The 22nd Encounters South African International Documentary Festival has opened for bookings, offering a thoughtful selection of the best new documentaries — a line-up of over 50 local and international titles screening over 10 days on an all-new online cinema platform. The festival will kick off with a unique drive-in experience in Johannesburg and Cape Town for media and a select audience, with the virtual screenings beginning the next day on digital platforms #virtuallyeverywhere.
Encounters opens with the much-awaited film Influence, directed by Richard Poplak & Diana Neille, and continues to pack the punch with the year’s most talked-about political documentaries. The international section features award-winning festival favourites dealing with the war in Syria For Sama, a mysterious artist Banksy Most Wanted, a celebrated author Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am and an eccentric baron King of the Cruise.
To make the booking process as simple as possible, the Encounters 2020 team has made a user-friendly virtual cinema booking platform. All screenings are free of charge but are limited to 400 tickets per film, so get ready to register and book. For your first reservation you will need to create your own account, which takes minutes to do, allowing you to access hours of the best documentaries. But audiences are encouraged to make sure to check the program, as some films will only be available to stream for 24 hours on the day of their release, while others are available 24/7, and some only accessible following a live Q&A with the film team. (For help see attached for a booking guide)
To bring the cinema experience home to virtual audiences, this year’s virtual program will include a lively program of panels, Q&As , webinars and ‘In Conversation’ workshops with some of the world’s most inspiring film professionals. If you are interested in the talks, virtual encounters and webinars, go to the Encounters Facebook and YouTube pages for regular updates, and for live streaming portals where you can participate in the live discussions and share your insights and burning questions.