About Encounters Festival

25-30 September 2018
Bristol, UK

Encounters is the UK’s leading short film, animation and virtual reality 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 headline events alongside an intensive industry event programme with high level masterclasses and workshops.

At the heart of the festival lies the Encounters 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 Grand Prix winners* qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards®.

The 23rd Encounters Festival in 2017 introduced a new regular strand, Immersive Encounters, which is a competition strand for 360 degree filmmaking.

Connecting industry and audiences, the festival celebrates the creativity, diversity and the 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. In 2006 the two festivals united as the Encounters Short Film Festival.

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.)