January 20, 2023
Encounters, with the support of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP), invites you to apply for the Encounters Community Festivals: Doc Activate Season.

Encounters Community Festivals: Doc Activate Season 2023 

Are you looking to start a film festival in your community presenting documentaries to young and mature audiences? Are you passionate about growing the film industry in your province to develop the next generation of filmmakers and grow audiences for local films? Do you want to gain the skills, knowledge and networks necessary to manage a sustainable festival and attract support?

Encounters, with the support of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP), invites you to apply for the Encounters Community Festivals: Doc Activate Season.

This programme in Festival Management and Audience Development  is designed  to attract candidates seeking intensive practical training in both creative and technical positions, which will afford them with essential expertise to manage successful community festivals in their provinces. Participants will curate an excellent line-up of pre-selected South African documentaries to develop audiences and stimulate conversations around key social issues through the film medium. In addition, participants will plan an impactful industry programme aimed at encouraging knowledge-sharing by prominent local filmmakers and practitioners. 


The Programme 

This intensive programme will enable participants to plan and execute a two-day film festival from pre-production through to completion, including reporting. Candidates will become skilled in areas of festival management and production, industry curation and film programming, audience cultivation and development, building partnerships, technical coordination and logistics, marketing and communications, public speaking and Q&A moderation, inreach and outreach facilitation, budgeting and reporting. 

The Call is open to all provinces for individual applications, however, priority will be given to economically under-serviced provinces to increase their job opportunities in the sector. 

Upon selection, the candidates are expected to recruit teams with whom they will work closely in groups of three to four people. All participants will be appropriately designated according to their unique skill-set under the assigned Festival Manager. The benefits herein ensure that teams are dynamic, versatile and resourceful.

The programme is aimed at early careerists who will utilise the opportunity to establish their own sustainable festivals and continue to develop the film industry in their provinces.

Encounters’ Mentors will run the programme, which entails three  months of seminars and one-on-one consultations in all areas of festival management and production. 


Selection Criteria 

We are seeking passionate, resourceful and highly motivated individuals who are active in the film industry but aspire to broaden their careers and require upskilling.

Remuneration for the three month period will be provided.

Participants must be able to work remotely, with access to a PC or laptop and reliable internet for the full duration of the programme commencing: Monday 6 March – Wednesday 17 May 2023



Follow this link to apply.

Deadline: Monday 13 February 2023.


About Encounters 

Now in its 25th year, Encounters is the premier Documentary Festival in Africa attracting documentary lovers in Johannesburg and Cape Town over a ten day in-person event and online. Encounters showcases South African productions and the best on offer from the rest of the world. The Festival prioritises documentary and the exploration of issues that face communities and societies. For many years, Encounters has organised festivals, masterclasses and film training workshops with local and visiting international guests acting as mentors and facilitators. Current programmes prioritise emerging filmmakers and supporting a transformed and diverse industry. The Festival draws on past experience to design training programmes with a focus on social justice and human rights.

For further information visit 

The National Film and Video Foundation Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme supports the Encounters Community Festivals: Doc Activate Season 2023