23 Aug

Encounters is now calling for entries from South African and international filmmakers for the 2014 edition of the festival. Due to the extraordinary number of entries, Encounters has decided to charge a nominal submission fee of USD15. African filmmakers are exempt.

Encounters is the only South African distributor dedicated to distributing documentaries to the South African public. Encounters makes sales of films to television, theatrically and on DVD.

The deadline for documentary submissions to arrive at the festival offices is 5pm, 25 March 2014.

For more information on submission guideline, regulations, and entry fees and to submit your documentary, please visit:

Quote of the Day

22 Aug

To the documentary director the appearance of things and people is only superficial. It is the meaning behind the thing and the significance underlying the person that occupy his attention… Documentary approach to cinema differs from that of story-film not in its disregard for craftsman-ship, but in the purpose to which that craftsmanship is put. Documentary is a trade just as carpentry or pot-making. The pot-maker makes pots, and the documentarian documentaries.

—Paul Rotha

Recap – The Audience Award for best international film 2013 goes to….Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present

22 Aug


Check out the trailer at

Recap – The Audience Award for best SA/African film 2013 goes to…The Village Under the Forest!

22 Aug


Check out the trailer at

Quote of the Day

21 Aug

In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.

Alfred Hitchcock


South Africa Online Film Festival Free Film Rental Week is approaching…

21 Aug


South Africa Online Film Festival

21 Aug

Encounters Documentary Festival in partnership with and The South African Season in France 2013 is promoting a South African Online Film Festival

Following in the footsteps of Amazon’s LOVEFiLM and the recent launch of YouTube’s online movie rental service, introduces itself as the first legal download site for films from and about Africa and the diaspora.

This initiative, created by the Senegalese company SOON, manages its entire e-store from Africa. It is based upon the co-operation between and the African producers, directors and film owners. Feature films, documentaries, live events and series (most available with subtitles) are all available for download from anywhere in the world.

The South Africa Online Film Festival is running from the 18th July until the 22nd September. It offers an international audience a chance to rent or buy 150 entirely South African films and TV series episodes divided into 4 genres which best represent the most well-known film events in the country: Cinema & Fiction, Documentary, LGBT and Human Rights.

Members will receive a Free Film Rental Offer where each visitor can get a free film for 48 hours. This will take place during the last week of August (next week!) and as a closing event on September 13th -18th – a documentary special, as a partnership between Encounters and People2people.

Sign up to become a member and download the Player

To start shopping, visit:

Other links:

Oh, hello there…

21 Aug

It’s been two months since the end of the 15th annual Encounters South African Documentary Festival and since then, we’ve feeling a bit low. Movie houses are back to showing their usual Hollywood blockbusters, reports have been sent off to funders and the atmosphere in the Caledon St office is…well…there isn’t one. We miss that panic-filled buzz the festival brings, the late nights at the office turning into early starts the next day. We miss you! The audience, the documentary lovers and the lifeblood of the Encounters Festival.

So welcome to the official Encounters Documentary Festival Blog, a platform whereby we can discuss the importance of documentary, the importance of watching documentary and all round general doccie chit-chat.

We hope you find this blog entertaining, or at the very least, useful.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Now go watch a documentary!

The Encounters Team