Close Encounters

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The Encounters Festival is almost upon us, with a plethora of short films and animations to wow the senses...

One of the city’s most-loved film festivals is upon us once again for almost a week of short films and animated wonders from some of the UK’s brightest talents — yes, Encounters is back! The programme this year — the fest’s 23rd instalment — is stuffed with eye-popping visual treats, full features, special guests, workshops, masterclasses, Q&As and more; whether you’re a novice filmmaker, an industry expert or just a fan of the silver screen, you’ll find plenty to get stuck into.

As well as all this, the yearly Encounters Festival International Competition returns — the signature comp is a prestigious event, and acts as an official ‘gateway’ for the likes of the BAFTAs and European Film Awards, as well as serving as a qualifying fest for the Oscars, with the winners at Encounters being considered for the Short Films category. This is a big deal, and you can expect a leviathan level of quality among the entrants.

Over 400 films will be screened during the six days of Encounters, which takes place in a selection of city centre venues (primarily the Watershed and Arnolfini), and as usual there is a staggering selection to pick from (we’d all need to be in multiple places at once to glimpse everything!).

Launching the festival is Adam Buxton’s Best Of BUG, which features a collection of internet-found jewels and masterful music vids — the comedian and his clips kick off this year’s Encounters at Colston Hall on 19 September.

There will also be Desert Island Flicks with Michael Dudok de Wit, an Academy Award-winning animator, a masterclass with Pierre Coffin of Illumination (co-director of Despicable Me and a minion voice actor), short films from the Tate Gallery’s Age Of Black Power exhibition and a range of immersive experiences exploring the world of virtual and augmented reality.

Visit the festival’s website for full ticket info and event timings!

When: 19–24 September

Where: Watershed and Arnolfini 

Website: www.encounters-festival.org.uk 

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