Encounters South African International Documentary Festival (Encounters) is the premier documentary festival in Africa and one of the oldest film festival on the continent. It remains one of only a few on the continent that is solely dedicated to the genre. Since its inception, the festival has advanced the currency of documentaries in the country and region, supporting new productions and giving an African platform to international documentaries.
It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the 19th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and another offering of an extraordinary, wide-ranging selection of nonfiction experiences.
We have selected over 70 local and international features and shorts, ranging from the urgently political to the performance of the personal. These films reflect and refract the current state of our World, at times challenging documentary orthodoxies, always offering different visions of this uncertain time.
Encounters is proud to screen no fewer than 32 South African films and 19 World Premières and we are especially delighted to present Aliki Sargas’ Strike a Rock for our opening night feature. With its themes of friendship, community and resilience, this patient film tells of the extraordinary women working for political change in the wake of the Marikana massacre. It is a film that bears witness to our current socio-political crossroads and testament to the necessity of political documentary filmmaking in South Africa.
Highlights from our international selection include premières of acclaimed films, among them Raoul Peck’s masterpiece, I Am Not Your Negro, Yance Ford’s Strong Island and the acclaimed Last Men in Aleppo. In keeping with the spirit of international dialogue offered by the recent South African Focus at Visions du Réel in Nyon, Encounters presents an exciting focus on contemporary Swiss documentary films.