François Verster

Convenor of the Documentary Film Project

François Verster is an Emmy-award winning documentary filmmaker based in Cape Town, South Africa. His films generally follow creative and observational approaches to social issues and have all won multiple local and international awards – these include The Dream of Shahrazad, Sea Point Days, The Mothers’ House, A Lion’s Trail, and When the War Is Over. Recently he produced, filmed, and edited Shameela Seedat’s Whispering Truth to Power, which won the Special Jury prize at Hot Docs, and co-directed Scenes from A Dry City, which was Emmy-nominated and won the prestigious World Press Photo Digital Online Video award. Verster has taught documentary or held fellowships at Columbia University, New York University, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand and elsewhere, and has published on documentary in various journals and anthologies. Between 2014 and 2019, he taught a postgraduate course in creative documentary at the Centre for Humanities Research. From 2020 this course evolved into a “documentary think tank” as part of the greater Communicating the Humanities project. Verster has appeared on various festival juries and has had nine local or international festival retrospectives or special focus series on his work, most recently at the University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Related News


A documentary feature film co-directed, co- filmed and co-produced by the CHR documentary film course convenor Francois Verster with fellow filmmaker Simon Wood, has just garnered the Best South African Documentary Award at the 2022 Durban International Film Festival.

Spotlight on Documentary

The Documentary Film Project at the CHR is key to rethinking the humanities PhD, incorporating audio-visual content into a reimagining of an aesthetic education.

A screening of Whispering Truth to Power

Filmmaker and human rights lawyer Shameela Seedat tracks Thuli Madonsela

Filmmaking Practices in Africa Conference

Dear colleagues and friends, Attached, please find the announcement for the Documentary Filmmaking Practices in Africa Conference at the University of Toronto. The CHR is […]