Focus Terms & Conditions – Edition 2017

Focus South Africa

The FOCUS programme, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), announces its 2016 call for creative documentary film projects from South Africa. The projects can be in their development, production or postproduction process.

Every year during the Visions du Réel festival, the FOCUS aims at drawing attention to an Eastern or Southern country that currently structures its documentary production on an international level. It is not only about allowing the general and professional public to discover a guest country –its social and cultural specificities– but it is also about encouraging exchanges and encounters between film institutions, producers, directors and distribution companies from different countries. The festival highlights creative documentary film projects and offers important networking opportunities.

The FOCUS event consists in

+ a selection of approx. 15 films produced  between 2000 – 2017 of different lengths (short, midlength and feature) in the festival's official selection. Those films will be displayed in the official programme leaflet and further detailed in the catalogue of the festival. Additionally, the films will be part of the whole festival communication, including: possible references in the newsletter (received by approx. 15000 persons), the guest country's Facebook fan-page (more than 11500 followers), twitter with about 3000 followers and various other official publications.

+ The Focus Talk, a whole day within the festival consisting in conferences as well as a public presentation and individual co-production meetings for original and fresh creative long feature documentary projects with artistic ambition, personal point of view of the director and potential for theatrical distribution

+ General information talks on South Africa's cinematographic landscape (people, themes, films), it’s film industry structure (production/distribution) i.e. lectures and case studies for the general and professional public

+ Short public presentations (10 min. each, including visual material/trailer) of the five projects from South Africa selected by Visions du Réel

+ One-to-one meetings: every project team will have one-to-one meetings with International and Swiss film industry professionals (producers, TV commissioning editors, distributors, funds etc.)

+ Award : one of the presented projects will be awarded with the Prix visions sud est (10000 Swiss Francs) selected by a jury of three Swiss cinema professionals


We are looking for feature length creative documentary films in development, production or postproduction stage. The film production and director have to be from South Africa.

Please complete the submission form online in English and send us a link to your visual material (photos/trailer or rough cut) and/or previous film/s by the director. Please contact us if you prefer sending a DVD instead of an online link (address: Visions du Réel, Place du Marché 2, CH 1260 Nyon)

PROJECT APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE (for details and exact items please refer to the entry form online)

Please note that this information will be published in the Focus South Africa catalogue (prior previous updating by the pitch team)

 - general information on the film team and project (names, credits, etc.)

- short & long synopsis/project presentation

- information introducing the subject, its approach and visual concept

- a director’ s and a producer’s note (motivation, process and steps)

- curriculum vitae and filmography of the film director, description of the production company

- financing plan

- goals at Visions du Réel, Focus South Africa

- photos (film & team)

Additionnal requested items

- global budget

- a longer treatment/presentation

- link/s for visual material and/or previous work of the film director (if available)

- any other material you want us to know about


Visions du Réel festival will take place from 21 to 29 April 2017. The FOCUS TALK day takes place on Tuesday 25 April 2017.

Application deadline: October 15, 2016

The five selected project teams will be informed in December 2016


The festival covers all travel and stay expenses for one person per selected project. Also, the film director and producer will receive a free accreditation. However, further expenses related to other members of the film team are in charge of the project team.


Phone: +41 22 365 44 55

Focus Manager, Jasmin Basic

Concerning the projects: Doc Outlook – International Market, Gudula Meinzolt

Concerning the films: Programme Coordinator, Justine Duay