Every year since our founding in 2010, The Bioscope has proudly hosted screenings of The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival. Now over 25 years old as a festival, Encounters returns to The Bioscope once again with screenings from 21 June – 30 July. Tickets are R80. For more information on the festival as a whole, please visit: encounters.co.za



FRI 21 June 7pm: HOLLYWOODGATE BOOK NOW When the US Army withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021, just days later, Egyptian documentary maker Ibrahim Nash’at documents the transition to Taliban rule.

SAT 22 June 1pm: MADE IN ETHIOPIA BOOK NOW Filmed over four years, Made in Ethiopia explores China’s historic but misunderstood impact on Africa.

SAT 22 June 3pm: DIARY OF AN ELEPHANT ORPHAN SOLD OUT! The film follows Khanyisa, a baby elephant newly orphaned, and her journey in becoming strong enough to join a herd of her own.

SAT 22 June 6pm: RAW BOOK NOW Raw (Rou) is a lamentation on the slow death of a South African rural town, Nthoroane, through an exploration of the myths, disasters, and miracles that surround the town’s history.

SAT 22 June 8:30pm: MY MERCURY SOLD OUT! Set on the remote Mercury Island, off the coast of Namibia, the film explores the life of Yves, a conservationist whose purpose is to protect the endangered gannet and penguin colonies.

SUN 23 June 1pm: A FIDAI FILM BOOK NOW When the Israeli Defence force invaded Southern Lebanon in the summer of 1982, they stole the archive collection of photographs and film from Beirut’s Palestine Research Center. In this hypnotic and deftly constructed experimental film, Palestinian director and artist Kamal Aljafari reclaims these images.

SUN 23 June 3pm: BYE BYE TIBERIUS BOOK NOW This intimately made film chronicles the life and family history of the great Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas, most familiar to mainstream Western audiences for her role as Marcia Roy in the TV series Succession.

TUE 25 June 8pm: ROLLABALL (World Premiere) BOOK NOW Meet skate soccer teammates: ambitious and volatile Smallee and talented but troubled Dungu. The friendship that has kept them afloat is now at risk as their paths take very different directions.

WED 26 June 6:30pm: CAPE-HELENA BOOK NOW The film explores the lesser known history of St Helena Island, a place where our narrator looks to for answers on his father’s past, but instead learns of the many other stories that lie there concerning colonialism, slavery and war.

WED 26 June 8:30pm: WILD COAST WARRIORS BOOK NOW The film explores the fight against the establishment of oil exploration operations by the Shell corporation in the Wild Coast.

THUR 27 June 6:15pm: MOTHER CITY SOLD OUT! Cape Town remains one of the world’s most unequal and racially segregated cities. The Reclaim the City movement emerged; a collective of dispossessed people who are challenging the notion that urban centres are only for the rich.

THUR 27 June 8:45pm: JOHATSU- INTO THIN AIR BOOK NOW In Japan, around 80,000 people disappear every year. They are known as Johatsu, which means “the evaporated”. Johatsu provides an intimate window into the lives of those who have decided, for one desperate reason or another, that they need to start anew.

FRI 28 June 7pm SAMAR.. BEFORE THE FINAL PICTURE BOOK NOW Set between Cairo and Dubai, the film explores a story of resilience and healing through Samar, a victim of an acid attack who devotes herself to helping another woman that has suffered the same fate.

FRI 28 June 8:45pm: GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT BOOK NOW The life of hugely influential African American poet and activist Nikki Giovanni. Framed by its protagonist’s famous statement that “the trip to Mars can only be understood through Black Americans”.

SAT 29 June 1:30pm: ECO-CULTURAL – SHORTS (with Q&A) BOOK NOW Films included: Of Bread and Water, Dead Lagoon, Fading Footprints.

SAT 29 June 3pm: MURMURS OF TRAGEDY – SHORTS (with Q&A) BOOK NOW Films included: Ek wil haar nie verloor nie, Oor my dooie liggaam, I Did Not Ask For This.

SAT 29 June 5pm: ECHOES OF EARTH – SHORTS (with Q&A) BOOK NOW Films included: Illusions of Distance, Lobi Ekosimba, My Land Is Burned, Masiphumelele.

SAT 29 June 7pm: BEYOND THE NORM – SHORTS (with Q&A) BOOK NOW Films included: 6SENSE, Love Me True, We Are On The Map, Love Thy Neighbour.

SAT 29 June 8:30pm: BLACK PEOPLE DON’T GET DEPRESSED (with Q&A) SOLD OUT! A filmmaker despairing for her mental peace embarks on the journey of facing her depression and speaks to other African people about their experiences of mental illness.

SUN 30 June 1:30pm: OUR LAND, OUR FREEDOM (with Q&A) BOOK NOW The film follows a Kenyan woman looking for her fathers’ remains, but finds herself swept up by the struggles of her people and their desire to reclaim their ancestral land. 

SUN 30 June 4pm: AL DJANAT, THE ORIGINAL PARADISE BOOK NOW Upon the passing of her uncle during his pilgrimage to Mecca, director Chloé Aïcha Boro returns to her home country of Burkina Faso to document the familial disputes surrounding the inheritance of his Coulibaly estate.