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Image of Still from Kim Albright's Albatross, a PULSE film

Of the 16th Kind

Date posted: 16.11.2010

Although renowned for its nautical past and often shadowed by the historical opulence of nearby Bath, Bristol has nonetheless carved a reputation as a centre of creative and cultural excellence in the South West. The long-standing Encounters International Film Festival (16-21 November) can claim a substantial contribution to the city's fame. Over its 16 years of existence, Encounters has become a synonym for short work and it is today regarded by film-makers as an unmissable stop in the European festival circuit.

Eclectic Offer


This year, the festival returns with over 200 films selected from 1,600 entries from 63 countries, as well as two competitive strands which honour Encounters' traditional offering of both animation and live action works.

Animated Encounters will include the premiere of comedian Tim Minchin's short Storm and an exploration of graffiti in animation, which will reveal unseen CCTV footage of guerilla artist Bansky at work. Meanwhile, the Brief Encounters strand will be the place to go to spot fresh and established live action film-making talent and to enjoy special events, including a Q&A with Lord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis.

The two strands co-exist alongside fringe guest short programmes which this year include screenings from Germany and Japan, 3D works from London-based Sweet and Short 3D as well as this year's winner and nominees of the coveted European Cartoon D'Or award. As a surprising addition to this year's festival offering, on 20 November Encounters attendees are also invited to take part in a one-off project to create the longest hand painted film in Britain.

Choice Picks from the Capital

Amongst the Brit jewels selected for this year's programme are five projects produced by Film London through PULSE, the film-making scheme for digital shorts.

Joseph Pierce's unsettling animated tale, A Family Portrait, will screen as both a Cartoon D'Or finalist (20 November) and as part of the Best of British strand (17 and 19 November).

On 17 and 18 November, also in the Best of British category, festival-goers can enjoy Heat, a supernatural story directed by Debbie Tucker Green, and the haunting story of a troubled musician in Albatross, by Kim Albright, in the UKFC Digital Nation strand on 17 November.

Finally, this year's BAFTA®-winner for Best Short, I Do Air by Martina Amati, will screen in the Young People's Jury category on 20 and 21 November and Annetta Laufer's Winking Man Rock, which received development support through PULSE, is included in the B3 Blank Slate showcase on 20 November.

The 16th Encounters International Film Festival runs 16-21 November at Bristol's Arnolfini, At-Bristol, Cube Cinema, Picture This, Watershed and Wickham Theatre. Details of all the screenings can be found on the festival's website.

Read an interview with Joseph Pierce, director of A Family Portrait, which is being screened as part of this year's Encounters. 

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