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Announcing the Successful PESP Interns

Announcing the Successful PESP Interns

With the support of the National Film and Video Foundation Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP), Encounters is proud to announce the selection of six highly motivated applicants for the inaugural 3-month paid internship opportunity in Festival Training and Skills Development, taking place from 1 April – 25 June 2021. 

We congratulate Keitumetse Kasonkola (GP), Lukhanyiso Tsita (EC), Refiloe Mathafeng (WC), Taahir Sarguro (WC),  Zainab Hoseini (GP) and  Hannah Fleisch (GP) on their selection.

The Programme will run in tandem with our production of the 23rd Encounters Festival (10 – 20 June, 2021), giving interns invaluable practical experience. On-going mentorship will be provided by Festival Director, Mandisa Zitha, and other experienced staff members. Regular Masterclasses and Workshops will be facilitated by leading industry practitioners in Film Programming, Event Management, Marketing, PR, Sales and Distribution. An emphasis will be placed on curating African cinema, digital platforms, audience development, industry event planning and outreach.

We were pleased with the overwhelming response to the Call with nearly 100 applications being received. As a remote programme, Encounters was able to accept applicants from all corners of the country, representing a wide range of talent. The common thread that connects the successful applicants to Encounters is their eagerness to learn and commitment to growing the South African documentary landscape. 

We encourage students to develop new perspectives of documentary filmmaking, curation, exhibition and shifting viewing trends. Students will gain an understanding of the drivers that move the festival world forward, while nurturing their passion for cinema and audiences.



About the Interns


Keitumetse Kasonkola holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the University of Witwatersrand. She served on various festival organising committees, including the university’s Humanities Festival and the Drama for Life Conference and Festival. Keitumetse’s writing has garnered her a win at the PANSA Festival for new writings at a national and provincial level.

Lukhanyiso Tsita holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA, majoring in Producing and Writing. Lukhanyiso undertook the role of Junior Programme Manager at the 2019 Lavuth’ iBhari Short Film Festival in the Eastern Cape.

Refiloe Mathafeng holds an Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Film Theory and Practice and she is currently in final year of a Masters degree in Documentary Arts at the University of Cape Town. Refiloe believes that the life of a film begins with its distribution.

Taahir Sarguro holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA. Taahir was inspired to study film through his early introduction to documentary filmmaking and believes documentaries are the key to creating a tangible difference in today’s world. 

Zainab Hoseini holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Directing and Screenwriting from AFDA and is an avid watcher of all forms of cinema with a particular focus on documentary. Her most recent interest is in African cinema and the traditions and styles of big continental film markets in East and West Africa.

Hannah Fleisch is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts and Science Honours degree at the University of Toronto, studying Cinema Studies, Diaspora and Transnational Studies and Physics. Hannah has a deep interest in national film studies within Cinema Studies, with particular attention to African cinema and documentary. 






2021 (23rd) Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival