Out Of Africa: Encounters South African International Documentary Festival To Hold 26th Edition In June

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is returning for its 26th edition this summer, with an extensive lineup of films recently announced.

The festival will screen multiple documentaries and films from within and outside the African continent. It will feature thirty-two feature-length films and fourteen short films. Twenty-seven African films and nineteen international films will be screened. Also, forty-three films will have their South Africa premiere at the festival, thirty-seven films will have their first African premiere, and fourteen films will have their world premiere.

Miki Redelinghuys and Pearlie Joubert’s Mother City has been selected as the festival’s opening film. The feature has been described as a “deeply human and often heart-breaking look at the politics of urbanism” where the filmmakers follow activists of the Reclaim the City movement over six years as they make Cape Town’s abandoned spaces their home, and use it as a base from which to lobby for the needs of the working class.

Miki Redelinghuys and Pearlie Joubert’s Mother City

Explaining the decision to open the festival with Mother City, the festival’s director, Mandisa Zitha, remarked, “It has been selected as our opening film, as it represents the heart of what documentary filmmaking is about. It is dedicated, tenacious, and vociferous in its approach to following a group of activists over a long period, to capture their challenges and frustrations, and indeed their successes. It speaks to the power of film in exposing the arduous journey so many in this world have to embark on to effect change. It is also a universally powerful story of the triumph of the collective.” 

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is the country’s formative documentary event, screening contemporary South African and International features and short documentaries since 1999. The festival is supported and funded by: City of Cape Town, Bertha Foundation, National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa,  University of Cape Town and the Centre for Film and Media Studies, Mail and Guardian (Media Partner), Al Jazeera Documentary, Known Associates, Refinery, Goethe-Institut of South Africa, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Heineken Beverages,  Documentary Filmmakers Association, German Films, South African Guild of Editors, anima, and Pressure Cooker Studio.

This year’s edition of Encounters will take place at venues in Cape Town and Johannesburg from 20 to 30 June 2024. 

Click here to see the festival’s complete lineup of films.


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