Rough Cut Lab Africa Docs

In 2017, SAGE, in partnership with the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and hosted by The Refinery Cape Town, called for submissions of long-form documentary projects already in post-production with those selected to take part in a three-day Rough Cut Lab (RCL), the first of its kind in Africa. The first two labs took on a physical in-person programme and were only open to 6 projects from South Africa. The 2020 pandemic forced the lab to convene in a virtual space and opened up the possibility of hosting films from all over the continent. In 2021 and 2022, the third and fourth iterations of the lab were hosted virtually – now known as the Rough Cut Lab Africa (RCLA). It has grown to be in conversation with 28 projects, 55 filmmakers, 20 consultants, and many more supporters, partners, and followers.

Rough Cut Lab Africa (RCLA) is a pan-African intervention supporting independent documentary films in the rough cut stage, with a specific focus on nurturing story editors on the continent. The director and editor are matched with expert African storytellers for consultation and comradeship. African films, African feedback!

Rough Cut Lab Africa (RCLA) 2024 is supported by the South African Guild of Editors, Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, Goethe-Institut of South Africa, anima, Pressure Cooker Studios, The Refinery, and Al Jazeera Documentary.

We are delighted to present four RCLA alumni and one RCLA consultant’s work at the 26th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival: