Encounters Festival is back and ready to once again connect Capetonians and cinephiles with some of the most thought-provoking and well-crafted documentaries across the globe.
This year also marks their 25th anniversary leading the way as Africa’s premier documentary festival with an impact both locally and abroad. The Encounters Festival returns with another beefy line-up of thought-provoking and well-produced documentaries this year showing in selected cinemas and venues across Cape Town from 22 June to 2 July.
We can look forward to a stunningly curated lineup of African documentaries, interesting snapshots of global politics, as well as an important platform for dialogue, social cohesion and the nurturing of documentary filmmakers. See our top picks here.
A special spotlight on African filmmaking
Since its launch in 1999, Encounters Festival has kept a firm focus on driving African filmmaking forward and that focus comes into full this year with 34 screenings of art films and documentaries from South Africa and the rest of the continent.
There are works on the programme that hit much closer to home such as I Am Water, touching on the dispute between the Khoisan People and the construction of Amazon Headquarters in Observatory, as well as many others including tributes to the remarkable lives of eminent director, Ben Nomoyi, and Cape town drag icon Terry Fortune, a commentary on how theatre shapes Afrikaner culture in post-apartheid South Africa, the Marikana Massacre, and loads more.
Further into the diaspora, keep an eye out for The Last Seed which gives the perspective of small-scale African farmers, an anti-war manifesto on Boko Haram, and others.
The complete list of films can be seen here.
Learn more and get involved with informative panel discussions
The festival is hosting online and live conversations after selected screenings, and there are a few to diarise. Catch All That Breathes director Shaunak Sen in conversation with Anita Khanna and Liani Maasdorp on Tuesday, 27 June at 3pm via Zoom. See the link here.
Following the Theatre of Violence film screening, co-director Lukasz Konopa and producer Helle Faber explores Pursuing Justice: Navigating The Complexities of International Law And Human Rights in Theatre Of Violence and Investigating the Legitimacy of the ICC In Africa with an esteemed panel of legal experts. Book tickets for Theatre of Violence here.
Jackie May, the founder of the South African sustainable fashion magazine Twyg, sits with director Becky Hutner for a deep dive into her documentary project, Fashion Reimagined. The conversation takes place online via Zoom, see the link here.
As part of the festival’s Africa in Focus events included in this year’s Industry Programme, Katy Lena Ndiaye’s Money, Freedom: A Story of the CFA Franc is unpacked through a curated panel discussion with the filmmaker: Reframing Africa: Championing Archival History in Filmmaking to Shape and Advance African Narratives.
Where to see it
The 2023 instalment of Encounters Festival is hosting screenings at a diverse and accessible range of venues. From Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront, the quirky Labia Independent Theatre, The Bertha House in Mowbray and The Bertha Movie House Isivivana Community Centre based in Khayelitsha. Follow them on social media for the announcement of more venues.
When: From Thursday, 22 June to Sunday, 2 July. Various times and venues.
Where: The Labia Theatre | Cinema Noveau at Ster Kinekor | The Bertha House Mowbray | The Bertha Movie House Isivivana Community Centre Khayelitsha