The Encounters Documentary Film Festival is back for its 20th edition. The festival will be running in Cape Town and Johannesburg from May, 31st to June, 10th to offer the best of featured- and short-documentary films from Africa and from the world.

Among the 70 titles of the selection, France has found its place and will be represented by powerful pieces:


Slavery Routes, by Daniel Cattier, Juan Gélas, Fanny Glissant

Episodes 1 and 2

Before there was oil, there were slaves. The system that resulted in over 20 million Africans being taken by force, bound and beaten, sold and reduced to slavery has fundamentally shaped and defined the world around us. But how did Africa end up at the heart of the slavery route? To answer this critical question, The Slavery Routes takes us to the fall of the Rome, the subsequent Arabian Empire built from its ruins, and the trans-Saharan caravan routes that provided the beginnings of a 700 year vast network of human trafficking between Cairo and Timbuktu. In the 14th century Europe opened up to the world and Portugal was the first kingdom to assault the African coast, thus creating a new slavery route and the beginning of one of the world’s most miserable, heinous and condoned abuses of humans. An important film exploring the story of a world built on the backs of men and women relegated to less than human.

Co-produced by Arte France, CPB Films, Kwassa Films, LX Filmes, RTBF, RTP, INRAP


In partnership with the French Institute of South Africa, two of the screenings will also exceptionally be followed by a Q&A with director Fanny Glissant, an opportunity to discover more about the subject and the creation of Slavery Routes.

About Fanny Glissant:

slavery-routes_Fanny-Glissant-300x123Documentary producer for about a decade, Fanny Glissant joined la Compagnie des Phares et Balises (CPB Films) in 2012.

She produces history documentaries, some aired in prime time such as Dénoncer sous l’Occupation by Laurent Joly and David Korn-Brzoza, or 39-45: The Children’s War (39-45 : La guerre des enfants) by Julien Johan and Michèle Durren (Audience award at the Luchon Festival) and society & current affairs films like Syria – Children at war (Syrie, enfants en guerre) by Yuri Maldavsky, The Underworld & the French Republic (Les gangsters et la République) and Mob Empire (Trafics) by Frédéric Ploquin and Julien Johan. She also produces Arts & Culture movies, like Orson Welles, Shadows & Light (Orson Welles, autopsie d’une légende) selected at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (Cannes Classics category) and Karen Blixen, an African night’s dream (Karen Blixen, songe d’une nuit africaine) by Elisabeth Kapnist. At the same time, she writes and directs documentaries: she attended the FEMIS Screenwriting workshop and she received the first prize for best Caribbean documentary scenario (Prix Azur). In 2018, she co-directed the series Slavery Routes.



Cape Town
Labia 3: Sun 3 June – 5pm 
Labia 3: Wed 6 June – 8.30pm + Q&A
Bio: Tue 5 June – 8.30pm + Q&A

AFDA School – screening and Q&A – 5.30pm


The Battle of Algiers, a film within history, by Malek Bensmaïl (France/Switzerland/Algiers)

This is a thrilling behind the curtain look at Gillo Pontecorvo’s iconic 1967 feature film The Battle of Algiers that famously won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival while at the same time was in the process of being banned in France. The masterful tale of revolutionary aspiration and political insurrection, as Algeria fought for independence from France, is not far removed from the political conflicts at play in the world today. Critically acclaimed director Bensmaïl explores the emotionally charged process of filming in a country where most of the cast and crew lived through the events being captured. His extraordinary analysis shows the far-reaching influence of the film that went on to inspire the Black Panthers, the Pro-Palestine movement, and even the Pentagon, where it was used as an education tool on counter-insurgency.

Co-produced by INA and Imago Films


Cape Town
V&A 4: Sat 2 June – 5.30pm
Labia 3: Fri 8 June – 8pm
Labia 1: Sat 9 June – 8.15pm
R’Bank: Fri 1 June – 8.30pm
Bio: Sun 10 June – 3.30pm

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