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Encounters Festival 2013 Campaign

Crossroads  – directed by Oliver Hermanus


The Encounters Festival, Africa’s premier documentary event, celebrated its 15th edition in June this year. Since its start in 1999 the festival has continued with the aim of fostering local talent and developing the film industry in South Africa. That doesn’t decrease the scope of the event, with screenings that included many local as well as international documentary films.


What really caught our attention this year was the Encounters promotional campaign, an intriguing approach which consisted of five 60 second promo films which were screened prior to all the films throughout the duration of the festival. These short films are presented as “encounters” and each appear as short scenes of a much larger suggested narrative, left to the audience to interpret.


Director-led entity Goodcop produced the promos; directed by Skoonheid and Shirley Adams director Oliver Hermanus, multi-award-winning commercials director Laurence Hamburger, and former Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Michael MacGarry.


Goodcop describe themselves as “an original blend of talent agency, production company and filmmaking studio” and they were commissioned by Encounters Festival director, Lesedi Oluko Moche to produce the campaign. The brief given was to “emphasise the 15 year anniversary of the festival along with various local issues of its time – patriarchy, gun culture, power and corruption.”


The scripts were divided and each director worked to create one or two short films around the given themes. The films were shot over a period of only two days by DOP Jamie Ramsay in order to create a cohesive visual thread. They were shot in a more cinematic style than is often associated with documentary form, emphasising the changing nature of 21st Century documentary filmmaking, which is seen veering away from expected documentary form in favour of a different approach.


The resulting short films stand out in their own right, telling distinctly South African stories with international relevance.




Production House: Goodcop, South Africa
Directors: Michael MacGarry; Laurence Hamburger; Oliver Hermanus.
DOP: Jamie Ramsay
Producer: Tess Van Zyl
Editor: Matthew Swanepoel
Music: Nicolaas van Reenan; Simon Ringrose; Barry Van Zyl, James Stewart.
Final Sound Mix: Simon Malherbe
Grade: Ermi Apostoli and Fran Barredo
Online: Grant Aerts and Priest
Art Directors / Copywriters: Michael MacGarry; Laurence Hamburger; Oliver Hermanus.


Theft – directed by Oliver Hermanus


Ghetto University – directed by Michael MacGarry


Urinal – directed by Michael MacGarry


Hide and Seek – directed by Laurence Hamburger


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