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Call For Entries: 2013 Pitching Forum At Encounters Documentary Fest (Monday Deadline)

Call For Entries: 2013 Pitching Forum At Encounters Documentary Fest (Monday Deadline)

Al Jazeera has announced a call for submissions for a pitching session that will take place during the 4th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival which runs from June 8 – 24, in Cape Town, South Africa. 

On Saturday, June 15, pitches from 16 African filmmakers will be heard by two Al Jazeera-commissioned editors. Each filmmaker will have a maximum of five minutes to pitch their film, with an  additional 10 minutes allocated to feedback and questions from the panel. 

Visual aids will be provided for those that have DVDs or presentations during the pitch. 

For consideration, entrants are asked to send the following:

·         A one-page synopsis of their film

·         A one-page biography of the filmmaker, including complete contact details (telephone no, city of residence, home and work address)

Send the requested information to: Nikissi Serumaga via email at You have until 4pm (likely South African Standard Time – they’re 6 hours ahead of us here in NYC), Monday, May 27

Selections will be confirmed by Friday, May 31

If selected, participants must be available for both the one-day pitching workshop on Friday, June 14 2013, as well as the Al Jazeera Pitching Forum which takes place on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Protea Breakwater Lodge, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. 

The judging panel of 2 follows:

Dominique Young

A senior producer based in Al Jazeera English’s bureau in London, Young commissions a wide range of documentaries on African and Middle Eastern subject matter, for broadcast in the channel’s flagship observational documentary strand, Witness, as well as other documentary seasons.

Witness broadcasts one 25’ film and one 48’ film each week. Witness films are character-led, first-person stories which set the context to the daily news agenda and provide an insight into key events of the day as they impact on the lives of ordinary people. Witness documentaries are inspirational and provocative with a global resonance and appeal. As far as possible, Witness stories are told by local filmmakers, as Witness aims to showcase the work of established and emerging documentary talent from around the world.  

Diarmuid Jeffreys

An award-winning journalist and television producer with 30 years’ experience in the media industry, Jeffreys has been an executive producer at Al Jazeera English since 2008.  Now based in Doha, he is responsible for its People & Power investigative current affairs programme and a range of other documentaries across the network. In 2011, that output also included several films as part of AJE’s much praised coverage of the Arab Awakening. In the last three years his programmes have won an Amnesty Award for Best Television Documentary 2010, the Rory Peck Best Features Award 2011, Best Documentary 2011 from the Human Trafficking Foundation, and a 2013 Silver Medal for Best Investigative Documentary at the New York Film Festival. They have twice  been commended in the Best Investigative Documentary category by the Association of International Broadcasters. In May 2012, another series, Africa Investigates (in which African journalists target corruption and human rights abuses across their continent), won a One World Media Award.

With a new half-hour edition every week and broadcast throughout the year, People & Power pursues stories from all over the world; combining hard-hitting, revelatory and incisive television journalism with high quality filmmaking, probing deep into stories of global significance and investigating everything from political and corporate wrongdoing, human rights abuses and the origins of conflict to the plight of the world’s most vulnerable peoples. Over the last four years it has filmed everywhere – from Pakistan to Peru, from the USA to Afghanistan, from South Africa to Brazil, and especially across the Middle East as it has produce award-winning coverage of dramatic events in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Algeria and elsewhere.

For more information, visit

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