Escape the winter ‘snow’ in CT and JHB with an array of local and international documentaries and an opportunity to chat with several inspiring filmmakers at the Encounters Documentary Festival.

The festival exists to foster local talent and aid the development of our fledgling documentary industry and this year marks its 15th edition. The festival offers something to pique every interest, as festival director Lesedi Oluko Moche  stressed, ‘diversity is at the heart of what we offer… With films from Congo, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Kosovo, Morocco, the Netherlands, Sweden, Tunisia, USA, Zimbabwe and South Africa, prepare to journey across the globe and come back to tell the tale.’

How to Survive a Plague

Documentaries not to be missed include How to Survive a Plague  by David France (winner of the New York Film Critics Circle Awards 2012 for Best Film), who will conduct Q & As in Joburg and CT.  Activism meets innovation in this film about the history of ACT UP and Treatment Action Group as they lobbied to turn AIDS the death sentence into AIDS a manageable condition.

Forbidden Voices by Swiss director Barbara Miller follows the lives of three young female bloggers whose voices refuse to be silenced by oppressive regimes.

Forbidden Voices
Jeppe on a Friday

Jeppe on a Friday by South African Arya Lalloo and Canadian Shannon Walsh is part of the Women Direct series of films being screened at the festival in association with Filmmakers Against Women Abuse (FAWA). Shot over the course of a single day, it follows the lives of five characters as they go about their lives.

Commissioned during the Al Jazeera Pitch at the Festival in 2012 Ndiyindoda by Mayenzeke Baza delves into the debate surrounding the tradition of circumcision. Baza, a former initiate, questions whether it is worth preserving such traditions at the cost of young boys’ lives.

The best documentary on the recession, The Queen of Versailles by Lauren Greenfield takes a peek into the lives of time-share magnate David Siegel and his beauty queen wife Jackie as they commence building their dream home, modeled after the palace referenced in the title, for the bargain price of 75 billion dollars! As the recession hits, we watch as the Siegel’s face financial meltdown.

The Festival will be screened in Cape Town at the Nu Metro- V &A and The Fugard Theatre, and in Johannesburg at The Bioscope, from 6-16th June.

Tickets are R50 each and can be booked through:

Nu Metro (0861 246362),

The Fugard Theatre box office (021 461 4554),

Computicket (0861 915 8000)

The Bioscope (Info@the 011 039 7306)

 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

Welcome Note

For the Cape Town schedule click here and for Jozi click here

To read the Full Programme click here

Facebook: EncountersDocFest

Twitter: @EncountersDoc