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Encounters Film Festival

24th September 2019 – 29th September 2019 all-day
Bristol - various venues
Encounters Film Festival @ Bristol - various  venues

Bristol’s largest international film festival celebrates its 25th edition this year with a handpicked programme of film, animation and virtual reality.

Discover incredible international shorts in the Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying competition programmes, take part in talks, workshops and masterclasses from top industry professionals, and mix with the major filmmakers of tomorrow at the festival parties.

The evening programme includes treats for fans of Sci-Fi, Horror and Comedy whilst the notorious Late Lounge returns to shock and delight. Vote for your favourite film and have your say on what will win the Audience Award.

The Awards Party will take place this year at Colston Hall where audiences and filmmakers alike will find out who the juries have selected to win the top prizes, and which films will go on to compete for the Oscars, BAFTAs and European Film Awards. With a live performance of DJ Yoda’s ‘Tarantino AV Spectacular’, don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes!

To celebrate the 25th edition, Encounters Film Festival are throwing it back to their roots with a 90s-inspired programme strand, including a thrilling outdoor screening of David Lynch’s Fire Walk with Me at Boiling Wells woodland amphitheatre where the owls are not what they seem, presented by Compass Presents.

So for all fans of film; be them short, feature, animated, comical, contemporary or spooky, there’s sure to be something in the programme for you.

Take a look at the full programme on the Encounters Film Festival website.


25th – 28th September

Industry activity this year at Encounters Film Festival will include insightful panel discussions, open forums for chatting all things film, masterclasses to inspire and much more.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect over the festival week:

Wednesday 25

  • Nadasdy Films Masterclass – following their film screening earlier in the day, Swiss animation production company Nadasdy will be delivering a masterclass in co producing films between different countries. Focussing on the pros and cons of this, Nicolas Burlett will be using the films screened in the previous event as case studies in this practice.
  • Single-shot films presented by Directors UK & Arri – this session will include a screening of six single shot films, and a discussion with their directors on the challenges they faced creating short films in just one take.
  • BFI South West Works in Progress – during this event attendees can find out more about some of the projects coming out of the South West who received BFI funding last year. Filmmakers will also be able to find out more about funding, and industry can hear from new talent and catch a first glimpse at some of the new films soon to arrive on the festival circuit.
  • Doc Society – is a not-for-profit organisation, committed to enabling great documentary films. They will be joiningEncounters this year with a panel who will be discussing UK funding opportunities for UK documentaries.
  • Animation Today – hosted by Alex Dudock de Wit this daily session will be an open forum for animators to discuss different topics in the sector

Thursday 26

  • Locksmith Animation Masterclass – a presentation from Locksmith Animation, the UK’s only high-end CG feature animation studio dedicated to making films for a global family audience. During this masterclass audiences will hear from key talent working at this studio who will be discussing their careers and future plans.
  • Gutsy Animation Masterclass – the animation studio behind the recent MoominValley series will be joiningEncounters Festival this year.
  • New Creatives: Talent Development – find out more about the exciting talent development scheme delivered by South West based organisation, Calling the Shots. See some examples of the work created by this year’s cohort and find out how to apply for the scheme, training opportunities and commissions that are currently available.
  • Young Audiences – a joint venture from the BFI and BBC to create new broadcast content for young audiences, speakers will be discussing opportunities for applications to the fund.

Friday 27

  • The Happiness Machine – an innovative, Pan European project that connects women animators and composers in the crafting of new work. Twenty artists including: Rebecca Bloecher, Eni Brandner, Vessela Dantcheva and Elizabeth Hobbs were asked to consider our current economic system, creating ten animations that explore the themes of consumption, greed, solidarity, equality, responsibility and revolt.
  • Bloomers Masterclass – following on from the Happiness Machine screening animated documentary maker Samantha Moore, composer Malin Bång and British Producer Abigail Addison. The trio will discuss how they worked together, whilst in different countries to create the animation and original score for Bloomers.
  • NFTS Animation and Model Making – for five years in a row, the NFTS Animation has won the BAFTA for Best British Short Animation as well as other prestigious awards. Robert Bradbrook (Head of Animation), will give an illustrative talk that will highlight the diversity and inventiveness that comes from the school. John Lee (Head of Model Making) will discuss his unique one-year diploma course which teaches professional skills and most importantly how to collaborate with others.
  • London Film Academy presents: Storytelling for Branded Content– This session will cover Branded Content – storytelling and structure, the elements necessary for compelling storytelling and what makes stories so powerful as a means of conveying a message.
  • Serial Eyes – Experience the Writers’ Room – In a globalised world where the use of English as a working language is becoming more and more prevalent, collaborations all over Europe is an exciting possibility for up and coming TV writers. Both alumni of the SERIAL EYES TV writing program, Heidi Baletic, Serbian based in London, and Pierre Puget, French based in Berlin, will share their experience of working for TV and building an international network of screenwriters.
  • Nahemi Showcase Screening – Nahemi represents all the major film schools and film production courses from around the UK and Ireland. Each year they present a selection of the best films made by students from both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
  • BE SHORT NOW! – This panel discussion is part of the BE SHORT NOW! Initiative. BE SHORT NOW! is a series of industry events focusing on short films and their festival ecosystem promoted by Encounters FIlm Festival, Filmfest Dresden, Gijon International Film Festival, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Torino Short Film Market and Vienna Shorts. BE SHORT NOW! aims to tackle and investigate distinctive topics peculiar of the short film industry and to share the knowledge with a wider audience, making this information available for free on the internet in the form of video recordings, audio podcasts and written articles. Please discover more at

Saturday 28

Kotatsu Animation – Award-winning director and stop-motion animator Takeshi Yashiro will be joined by his producer Satoshi Akutsu to give the European Premiere of their latest work “Gon, The Little Fox”, an adaptation of the classic 1932 children’s story about the fateful encounter between a farmer and a mischievous fox, told in delicate detail through beautifully crafted stop motion dolls and intricately designed sets.

Click here for more information about the event.