Documentary Submission Rules

Festival dates: 20-30 June 2024

Submission deadline: 1 March 2024


  • No films to be submitted without complete entry forms
  • All submissions to include the following:
    • approx. 150 word synopsis
    • complete filmography/biography of the director
  • Screeners and any promotional material submitted will not be returned to the sender
  • No material sent at charge of the Festival will be accepted
  • In the event of your film being selected, it must be available in English or with English subtitles
  • The holder of copyright authorises the Festival to make excerpts, of a maximum of three minutes, available to television channels and for use on the Encounters website for the promotion of the film and the festival.
  • Please submit a promotional trailer to be screened during the Festival should your film be selected.
  • ​If your documentary is selected to showcase at Encounters, you will be required to supply the following deliverables:
    • Keywords you would like us to add to your film profile on our platforms
    • Final Film Format for Online Showcase, Physical Showcase Format tbc (NO larger than 5-8 GB; Stereo; MP4/.H260 ; subtitles embedded; 10-15000Mbps or closest to 5-8GB file size.)
    • Film Trailer (NO larger than 1GB, subtitles embedded)
    • Images:
      • minimum 2 x film stills in print resolution (300 dpi),
      • minimum 2 x film stills or photographs (Landscape JPEG file; 72dpi, 585 x 330 pixel ratio, titled ‘Landscape_Filmname’)
      • optional additional film stills or photographs (JPEG file; 72dpi, any aspect ratio, titled ‘Still_Filmname’, minimum 600px in either dimension)
      • Official Poster (portrait JPEG file, 72dpi, 282 x 422 pixels, titled ‘Official Poster_Filmname’)
      • 1 x Carousel Film Still (JPEG file; 72dpi, 1600 x 600 pixel ratio, titled ‘Carousel_Filmname’)
      • 2 x Background Film Stills (.jpeg file; 1600 x 1100 pixel ratio, titled ‘Background_Filmname’)


The Encounters Festival endeavors to present the following awards at the end of the Festival:

  • Audience/Programmers Award – Best South African Film
  • Audience/Programmers Award – Best International Film