Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival 2017

Please note: this season finished in Sept 2017
Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival 2017

Once again, Encounters brings you the best new short and animated films from across the globe. Encounters is the UK’s leading short film festival combining film screenings, special events, industry masterclasses and workshops in a packed programme of activity over 6 days.

This year they have a new addition to the family: alongside their traditional short film and animation programmes Immersive Encounters will focus on the creativity appearing on non-traditional platforms. Their VR Cinema creates the focus point for this new strand allowing audiences to simultaneously experience 360° filmmaking in a safe, facilitated environment – allowing the focus to be on the content rather than the technology.

As always, Encounters is proudly European. In 2017 they present specially curated programmes of short films from Poland, Turkey, Italy and Croatia. Additionally European shorts will be screened within a Perpetual Cinema located at 20th Century Flicks, celebrating and highlighting Encounters’ strong continental partnership ties. They also put the focus on Deaf filmmaking, with three programmes of Deaf shorts, including a competition programme.

Highlights among their very special guests include leading animators Pierre Coffin, the man behind Despicable Me and the Minions, and Michaël Dudok de Wit, the Academy Award® winning animator behind The Red Turtle. In ‘Holotronica’ they also have an amazing 3D show from Stuart Warren-Hill using his own invention, Holo-Gauze. All not to be missed!

This year you can ‘Festival for a fiver’ with all film programmes priced at £5.00.

Find out more about the festival, see the full programme and sign up to the Encounters newsletter at

Previous screenings & events in this Season

Want to see the best of the best from the 2017 competition? Catch a selection of the award-winning short and animated films in this unmissable showcase.

Read More - Award Winners Screening 2

Catch a selection of the award-winning short and animated films in this unmissable showcase.

Read More - Award Winners Screening 1

This hilarious road movie follows the misadventures of the worst rock and roll band in the world, the Leningrad Cowboys.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Leningrad Cowboys Go America

A genre-blending horror comedy where a group of friends get sucked into an infamous 80s horror film.

Read More - The Final Girls present The Final Girls

Though best known for his features, Aki Kaurismäki’s unique style and worldview are equally seen in the numerous short films he has directed since the early 1980s.

Read More - Aki Kaurismäki: Selected Shorts

The Final Girls celebrate the grisly, gruesome world of body horror with this collection of shorts.

Read More - The Final Girls present Strange Creatures

Highlighting the most popular themes and content within Spanish Deaf Shorts, we find out about their cultural identity and style.

Read More - Spanish Deaf Shorts

One man’s quest for a roof. A contemporary moral tale of love, lust, birth, death, infidelity, murder, revenge, redemption…and the housing crisis.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Bronco’s House

The films selected for this programme feature a representation of Deafness not as the main form of conflict but as part of a wider narrative and present a unique representation of the Deaf community in the 21st Century.

Read More - Deaf Shorts Showcase

In this special session the director Michael Dudok de Wit will discuss some of the processes, ideas and challenges involved in making The Red Turtle and also his collaboration with Studio Ghibli.

Read More - Making of the Red Turtle

A charming animated love story based on Raymond Briggs’ autobiographical book about his parents Ethel and Ernest who lived through major changes during their 40 years of marriage, voiced by Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Ethel & Ernest

DepicT! is Watershed’s international short film competition that, since its creation by Brief Encounters in 1998, has been challenging filmmakers to create 90 second ultra-short masterpieces.

Read More - DepicT!

This takes the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack & the Beanstalk and Cinderella, mixing and serving them with a mischievous twist.

Read More - Revolting Rhymes

This year Polish animation celebrates 70 years, that's why Polish Animation Producers Association present newest Polish children's productions from all over the world.

Read More - The Best of Poland - Polish Series for Children

A look back on VS1’s film archive, highlighting VS1 creative productions that have delivered quirky, comic, and emotional films reflecting the lives of the Deaf community.

Read More - VS1 Retrospective

A brilliant selection of new short films from around the world chosen by young people for young people.

Read More - Children's Jury Award

To celebrate his 50th birthday we present the best adventures of Reksio, the beloved Polish cartoon dog, and other Polish kid gems...

Read More - Who Let the Dogs Out - The Reksio Anniversary Programme

Encounters have teamed up with Oska Bright Film Festival to present an autism friendly screening, mixing animation, music films, documentary and drama

Read More - Autism Friendly: Oska Bright

Based on the bestselling bedtime book which follows the intrepid adventures of siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby and Rufus the dog, who set off on an expedition in search of bears, determined to ‘catch a big one’.

