Mandisa Ralane

Mandisa Ralane is currently appointed as festival director of the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, returning to the helm after successfully leading the festival as director from 2007 to 2012, during which time she helped Encounters confirm its place as Africa’s premier documentary film festival.

During her time as festival director, Mandisa acted as an ambassador for documentary films in general, and for the South African film industry in particular, both locally and internationally. She was recognised in the Mail and Guardian: Top 100 Women 2011 for the arts and culture sector; spoke at the 2007 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece; and sat on the main jury at the 2010 Tempo Documentary Festival in Sweden, as well as on the 2010 BBC MyWorld Competition jury.

Mandisa helped set up the partnership between Encounters and the Sichuan TV Festival in China, which saw seven local documentaries screened and two local filmmakers hosted in China. She also helped set up the partnership between Encounters and the French embassy, where she coordinated the first Africadoc SA residency, a writing residency designed for the development of African documentary cinema. She was also involved in establishing the 2012 partnership between Encounters and Al Jazeera English, which saw 20 African documentaries pitch to the global broadcaster. After a sojourn in management in the academic and government sectors, she returns with a wealth of new experience for her role as director of the festival.

Encounters documentary film festival celebrates 21 years

Marli van Eeden, Mandisa Ralane Lifestyle and entertainment 2019-06-04

"Recently, Encounters has expanded the scope of its programming to encompass new media (virtual reality and interactive documentaries) and other forms of nonfiction storytelling, placing an emphasis on a contemporary, cross-disciplinary approach to both documentary reception and documentary production."