Sage/Encounters Rough Cut Lab 2020 – Call for Submissions

May 26, 2020
Documentary films present us with unique perspectives and insights into our worlds. The crafting of these films present unique challenges and encourage thoughtful insights into their making. The Rough Cut Lab (RCL) aims to support South African films in the late offline story stage with directed consultation on story and character obstacles as well as close consideration into the workings of the film. Successful candidates receive targeted support from the Refinery when they eventually come to finishing.

Due to our uncertain times submissions for the RCL are now extended to give you more time to submit and us more time to prepare the lab for your projects!

Documentary films present us with unique perspectives and insights into our worlds. The crafting of these films present unique challenges and encourage thoughtful insights into their making. The Rough Cut Lab (RCL) aims to support South African films in the late offline story stage with directed consultation on story and character obstacles as well as close consideration into the workings of the film. Successful candidates receive targeted support from the Refinery when they eventually come to finishing.

A maximum of three South African projects, consisting of one director and one editor, will be selected to spend three days working on their film with consultancy from world class editors. In the interest of local industry up-skilling preference may be given to less experienced and privileged filmmakers in order to gain interaction with mentors and to develop the language of the editors involved.

In partnership with Refinery Cape Town and the South African Guild of Editors (SAGE), the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival invites South African filmmakers to submit their films for the 3rd Encounters Rough Cut Lab to be held in Cape Town from Wednesday the 3rd until Friday the 5th of June 2020.

This call is only open to projects with a working rough cut. Up to 70% of the rough cut must be completed prior to the lab. If a director’s project has been chosen the previous year, they are not eligible to enter the RCL with a new project in the following year.

Submissions that do not follow the strict submission criteria will be disqualified.

Submission criteria:

  • One-page synopsis.
  • Director and editor’s biography.
  • Online screener link and password to the viewable rough cut
  • One page each from the director and editor outlining the difficulties currently experienced with the film’s current structure and / or problematic areas in the story. Please include what has been achieved up to this point.
  • Films need to be independent and feature length – 70 mins or above.
  • All available footage accessible on a USB 3 or firewire hard drives.
  • Please indicate software used.

Deadline: Due to our uncertain times submissions for the RCL are now extended to give you more time to submit and us more time to prepare the lab for your projects!

Please let us know if you intend to submit by emailing pr@encounters.co.za with Rough Cut Lab 2020 in the subject line.


About Encounters Rough Cut Lab At a time in shaping ones film when assured advice from, not just professionals in the field, but local expertise on local projects is very much needed. The 3rd Encounters Rough Cut Lab hosted in partnership with the South African Guild of Editors (SAGE) and Refinery Cape Town target films and filmmakers in the final stages of their production cycle, where access to industry advice and feedback can prove instrumental to shaping the success of documentary films as they enter the marketplace. The editors and directors of three selected South African documentaries currently in the post-production phase will have the opportunity to screen rough cuts of their films and receive comprehensive feedback on story structure, technical aspects and distribution and marketing strategies from a panel of experienced local editors, post-production experts and international sales agents. These filmmakers will be allocated an experienced editor to workshop problem areas in their films. Encounters intends the Rough Cut Lab as a multi-stakeholder project and is seeking additional project partners.

About SAGE The South African Guild of Editors (SAGE) is a voluntary non-profit organisation for post production professionals. With more than 100 members, the Guild represents most of the best talent in the feature film, TV drama, documentary and sound editing in South Africa today. SAGE is presently run on a voluntary basis by the members of the Executive Committee, all of whom work as professionals in post production and give of their free time to maintain the organisation. SAGE aims to promote the Art of Editing while ensuring that editors are not isolated by hosting a variety of events where post production professionals meet their contemporaries and are able to share their experiences and expertise. We are represented nationally and continually aim to access new members and support current members as our industry expands. In addition SAGE is a member organisation of South African Screen Federation (SASFED), a body which represents the broader film industry to government.

About Refinery Cape Town Refinery Cape Town is a full service post production facility. We supply end to end customised solutions. Our facilities were designed with stereoscopic, HD, 2K & 4K workflows in mind. We have the latest technology in the market as well as budget friendly solutions. We are media management specialists front-end film to final mastered deliveries. Refinery offers a complete, full-service post production solution for long format projects, tailor-made for every production, from daily deliveries through the editorial process, DI and deliveries and sound 5.1 mixing. Our filmography is an impressive list of local and international feature films, television projects and documentaries. What we would really like to see is filmmakers engaging with us a lot sooner in the process. Getting us involved at a point that we can really add value, and more often than not assist in saving costs. This is very much key to our involvement in the Encounters Documentary Film Festival/Encounters SA Into Documentary Film Festival. To make young filmmakers aware that we have that open door policy and the information they need can be easily accessed.

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