Read More - We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Leave your political correctness at the door for some of these films take no prisoners and leave you feeling rather soiled by the end. These films will touch you in more ways than one

Read More - Late Lounge: Blue

Imagined Futures invites you to discover the Arab region's most exciting new voices in this rich mix of sci-fi, animation and drama.

Read More - Shubbak presents: Imagined Futures, short films by Arab artists, curated by Elhum Shakerifar

This is not for the faint-hearted and will likely make you squirm with outrage and revulsion. Buckle down for a bumpy ride and hope you’ve got your good sea-legs on…

Read More - Late Lounge: Red

Shola Amoo's award winning multimedia feature film about gentrification in Brixton, incorporating fiction, documentary and performance art.

Read More - Shorts2Features: A Moving Image

Here’s a selection of powerful stories reminding us of a the refugee and migration crisis which often fails to make the headlines.

Read More - Short Film 9: Stranger Danger

A showcase of shorts from UK filmmakers supported through Creative England.

Read More - Creative England Showcase

Yuichi Ito will present his fims such as "Harbor Tale", a stop-motion adventure following the travels of a red brick at Yokohama harbour which has been infected by the human desire to explore the world.

Read More - Yuichi Ito Screening

By turns unsettling, atmospheric or utterly baffling, these visionary stories are guaranteed to delight your senses and spark your imagination.

Read More - Short Film 8: Flights of Fancy

The attention in the Polish Voices programmes is focused on women, who take the lead on both sides of the camera.

Read More - Polish Shorts: My House Without Me

Shorts From Turkey introduces films that allow a glimpse of trends that are leading the evolving culture of Turkey.

Read More - Shorts from Turkey by Hezarfen Film Galeri

Flora and fauna are the hardy perennials in the land of animation. Here are some weird and wonderful life forms to admire.

Read More - Animation 6: Birds & Beasts

The attention in the Polish Voices programmes is focused on women, who take the lead on both sides of the camera.

Read More - Polish Shorts: Love Love

This year’s programme is composed of productions/co-productions from Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Syria, The Netherlands, and the UK.

Read More - EFA Short Matters 3

These films go from one extreme to the other; from sweet and light-hearted to ominous deep oppression.

Read More - Animation 5: Sweet & Sour

From animation and comedy to dance and spoken word – these bold and creative short films reflect the mosaic of contemporary life through the lens of young artists.

Read More - Random Acts 3

Some of the best Italian short films shown at Magma.

Read More - Magma

Accidents happen and for the characters in this programme, something unforeseen disrupts the course of their existence, with no turning back.

Read More - Short Film 7: No Turning Back

Shelly Page screens a selection of her favourite new student and professional short film in her popular showcase of the best new international talents.

Read More - Eye Candy Show - presented by Shelley Page

A wild, vibrant, and very American mix of cultures, generations, lesbian love and wrestling.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Signature Move

From blossoming teenage love to online dating at 80, these charming stories remind us of the magic of love.

Read More - Comedy: Love Bites

A delightful selection of ridiculously entertaining short films.

Read More - Comedy: Fun Rides

Daphne is a young woman negotiating the tricky business of modern life. Caught in the daily rush of her job and a nightlife kaleidoscope - she is witty, funny, the life of the party.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Daphne

This programme plays with emotional states; from love, anxiety and attraction to desire, sadness and hate.

Read More - Animation 4: Heartstrings

Carol Salter's feature debut is a reflection on death and the fragility of life but also a reflection what it is like to be young and alive; a tender elegy to friendship and caring for the dead.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Almost Heaven

This showcase celebrates the talent of female directors, animators, puppeteers and other filmmaking creatives, in front and behind the camera.

Read More - Women in Puppetry and Puppet Animation - Bristol Festival of Puppetry Showcase

A person is a person, no matter how small. The filmmakers in this programme have turned their gaze to children and their world.

Read More - Short Film 6: Child's Pose

A rare chance to see a selection of films by the multi-award winning director Chris Shepherd.

Read More - Chris Shepherd Retrospective

Get acquainted with the best Polish documentary productions, both recent and archival in this Polish Voices guest programme curated by KFF Sales and Promotion.

Read More - Polish Documentary

Notions of personal, physical, mental, sexual and racial identity are explored in these short films capturing characters in search of themselves.

Read More - Short Film 5: Me, Myself & I

The attention in the Polish Voices programmes is focused on women, who take the protagonism on both sides of the camera.

