The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival will be hosting an Al Jazeera pitching forum for the sixth time this year, taking place in Cape Town this Sunday, June 11, 2017.
12 projects, selected from across Africa, will be pitched to Al Jazeera commissioning editor Farid Barsoum. While Barsoum primarily focuses on one-off documentaries, special series and the popular Correspondent series, he will be representing all Al Jazeera strands at the event.
The following filmmakers will be pitching either via Skype or in person – all potential projects that we’ll be watching for in the future:
— Ben Mahaka (Zimbabwe) – “I Only Wear Levi’s”
A displaced community returns to claim their ancestral land in the middle of two live minefields – because it’s the only place where they can make a living.
— Bill Afwani (Kenya) – “Terro-rism”
‘Terro-rism’ is a slang term used to explain the heinous act of young and old females forcefully being inherited over and over by other men at the basin of Lake Victoria in Luo Nyanza, Kenya.
— Bryan Little and Filipa Domingues (South Africa) – “Riel”
In tiny little towns and villages across the arid South Western Africa, places that for most would be ‘the middle of nowhere,’ there exists a culture that runs as deep as the beginning of man. A small but deeply poignant revival is happening in the hearts of the historically voiceless people here.
— Chike Ibekwe (Nigeria) – “Life in the IDP”
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the north of Nigeria have become some sort of last hope to the many victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
— Kaizer Matsumunyane (Lesotho) – “Smiling Pirate”
Abduwal Abdukhad Muse was the first person to be charged in an American court with piracy in over 100 years.
— Kelly-Eve Koopman and Sarah Summers (South Africa) “Oom Piet”
In brewing land reclamation conflicts, !aru, a bushman from the Kalahari, is forced to compromise his own indigenous lifestyle when he lobbies the South African government to restitute six hectares of veld to his community and ensure the survival of his culture.
— Lydia Matata (Kenya) – “Better Sundays”
‘Better Sundays’ is set in a small religious community in Kasese, Uganda. The film focuses on the attempts by Robert Bwambale, the director of the Kasese Humanist School, and a group of teachers to transform the beliefs of children and adults through secular teachings.
— Mia Cilliers and Jackie Ruth Murray (South Africa) – “The Beach Boys”
Underneath the forlorn concrete flyover of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela Boulevard live a group of Tanzanian stowaways known as the “beach boys.”
— Pablo Pinedo Boveda (South Africa) – “Reclaiming the City”
Decades of Apartheid urban “development” have created physically segregated societies within city boundaries that still persist today. Together with several other activists and supported by a civil rights association, Elisabeth Gqoboka (48) joins the struggle for affordable housing within the city centre.
— Sofia de Fay (Cape Town) – “Raw – My Nakedness”
The captivating story of brilliant theater director Thando Doni, who works with ex-criminals in a creative collaboration to reintegrate them into Cape Town society after their release from prison.
— Tapiwa Chipfupa (Zimbabwe) – “Children of the Soil”
Once considered the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe is teetering on the brink of collapse. Thrust in this turmoil is its youth; at the cusp of their lives, they should have everything to look forward to, yet now their reality portrays a different story.
— Yara Costa (Mozambique) – “Between God and I”
‘Between God and I’ gets into the mindsets of two young women to reveal what is behind the veil and between this new generation and their God. What motivates them to make these radical choices in a society where fundamentalism was rare until recently? Why do they go against the idea of tolerance that they were raised upon, putting their friendship at stake?
The sixth Al Jazeera-Encounters Pitching Forum will take place this Sunday, June 11 from 9:30-13:00 at Workshop 17, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The pitching session is open to the public and industry.
For more information, visit www.encounters.co.za.
“Somaliland: Kill All But The Crows” is a recent example of a project pitched at Encounters that went on to screen on Al Jazeera English. Watch it below: