About Encounters Festival

19 - 24 September 2017
Bristol, UK

Encounters is the UK’s leading short film and animation festival.

The festival discovers, supports and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world, and a unique meeting place for the industry.

The jam packed programme in September presents a diverse selection of short film screenings, feature films, guest film programmes, special guests, Q&As and gala events alongside an intensive industry event programme with high level masterclasses and workshops.

At the heart of the festival lies the Encounters Festival International Competition – one of the world’s leading International Competitions for short film and animation, and also an official gateway to the world’s most prestigious awards; BAFTAs, European Film Awards and a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards®.

Each year the Encounters Festival Grand Prix winners* qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards®.

The 23rd Encounters Festival in 2017 will present the annual International Competition showcasing the best new short films from around the world, alongside an intensive industry programme featuring masterclasses, panel discussions, talks and workshops with leading figures from the film and animation industries.

Connecting industry and audiences, the festival celebrates the creativity, diversity and impact of short film.

So whether you are a filmmaker looking to launch or develop your career, an Industry professional wanting to stay abreast of what’s new or a film lover wanting to soak up the festival atmosphere by watching great films and special events, come along to the next festival for a truly inspiring week of short film celebration!


The festival began life in 1995 as Brief Encounters – a one-off event to mark the centenary of cinema. It proved so successful that it became an annual attraction – and has expanded year on year ever since. Animated Encounters was set up in 2001 to celebrate and showcase animation. This younger sibling has enjoyed a rapid rise to global prominence, gaining status as UK representative for the prestigious European Cartoon d’Or.  In 2006 the two festivals united as the Encounters Short Film Festival to record-breaking effect.

In 2010 Encounters Festival became a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards Short Film Category.  In 2011 Encounters Festival announced a new partnership with the European Film Academy Short Film Initiative, becoming a member of the 15 European festivals that present the nominations for the European Film Academy Short Film Awards.

(*Excluding the Immersive Encounters Grand Prix.)