From 10-20 June 2021, the festival brings a slate of meaningful documentaries about humanity, creativity, activism, investigation and revelation, accompanied by live webinars, debates, Q&As and the opportunity to virtually meet directors locally and from around the world.
Fostering Vital Conversations
Encounters Talks provides a space for exclusive and diverse industry events in partnership with UCT and Sunshine Cinema, Generation Africa, DocA, DOK.Fest Munich and the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association, amongst other prestigious organisations.
This year’s programme continues vital conversations about the future of the documentary industry and Africa’s place in it. Diving more in-depth, events featuring discussions of politics, gender and distribution look at specific intersections and challenges in the world of documentary filmmaking. Ranging from issues of creative and economic collaboration, and sustaining and supporting emerging filmmakers from the region to curating and representing African stories, this year’s festival explores the craft, industry and audience of cinema on the continent.
These engaging discussions will be led by giants, experts and innovators in their field, ranging from festival programmers, award-winning filmmakers, impact producers, politicians, African distributors and investigative journalists to offer insight into trends in cinema and the growing local industry. Online industry programming will be freely accessible to all, with in-person events accompanying select screenings.
Discover the Trends Shaping African Documentaries
Of special interest is the Keynote Panel on Curating African Cinema, which will address the landscape of African documentary programming at leading African and European festivals. Encounters will consider trends in African documentaries and representation, what the critics are saying, what buyers are doing with African documentary content and what funders are investing in.
The festival team are also excited to welcome Netflix Africa as the DFA hosts docCHAT! This session will unpack the process, opportunities and pitfalls for online film distribution. In a collaboration with SWIFT, you are invited to discuss Women in Wildlife and Natural History Filmmaking. The hardships and economics of this sub-genre often discourage women from participating within the various roles, such as cinematographers, directors, researchers and production coordinators. There is hope, however, with a few pioneering women breaking barriers and pursuing unique and inspirational stories about nature and conservation.
Global Short Docs Forum Launches
Join Encounters for the launch of the Global Short Docs Forum and a chance to receive advice and tips on pitching in the international documentary market. Encounters is partnering with One World Media to launch the call for applications for the forum and hosting an online session for filmmakers in the region.
They will also take a close look at the films I, Mary and I Am Samuel as case studies for their panel Between Impact and Documentation in Collaboration, hosted by the University of the Western Cape and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Documentary films are traditionally viewed as acts both of documenting social phenomena and of providing progressive societal education. This session will excavate the complex dynamics between activism, documentation and truth, and the various commitments faced by filmmakers and funders on the continent.
Encounters’ Industry Events are free to the public and you’re invited to engage in online discussions. Their website is updated daily – follow for more news, register online or join them on Facebook and YouTube for the live-streamed events.