Encounters South African International Documentary Festival – 1 to 11 June 2017

Encounters documentary festival


From 1 to 11 June 2017, the 19th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is taking place in Johannesburg (Rosebank's Cinema Nouveau & the Bioscope) and Cape Town (V&A Nouveau, the Labia Theatre & Bertha Movie House).

Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is the premier documentary festival in Africa. 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.

In 2017, The French Institute in South Africa is pleased to renew its support to Encounters. The festival will screen two South African premières of francophone films: Mama Colonel (2017), a co-production between France and DRC by Dieudo Hamadi, and The Fruitless Tree (2016), a co-production between France and Niger by female director Aicha Macky. Encounters will show a wide-ranging selection of nonfiction experiences, screening over 70 local and international features and shorts, including 32 South African films.


A glimpse at the French co-productions to be screened:

Mama colonel1

Mama Colonel (Dir: Dieudo Hamadi 2017 France/DRC 72min)

Sat 3 June, 4pm - Labia Cape Town

Thur 8 June, 8.45pm - Labia Cape Town / Dieudo Hamadi, the director, will be in attendance for a post screening Q&A

Synopsis: When Colonel Honorine Munyole, head of the DRC Protection of Women and Children Unit, is transferred to Kisangani, the women of Bukavu are distraught, claiming they will be without protection. Once installed in Kisangani, she loses little time in confronting numerous ills - child abusers, working with the rape survivors of the 15 year old Six Day War whose invisible scars are challenged by others who have suffered more visible mutilation, and rescuing kids accused of witchcraft and abused by a prophetess. Initially her appeal for the community's help falls on deaf ears, but this well-made and very moving film ends on a high note. Reminiscent of Ayisi & Longinotto's Sisters In Law which featured inspiring African women determined to make a difference.

Courtesy of Andana Films & Director


Fruitless 4 

The Fruitless Tree (Dir: Aicha Macky 2016 Niger/France 52min)

Thu 8 June, 7pm - The Bioscope, Johannesburg 

Sat 10 June, 5.15pm - Labia Cape Town

Synopsis: The pejorative label for childless women in Niger provides the title for Macky's award-winning film that tackles barrenness with surprising openness and honesty. Married and still childless, she explores hers and others private suffering. Macky's poignant voiceover addresses her mother, who died in childbirth, asking the painful questions that arise during her investigation. The taboo of openly discussing infertility is handled with great sensitivity and what emerges is a community of women who have endured great distress, blamed - rightly or wrongly - for a couple's inability to conceive. Beautifully shot and artfully composed, this film confronts the unspoken, and gives voice to the barren who wander among mothers.

Macky will attend screenings in CT


More about:

Dieudo Hamadi: born in 1984 in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo, he first studied Medicine at University of Kisangani, before attending documentary workshops. His first feature-length film Atakalu was released in 2013. In 2014, he directed his second feature-length film, Examen d’Etat. Both were selected at the Cinéma du Réel Festival in Paris.

Aicha Macky: born in Niger in 1982, she studied sociology & audiovisual in Niamey. She directed her first short film, Me & my skinniness in 2011. In 2013, she directed her second one To know how to make the bed, on the theme of girls sexual education in Niger. Because of the controversial themes of her films, Aicha Macky is often described as “the taboo breaker”.



Download the full program here.

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