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Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival
returns with 20/20: Looking back to look forward
Marking two decades as the UK’s leading short film and animation festival, Encounters 20th Short
Film and Animation Festival will be returning to Bristol from 16th to 21st September 2014. The
theme of this year’s Festival is 20/20 Looking Back to Look Forward.
Encounters will celebrate 20 years of short film with a programme of unmissable films, live
performances, radical debates and forward thinking visions in sound and image. Bringing the city to
the forefront of the international film circuit, the Watershed, Arnolfini and new venue Cube
Microplex will play host to a total of 119 events throughout the six days.
The festival will kick off its 20th celebrations with Desert Island Flicks with writer and critic Will Self
on 16 September at the Arnolfini. Discussing a number of his favourite films, Self will delve deep
into his archive and discuss why his chosen films warrant special attention.
This year’s Cinema – Live! will take place at the Arnolfini from 17 – 19 September, livening up
festival nights with three evenings of Live Audio Visual Performance presenting forward thinking
visions in sound and image.
Encounters will mark two decades of technological change with the UK premier of the much awaited
film version of Vinyl Requiem (replayed). Created by sound artist Philip Jeck in collaboration with
visual artist Lol Sargent, this reinvention of a one-off audio-visual performance of remarkable force
and scale sees Jeck perform live with his on screen digitised self.
Encounters 2014 and Arnolfini present a new commissioned performance by Benedict Drew, a
British artist who works across video, sculpture, music and their associated technologies.
A series of events will explore the legacy of Scottish-born animator, Norman McLaren (1914–1987)
through subsequent generations of filmmakers, audio-visual artists, and musicians exploring
animated sound. As part of McLaren 2014, five big screen electronic performances will blur the lines
between sound and image, cinema and club in Cine-Seizure – an immersive audio visual night
presenting Benjamin Damage (with Panther Panther!), COH & Frank, Konx-Om-Pax, HOL, Thor
Over 200 competition films will be shown at the Watershed from 17 – 21 September. Presenting
some of the best new short and animated films from the UK, Europe and around the world, the
competition programmes include the ever popular Music Video and Late Lounge screenings along
with the high-anticipated new Comedy category. Book early to avoid disappointment!
A centrepiece of this year’s festival, the Encounters Retrospective will demonstrate how the festival
has helped set the international benchmark for short film and animation for two decades. The
festival has handpicked 20 outstanding short films that represent the creativity, diversity and impact
of short film and these will be played in a brand new format – a free Perpetual Cinema running
continuously throughout the evenings and weekend. Audiences are invited to drop in at any time
and contemplate the festival’s choice of short films that impacted on the world in unique and
individual ways.
On its 20th Anniversary, Encounters combines forces with the Centre for Moving Image in Bristol
(CMIR) to launch this year’s Festival Debate ‘What is radical now’ and what this word actually
means (19-21 September, Arnolfini and Cube Microplex). The debate will explore the impact of
aesthetics, politics, activism and art in a one-day symposium on radicalism in film and the moving
image. Alongside this, a weekend of events has been organised to explore counterculture short film
making, fascinating TV experiments and the physicality of Super 8 and film footage as a form of
resistance. This radical journey through film includes the screening of Cinema do Desbunde
(Counterculture Cinema) from Brazil.
Encounters Festival’s new Festival Director, Debbi Lander, said: “Encounters began life 20 years ago
as a one off event, and has since grown into a significant international platform for developing and
celebrating creativity, innovation and talent in film. We hope audiences will be engaged, questioned
and inspired by the diverse events we have programmed this year.
“When the Festival began we were moving out of the analogue age and into digital so for our 20th
birthday we wanted to look back at this history while looking forward to what lies ahead, allowing us
to address what the future looks like for film and animation. Our festival programme this year is
both nostalgic and progressive, allowing anyone who comes along to get involved in the debate
surrounding film and the digital age.”
To view the full programme and to book tickets, visit
Editor’s contacts:
Kellie Hasbury, Plaster, T: 0117 9530320, E: [email protected]
Lizzie Jane, Plaster, T: 0117 9530320, E: [email protected]
Notes to editors:
Encounters Festival will take place at Bristol’s scenic harbourside between 16 – 21 September 2014.
The main festival venues will be Watershed, Arnolfini and The Cube Microplex.
Encounters Festival is a qualifying UK festival for the Oscars®, BAFTAs, European Film Awards and
Cartoon d’Or. Encounters Festival is funded by the British Film Institute, Bristol City Council, the
MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the British Council and Arts Council England.
Twitter: @EncountersSFF / #Encounters20
Facebook: Encounters Short Film Festival
Encounters Festivals Ltd operates as an independent company and is a registered charity. For more
details visit:
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