Encounters Award Winners Announced at Virtual Closing Ceremony

September 7, 2020
The 22nd Encounters South African International Documentary came to a close after a hugely successful virtual festival with the LIVE Festival Awards ceremony via Zoom this Sunday 30th August.

Ladima presented the Adiaha Award for Best Documentary Film by an African woman & Gauteng Film Commission presented the Encounters GFC Award for best African/South African Feature at this year’s festival.

The Adiaha Award Jury:

  • Patience Katushabe Producer/Filmmaker (Uganda)
  • Dina Naser Filmmaker ( Palestine, Jordan)
  • Theresa Hill Manager STEPS (South Africa)

Theresa Hill – Manager of STEPS announced the winner.

Ladima Board Member : Malu van Leeuwen presented the Award of $2,000 towards the filmmakers’ next production and an invitation to attend the Dortmund Cologne International Women’s Film Festival 2021 in Germany, where their film will be screened.

Six films by African Women Filmmakers were eligible.

Winner :

1st Place Finding Sally – Dir. Tamara Mariam Dawit

The documentary offers a touching journey in exploration of personal and collective history . The filmmaker’s investigative approach leads her to question notions of family, identity, belonging, personal convictions, idealism and political engagement.

The film is not only about a family history, it’s not only personal, it’s about the country’s history.

2nd place: Mother to Mother – Dir. Sara de Gouveia

3rd place: Beyond My Steps – Dir. Kamy Lara

GFC / Encounters Jury:

  • Jury : Stephen Aspelling Spling Talking Movies
  • Robyn Sassen My View
  • Phumlani S. Langa City Press

22 Films by African and South African filmmakers were eligible.

Phumlani S. Langa (City Press) announced the winner of the Prize: R10,000 cash

Gauteng Film Commission: Desmond Mthembu, Senior Manager, Industry Support Development presented the Award for Best African/South African Feature Film.


1st Place SOFTIE Dir. Sam Soko

Softie is an unpredictable on-the-ground documentary and compelling character portrait set against Kenya’s volatile environment of inequality, prejudice and violence, where election campaigns are won on hard cash and t-shirts. Following the story of brave Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, a photographer turned political activist who took his dissent to the streets, this visceral state-of-the-nation documentary captures the inspiration, patriotism and conviction of altruistic endeavour against all odds. Softie explores Kenya’s corrupt political landscape and drills down to the intimacy of its direct impact on an activist’s young family, capturing priceless moments and brutal protest action.


3RD PLACE: SAKAWA Dir. Ben Asamoah