Buy DVD's
    South African International
    Documentary Festival

Call for Entries
Buy DVD's
Previous Years


The following titles are available to buy on DVD:

For more information, e-mail: distribution@encounters.co.za

Tel: +27 21 465 46 86 Fax: +27 21 461 69 64

A Kalahari Family Director: John Marshall

Encapsulating over fifty years of Namibian history in stunning visual imagery and first hand storytelling, A Kalahari Family is a five-part series representing a lifetime of research and personal engagement with the Ju/'hoansi (Bushmen) of Nyae Nyae by the acclaimed filmmaker John Marshall.

Jury Award - Athens Film Festival.

Bus 174 Director: José Padilha
132 min

In June 2000, Sandro di Nascimento, a disenfranchised young man who had survived a harsh and brutal childhhood in the favelas of Rio, boarded a bus on route 174 and took its passengers hostage.
José Padilha's multi-award winning documentary traces two parallel and equally devastating stories. The dramatic hijacking as it unfolded witnessed by 35 million Brazilian television viewers, and the even more tragic story of Sandro, who in his youth survived one of the most dreadful instances of urban violence in Brazil.

Best Documentary - Sao Paulo Film Festival.
Grand Coral and Best Documentary - Havana International Film Festival.

Capturing The Friedmans Director: Andrew Jarecki
103 min

The Friedmans are a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class American family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking crimes. Caught up in the hysteria and with their Great Neck community in uproar, the family undergoes a media onslaught.
The film follows their story - from the public’s perspective and through unique footage of the family in crisis, shot contemporaneously by family members inside the Friedman house.

Winner Grand Jury Prize - Sundance Film Festival.

Checkpoint Director: Yoav Shamir
80 min

Three million Palestinians live in the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Scattered throughout the region are dozens of checkpoints where the paths of Israeli soldiers and Palestinians continually converge. This extraordinary documentary looks at the destructive impact of enforced boundaries on both societies.
Best Feature - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Control Room Director: Jehane Noujaim
85 min

Since Vietnam, war has been transmitted by television into living rooms and what is perceived there can have a powerful impact on public support for military engagements. Jehane Noujaim's startlingly courageous Control Room provides a rare window into the international perception of the Iraq war, courtesy of Al-Jazeera, the Arab world's most popular news broadcaster. Roundly criticized by Cabinet members and Pentagon officials for reporting with a pro-Iraqi bias, and strongly condemned for frequently airing civilian casualties, the station showed the world everything about the Iraq War that the Bush administration did not want it to see.
In Noujaim's film, Al Jazeera is portrayed as the home base of dedicated journalists, whose passion for truth and open information are easily the equal of their American counterparts.

Grand Jury Prize - Full Frame Documentary Festival.
FIPRESCI Award - Best Documentary - Sydney Film Festival.

Family Sami Saif and Phie Ambo
90 min

Abandoned by his father at a young age, Arab-Danish filmmaker Sami Saif embarks on an epic personal search for answers. Assisted by his girlfriend Phie Ambo, Sami documents the gripping and tense process of finding his father in the face of fear, insecurity and doubt.

Using his camera as the most important witness in his search, Sami exposes both humour and heartfelt emotion during gut-wrenching telephone calls and meditation on his personal life. Eventually tracking down members of his family in Yemen, his inspiring search reveals that the most basic and universal need for attachment, familiarity and common bonds can be found in even the most foreign of lands.

Best Documentary - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Sacrificio Directors: Erik Gandini and Tarik Saleh
60 min

Ever since the capture and killing of Che Guevara in 1967, Ciro Bustos, Guevara’s former lieutenant has been held responsible. Now for the first time Bustos tells his side of the story. Imaginatively executed with the pace and drama of a spy thriller this is an investigative documentary par excellence.

Best Foreign Documentary - Havana International Film Festival.
First prize - International Documentary Film Festival, Brazil.

Sisters In Law UK / Cameroon 2005 104 min subtitles
Dirs: Kim Longinotto & Florence Ayisi

With very little pomp or ceremony, and buckets of sensitive humanity, dispensing common sense justice, two women make an empowering difference to the people of Kumba, Cameroon.
C.I.C.A.E. Award – Cannes Film Festival 2005


The Trials of Henry Kissinger Directors: Eugene Jarecki and Alex Gibney
79 min

This documentary examines the political machinations of the most famous and influential US diplomat in history, Henry Kissinger – Nobel Peace Prize recipient – now accused of war crimes. This thought provoking film is methodical in weighing up the evidence against this 20th Century political icon. Historical facts, papers and footage are supported by extensive interviews placing him specifically in the hot seat regarding his influence on horrific events in Cambodia, Vietnam and Chile.

Terrifying in its implications the documentary questions the validity of the US currently claiming the moral high ground.

Amnesty International DOEN Award – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

To Live Is Better Than To Die Director: Weijun Chen
60 min

In the 1990s, farmers in Henan Province, central China, were suddenly swept up in the fervour of making quick money by selling blood. Thousands of eager local peasants joined the rush. However, due to poor sanitary conditions, more than six out of ten were infected with HIV, as a random survey indicated.
This is a heartbreaking story from Wenlou, a small village in Central China where 60 percent of the villagers are infected with HIV. The director of this film, Weijun Chen, spent months in the village with farmer Ma Shengyi and his family.
Both he and his wife are infected with HIV from selling blood. Two of his three children are also infected.

Two Towns of Jasper Directors: Whitney Dow and Marco Williams
71 min

On June 7, 1998, a sleepy east Texas town awoke to the news of a horrifying crime. James Byrd Jr, an African-American was viciously beaten, chained to a pick-up truck and dragged until his body disintegrated.
The filmmakers took to the streets during the murderers' trial, using segregated crews only to get the views of a town divided.
The resulting portrait in Two Towns of Jasper is an explicit account of the racial divide in America - a disturbing montage of contrasting realities that somehow inhabit the same place and time.

Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival.

War Photographer Director Christian Frei
55 min

In one of the world’s countless crisis areas, surrounded by suffering, death, violence and chaos, photographer James Nachtwey searches for the picture he thinks he can publish. A film about a committed shy man who is considered one of the bravest and most important war photographers of our time – but hardly fits the cliché of the hard boiled war veteran.

Best Documentary Feature - Oscar Nominee.