environment in which audiences exist for the films we want to make?
  • What are audiences watching?
  • What are the distribution points for local film (short form and long)?
  • Opening up space for the work of documentary filmmakers – how do we do this?

RSVP to Sat 11 June 1.30pm – 2.30pm   Free Entry, RSVP required   Workshop 17 V&A Waterfront, 17 Dock Road