François Verster

Convenor of the Documentary Film Project

Francois Verster is an Emmy-award winning documentary filmmaker based in Cape Town, South Africa.  His films are acclaimed for their intimacy, social insight and formal innovation, and have all won local and international awards, showing at major global festivals and galleries such as IDFA, Toronto IFF, Hot Docs, Visions du Reel, AFI, MOMA New York, the Jeu de Paume Paris and the Sydney FF.  Titles include THE DREAM OF SHAHRAZAD (2014), SEA POINT DAYS (2009), THE MOTHERS’ HOUSE (2006), A LION’S TRAIL (2002) and WHEN THE WAR IS OVER (2002).  He produced, filmed and edited Shameela Seedat’s films WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER (2018) which won the Special Jury prize at Hot Docs, the prestigious 2019 African Studies Association Film Award, a Bronze Stallion at FESPACO and many other awards, as well as her followup film AFRICAN MOOT (2022) which recently premiered at Hot Docs.  He co-directed SCENES FROM A DRY CITY (2018), which won the World Press Photo Digital Online Video as well as multiple other awards, as well as GIRL, TAKEN (2022), currently on Paramount Plus.  Verster has taught documentary classes or held fellowships at Columbia University New York, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand and elsewhere, and has published on documentary in various journals and anthologies.  He currently convenes a think tank on creative documentary at the University of the Western Cape.  He has appeared on various festival juries and has had ten festival retrospectives or special focus series on his work, most recently at Indiana University, 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 […]