Encounters Festival welcomes a new chair in 2017, and offers thanks to previous chair of the board for 7 years service.

After 7 years as Festival chair, David Sproxton, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman, will be passing the role on to new chair of the board Simon Perry in 2017.

The Festival would like to offer its sincere thanks to David for his time in post, and the huge energy and benefit his overseeing role has brought to the Festival during these years.

WEBDave Sproxton resizedDavid Sproxton said:

“In the 7 years since I took on the role of Chair at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, I’ve enjoyed watching the festival grow and develop, whilst maintaining its central position as the UK’s leading short film and animation festival.  Year on year the festival screens films from all over the world, from a diverse range of filmmakers, giving us windows into other cultures, and presenting a huge selection of stories for audiences to enjoy.  The position of Encounters as a space for creative connection and cultural exchange is more relevant in 2017 than ever.  It’s with pleasure that I hand over the baton of chairing the festival this year to Simon Perry, who I know will continue to guide and support the festival through these complex times and help it to continue to grow and develop even in the face of a challenging creative economy.  I’m delighted to remain on the Festival Board as a trustee, and look forward to experiencing the festival from a different point of view in 2017!”


SP photo 4 B & WSimon is president of ACE Producers, which provides advanced training for film producers around the world.  He has headed two national film funds, the Irish Film Board and the UK’s national film agency, British Screen.

Simon Perry commented: “I’m very happy to be taking over the chair of Encounters in this particular year.  The festival already has a high reputation in the industry for its innovative and strong curatorial vision, and can be counted upon to showcase new trends and cutting-edge filmmakers.  In 2017 the festival will introduce an entirely new category among its awards – for work in Augmented and Virtual Reality, genres that are still relatively unexplored in short filmmaking and exhibition.  In addition to our normally strong line-up of live action and animation, we expect the festival to reach new and wider audiences this year with AR and VR contributions from the best new talent in those disciplines.”