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 […]

Feb 17, 2022

François Verster

Convenor of the Documentary Film Project
Feb 21, 2018

Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere

Convenor of the Factory of the Arts
Dec 12, 2017

Patricia Hayes

DSI/NRF SARChI Chair in Visual History & Theory Centre for Humanities Research
Dec 12, 2017

Jane Taylor

Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance Convenor of LoKO
Dec 6, 2017

Lameez Lalkhen

Administrator Finance Officer
Dec 6, 2017

Heidi Grunebaum

Associate Professor,
Dec 6, 2017

Premesh Lalu

Former Director
Dec 6, 2017

Suren Pillay

Associate Professor
Senior Researcher
Apr 25, 2016

Ross Truscott

Senior Lecturer and Researcher
Apr 25, 2016

Michelle Smith

co-convener of International Partnerships
Apr 25, 2016

Maurits van Bever Donker

Associate Professor
Research Manager

The CHR fellowship programme will continue in 2022 through online platforms and, where permitted, limited live events hosted in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Please follow our events page for updates about events.

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