Read More - Polish Shorts: Close Ties

SHORT MATTERS is the European Film Academy’s short film tour which brings the nominated short films to audiences across Europe – and beyond, providing a manifold panorama of young contemporary European filmmaking.

Read More - EFA Short Matters 2

Each of these films tells a tale of life; from distant memories to everyday observations and obsessions.

Read More - Animation 3: Life's Journey

An exciting selection of short films by young artist filmmakers aged 16-24. From animation and comedy to dance and spoken word – these bold and creative short films reflect the mosaic of contemporary life through the lens of young artists.

Read More - Random Acts 2

The Cartoon d’Or is a pan-European award for animation short films awarded to the best of the best of the prize-winning films from partner festivals.

Read More - Cartoon d'Or

As they say, it is all about the journey, not the destination. The characters in this selection of short films from France, Brazil, The Netherlands and Perù, learn important life-lessons while in transit.

Read More - Short Film 4: In Transit

The very best selection of Croatian animation.

Read More - Animafest

Each film conjures a sense of anticipation and many deliver an unexpected twist and shock.

Read More - Horror: Thrilling & Chilling

Tim is a good kid, Tim is a criminal. A morality tale of society's feared and forsaken.

Read More - Shorts2Features: Bypass (Third Films)

A programme of VR experiences that demonstrate what VR is capable of in terms of showing the nuances of human relationships, sensuality and sexuality.

Read More - VR Lates: Together

Exciting and unsettling brand new science-fiction short films explores dystopias and post-apocalyptic worlds of tomorrow.

Read More - Sci-Fi: Other Worlds

From challenging an urban-centric outlook, to whole-heartedly representing the female experience, Another Gaze will draw attention to the creative importance of the world view that VR creators come with.

Read More - VR: Another Gaze

NAHEMI, The National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image, presents a programme of some of the most exciting, dynamic and diverse films made in the UK this year by students studying at our member Institutions.

Read More - New Graduate Talent, NAHEMI Screening & Awards Ceremony

Spanning a range of styles and techniques; variety is the spice of life in this strange and compelling land of animated wonder.

Read More - Animation 2: Lucky Dip

A selection of outstanding student projects from Animationsinstitut, from 2D to 3D to VFX.

Read More - Living Animated Dreams - Filmakademie's Animationsinstitut

The world around us is dictated by what we know and what we see, this VR programme explores what happens when this is challenged.

Read More - VR 3: Scenario

UWE_Film screen a selection of its recent graduate work (a mix of drama, documentary and experimental) in this event hosted by Programme Leader Freya Billington.

Read More - UWE_Film Fun Frolics and Filmmaking

Philomela's Chorus brings together the work of four emerging black female and female identified artists from literature, visual arts and the moving image.

Read More - Philomela's Chorus Screening

Pack your bag and immerse yourself into unfamiliar environments - sometimes flying solo, sometimes with a former VP.

Read More - VR 2: Excursions

In this diverse overview of what it means to be exposed and feeling the foundations cracking under our feet, stories of frailty and resilience are explored with disarming honesty.

Read More - Short Film 3: On Shaky Ground

A collection of the best Polish Animation past and present.

Read More - Polish Animation

Bold, risk taking shorts from learning disabled filmmakers - some from the upcoming Oska Bright festival in November, and some from the archives.

Read More - Oska Bright

The characters in this compelling selection of short films give us an insight into the mysterious dynamics of communication and the need to reach out and connect.

Read More - Short Film 2: Talk to Me

Seven short films produced by Samm Haillay (Third Films) over the past 16 years.

Read More - Third Films Shorts

A programme feautring the European Short Film Nominees 2016, a panorama of young contemporary European filmmaking.

Read More - EFA Short Matters 1

This collection of powerful short animated films has high visual and emotional impact and each film has strength in the story.

Read More - Animation 1: Packing a Punch

From your final hours of this lifetime to soul soothing meditation, this programme explores headspaces in a variety of scenarios… sometimes whilst riding a flying fish.

Read More - VR 1: Electric Relaxation

A surreal selection of dark visions, ghostly stories and cautionary tales from the masters of European puppet animation.

Read More - The Cabinet of Curiosities - Bristol Festival of Puppetry Showcase

Telling stories of families, friends, lovers and communities, this programme digs deep into the rich tapestry of relationships and the powerful emotions they evoke.

Read More - Short Film 1: Happy Together

A showcase of some of the diverse talent that has come through Encounters' Widening the Lens scheme, supporting filmmakers from underrepresented communities.

Read More - Widening The Lens