Encounters Festival returns with local heroes

Posted on Wed 17 Aug 2016

Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival returns from Tue 20 - Sun 25 Sept. This year audiences, filmmakers and industry players can expect five days of the best short films from more than 40 countries alongside a series of special big screen events, a comprehensive industry programme and Q&As with leading filmmakers.

For 2016, the Festival features an evening with the founders of world-famous animation studios Aardman and a chance to celebrate Bristol’s role in shaping the UK music scene in the 1990s.

As Europe’s leading short film festival, this year the Encounters Festival International Competition screenings present 231 short films in 24 programmes, playing across 3 days right here at Watershed with winning films screened at the weekend. Judged by an appointed panel of industry experts, the shorts cover genres including live action, animation, music video, experimental, documentary and comedy.

On Tue 20 Sept Aardman’s co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton will make a rare joint public appearance to look back at their films, which have thrilled cinema audiences for the past four decades. From humble beginnings in the 1970s to being one of the world’s best animation studio today, Aardman’s films and characters have entertained the world through unforgettable, light-hearted stories.

As well as looking back at their years together, Lord and Sproxton will show the premiere screening of their remastered version of the groundbreaking video for Peter Gabriel’s 1986 hit Sledgehammer (pictured). Seen as being way ahead of its time, the video owed a huge amount to the unsurpassed skills of Aardman’s animators.

On Fri 23 Sept there will be the chance to delve back into Bristol’s rich musical history when The Bristol Sound on Screen will screen footage from the era when the city ruled the underground and the airwaves.

A retrospective of music videos and archive footage including rare shots of the Wild Bunch on the streets of St Paul’s and Montpelier in the 1980s to more contemporary Bristol acts, it will be an evening to celebrate the inspiring music of the city.

Festival favourite Late Lounge will return with a selection of dark, twisted and controversial short films submitted in this year’s competition. There will be guest appearances from the likes of filmmaker, musician and DJ Don Letts, author and screenwriter David Nicholls and former Channel 4 news reporter now filmmaker and author Paul Mason. The programme is packed with quality films, talks and events, including a chance to see the award winning films across the weekend of the festival.

Success at Encounters opens the door to the Oscars, BAFTAS, European Film Awards and the Cartoon d’Or for the filmmakers crowned by a judging panel of industry leading judges. Come along and be enchanted by Encounters!