About the Festival Awards

Encounters presents a prestigious annual international competition, showcasing the bold and innovative work of filmmakers, animators and moving image creatives.

We have over 3,000 films submitted to us each year, of this our programmers select 200-250 to screen in both the International and Mixed competitions. Our short film, animation and virtual reality juries are compromised of international industry professionals who select the Grand Prix winners.

Encounters Festival Awards 2019


Filmmakers in competition are eligible for some of the world’s most renowned short film and animation awards: the Oscars®, BAFTAs, and European Film Awards.

  • Brief Encounters Grand Prix
  • Animated Encounters Grand Prix
  • Immersive Encounters Grand Prix

The Grand Prix winners are considered to be the best in their category by our international jury – and are names to watch out for.

The winning Brief Encounters and Animated Encounters films are both eligible for Academy Award nominations; €2,500 cash prize.

The Immersive Encounters Grand Prix has a cash prize of €1000.



    £500 Cash prize
  • – Our Deaf Shorts Showcase is a programme of shorts curated with the aim to normalise onscreen D/deafness.
    £500 Cash prize
  • – This programme is aimed at audiences aged 7 and under, the final programme is selected by school aged children in partnership with Into Film.
    £500 Cash prize
  • – All mixed programmes are eligible for this award, audiences will vote for their favourite films in a programme (they can vote for as many as they like) and then the film with the most votes across all the screenings will be the overall winner!
  • £500 Cash prize
  • – The Young People’s Programme is aimed at audiences who are aged 16-24.


  • Chris Collins Best of British Award – Live Action
  • Best of British Award – Animation

These awards are offered to the British films judged to be the best in all areas of production, direction and story; £1,000 cash prize.


  • Fresh Encounters: Live Action
  • Fresh Encounters: Animation

Fresh Encounters accept short films made by UK students completed in 2018 and 2019, under 30 minutes in length. Encounters does NOT have a premiere policy (including online). Each winner will receive £1000 cash prize.

Please note: in order to be eligible for the UK Student awards you must be able to demonstrate that you were a student in UK education at the time of making the film. You may be asked to provide evidence.


Alongside eligibility for Academy Award nominations for the Brief Encounters and Animated Encounters Grand Prix Winners, other nominations awarded at the festival include the European Film Awards, and the Critics Circle. As an internationally recognised festival, all UK films selected for competition may also be eligible for a BAFTA nomination.

The Academy Awards®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences champion the power of human imagination. Each year the Encounters Festival Grand Prix winners qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards®.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. BAFTA identifies, rewards and celebrates excellence at its internationally renowned annual awards ceremonies, while providing many opportunities for the public – as well as industry practitioners and emerging talent – to find information and inspiration through its year-round programme of events, initiatives and activities.

The European Film Awards

The European Film Awards, presented jointly by the European Film Academy and EFA Productions, honour the greatest achievements in European cinema.

Critics’ Circle Award for British Short Film of the Year

In 2015 the Film Section of the Critics’ Circle inaugurated a new award for British Short Film of the Year. The nominees were provided by five partner festivals (London Short Film Festival, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Encounters, Leeds International Film Festival and Aesthetica). Members of the Film Section will vote for the best film from the nominees provided by these festivals.

The Critics’ Circle is composed of six sections: Drama, Music, Film, Dance, Visual Arts and Literary criticism. The Circles’s aims are to promote the art of criticism, to uphold its integrity in practice, to foster and safeguard members’ professional interests, to provide opportunities to meet, and to support the advancement of the arts. Find out more at www.criticscircle.org.uk