Call for Entries to Encounters Documentary Producers’ Lab 2015

Encounters, with the support of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), will host a Producers Lab to support teams from 7 documentary companies to gain skills and tools necessary to operate optimally on the international scene.

Lab Description

The Producers Workshop is an intensive 4-day programme, a unique opportunity to accelerate your project and benefit from the experience of acclaimed multiple-award winning Syrian documentary producer Orwa Nyrabia (Return to Homs).

The teams will participate in a project-focused development process, led by Nyrabia, including valuable one-on-one consultations. Other top industry professionals will also tutor in their field of expertise: the role of the producer, creative producing, co-production, raising local and international finance, navigating film festivals, distribution and international sales.

The support will also include two skype sessions, one before the Lab and one after, with Nyrabia.

The targeted process will support producers in advancing their projects, gaining critical knowledge and skills thereby growing their company’s capacity.

About Orwa Nyrabia

Orwa Nyrabia is a Syrian documentary producer, co-founder of PROACTION FILM and DOX BOX Doc Film Festival in Syria and currently the CEO of PROACTION FILM GmbH in Germany. He continues to produce documentary films from Syria and the region, most recently the award-wining documentary films Silvered Water (Cannes and Toronto 2014) and Return to Homs (Opening Film IDFA 2013, Winner Grand Jury Prize, Sundance 2014). Orwa graduated from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts Damascus in 1999 and went on to study Audiovisual Financing & International Co-production at the Sorbonne (2006).


  • The course is designed for small, micro and medium-sized production companies, and is specifically for individuals from previously disadvantaged individuals (including women and disabled people).
  • Companies must have produced at least one documentary.
  • Each company can apply for a maximum of two participants, as the programme is open to producers, directors and writers.


Applicants must be available for the whole duration of the 4-day programme, including individual skype meetings with the Facilitator.

The workshop will take place from the 23 – 26 March 2015 in Cape Town.

Encounters and the NLDTF will cover the full costs of the programme, which includes:

  • travel and accommodation
  • course materials
  • all meals


The selection committee will comprise of appointed representatives from the Industry and Encounters. Applicants will be notified by email within 2 weeks of the submission deadline.

Submitting Applications

Application Deadline: Monday 16th February 2015

Applicants must submit:

  • Project Proposal, treatment and synopsis
  • Project materials: trailers, scene selects or rough cuts via a link, we transfer or dropbox
  • Company profile
  • CV of Producer (s) and other Project Applicants.
  • Filmography
  • Contact co-ordinates
  • DVD copies or links to other film(s) made


Nazeer Ahmed


Tel: (021) 465-4686

Physical Address:

Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

33 Francis Street, Woodstock, Cape Town, 8001