Welcome to the 5th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival. There are 54 titles for your viewing pleasure selected from over 350 films.

When we began Encounters, as the Swiss South African Documentary Festival in 1999, we were worried that no one would come. To our delight we found a real interest in documentaries amongst South Africans and are encouraged to see the Festival's audience grow each year. We are further encouraged to see the local broadcasters and the NFVF investing in South African documentaries. We hope to see this local support begin to translate into increased co-productions with other countries.

We are proud to have five World Premières of South African films: Between Joyce and Remembrance by Mark Kaplan; Casa del Musica by Jonathan de Vries; Little Miss Tiny by Emily McKay, Tamsyn Reynolds & Tamara Rothbart; and two of our SABC1 / Close Encounters films, Looking for Love by Catherine Muller and Qula Kwedini by Mandilakhe Mjekula & Jahmil XT Qubeka.

We are pleased to welcome the filmmakers of our South African line-up: Craig & Damon Foster and Carina Rubin; Francois Verster; Toni Strasburg; Aryan Kaganof; Ntombi Mzamane, John Fredericks, Vaughn Giose, Brenda Davis and Eugene Paramoer; Kali van der Merwe; Pule Diphare and Portia Rankoane; Cliff Bestall; and Gerald Kraak.

From abroad we are pleased to welcome Festival guests: Archie Baron [UK]; Sam Pollard [USA]; and Viacheslav Telov [Russia]. Also attending the Festival, and the Encounters-Sithengi Documentary Co-production Forum, are Paul de Bont [NL], CEO of DocuZone , and Peter Wintonick [Canada].

Were it not for our funders and sponsors this Festival would not be possible. The Royal Netherlands Embassy has been with us for four years now - thank you to Margriet Leemhuis in Pretoria. Thanks to Thelma Machogo and Jean September and the British Council for their continued support. We are honoured to be a 'Flagship Programme' of the EU Conference Workshop and Cultural Initiative Fund, directed by Emmanuelle Gille. This is our last year of support from this innovative fund, we thank you.

Nico van der Merwe, of Cinema Nouveau screened by Nedbank, his staff and projectionists are gems. Jameson will sponsor the Audience Award again this year - an important initiative that we hope will continue for years to come. We are pleased to be joined by our new technology partner, Spectrum VNS who are supplying their digital projection systems to the Festival and will take part in the workshops. For the fifth year the Victoria Junction hotel makes our guests comfortable.

Since its inception 13 films have been commissioned out of the Close Encounters Laboratory and we are pleased to include, this year, two of the four commissioned by SABC1 in 2002. And, if you miss them here you can see them on SABC1 in their documentary slot: Mondays at 10pm.

This year we are hosting a number of workshops, which we hope will increase the knowledge pool and debate amongst documentary filmmakers in South Africa. We are also proud to announce our joint venture with Sithengi. The Encounters-Sithengi Documentary Co-Production Forum , this is an important development to help promote documentary projects and assist filmmakers in matching their projects with local and international broadcasters. We hope to be screening the fruits of the DCF in years to come at our Festival.

Steven Markovitz and Nodi Murphy
Festival Directors

Festival Staff and Contributors:
Molly Slingsby
Sharon Jackson
Johan Maree
Stephan Hofstätter [Programme notes]
Tania Bester [Designer] Dizzo Design [Website]

Cape Town : 20 - 3 August 2003
Johannesburg : 1 - 10 August 2003

Cape Town : 24 - 25 July 2003
Johannesburg : 31 July and 2 August 2003

Please email us at if you have any queries.

back to top


Site built by Mark Chipps