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Encounters Film Festival: Entries Open for Adiaha Award Best Documentary by an African Woman


The organisers of Encounters, Africa’s home of documentaries, in partnership once more with the Ladima Foundation, are calling for feature and mid-length documentary film entries for the Adiaha Award 2023.

Encounters returns to cinemas to celebrate its 25th anniversary from 22 June to 2 July and is excited to once more present this award in partnership with the Ladima Foundation. The Award, now in its 3rd year at Encounters, rewards excellence in documentary filmmaking by African women.

With a cash award, invitation to a top international festival, and high-profile accolades, the award has become a prestigious honour for its recipients to date. The award was inaugurated at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2018. Last year’s winner, Akuol De Mabior’s No Simple Way Home from South Sudan has gone on to be screened and awarded at festivals around the world. Previous Adiaha Award winners include; Zinder from Aicha Maky (Niger) and Tamara Dawitt’s Finding Sally (Ethiopia).

Since its inception in 1999, Encounters has offered South African film lovers a well-curated line-up of the most important documentaries globally. Encounters’ aim is to present films that entertain, engage, and inspire; and achieves this with the selection of documentaries spanning a wide array of themes for diverse local audiences.

The programme features award-winning and award-nominated films, ‘best of the fests’, and the most-talked-about documentaries of the year. Encounters prides itself on discovering new works by documentary masters and emerging talent from South Africa and the broader African region.

The Festival invites filmmakers to submit their recent films to celebrate 25 years of creative documentary in South Africa. The programmers are looking for films that resonate with diverse audiences, encompassing themes of social justice, politics, arts and culture, technology, current affairs, personal stories, health, environmental and many more.

Submissions can be made via the links below found on the Festival website:

SA/ African Entries : https://www.encounters.co.za/submit-african-documentary/

SA/African film submissions are exempt from paying a submission fee.

International Entries : https://www.encounters.co.za/submit-international-documentary/

A nominal submission fee of USD15 is charged for international entries.

Please note, we will consider works in progress / rough cuts if your film will be ready in time for the Festival itself (22 June – 2 July 2023).

The deadline for submissions is Friday 10th March 2023 (11.59PM SAST)

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