Evening Escapes at Encounters

Join us to escape the real world...

From Tuesday morning until Sunday evening next week, we’re hosting unmissable events all day, every day, where audiences are invited to escape into the wonderful world of film. However, we know real life must tick on, so we’ve made sure to put some of our best events in the evenings for all to enjoy after a long day at work in the real world. After all, film is the ultimate form of escapism…




On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening you can settle into our Late Lounge screenings, which offer an array of freaky and funny short films. At the end of the screenings, you’ll be able to vote for your favourites and the winning films from each programme will win an Audience Award. Find out more about our Late Lounge programmes and watch a few trailers here.

(Image: Blood Shed, by James Moran in Late Lounge: Body Parts)



Why not lighten up a hard day at work by heading down to Watershed on Wednesday and Thursday evening for our comedy programmes? Both are guaranteed to raise a few smiles and give you the giggles, you can find out more here.

(Image: Brexicuted, by Chris Shepherd in Comedy: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous)



Our Shorts2Features series celebrates the brave and bold filmmakers that have transitioned from directing shorts to creating feature-length films. We’ll be screening Old Boys directed by Toby Macdonald, Possum by Matthew Holness (trailer above), 10X10 by Suzi Ewing, Terror Nullius by Soda_Jerk and Dede by Mariam Kactchvani. These screenings are a rare chance to see brilliant debut feature films that stand out against the usual evening cinema listings…and our tickets probably cost a lot less too!




As part of our international competition, we’ll be screening 9 live action short film programmes throughout the festival week. These shorts aren’t just for film experts – they are to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone as they touch upon themes that we can all relate to. On Wednesday evening we’re exploring self-deception, suspicions, well-kept secrets and sudden revelations in Short Film 3: Secrets and Lies. Find out more here.

(Image: Sacrilege, by Christophe M. Saber)



On Wednesday evening Compass Presents are hosting a very special event over at Boiling Wells as part of Encounters 2018. Compass create immersive environments, enhanced screenings, and interactive encounters by mixing film, visual art, digital content, music and performance. Join us for an expanded cinema screening of newly released folk-horror feature Arcadia.The film, scored by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), has been playing cinemas nationally but is now presented in a pagan paradise, the wild gardens of Boiling Wells. It’s set to be a beautifully atmospheric event so find out more here.




In honour of the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Bristol and Tbilisi, we’ve got a number of events which showcase the best in Georgian film. On Thursday evening you can watch semi-documentary short film Alaverdoba, by renowned Georgian film director, Giorgi Shengelaia. The film was made back in 1962 and follows the story of Guram who goes to Alaverdoba, an ancient religious-folk festival in eastern Georgia which is still widely celebrated today. Find out more about the screening here.



In another of our international competition screenings, we meet endearing, charming and sometimes unsettling strangers in this collection of live action shorts titled, Don’t Talk to Strangers, screening on Thursday evening. Ignore what your parents always said and head down to the festival after work to meet some mysterious and surprising strangers… Look out for How To Swim by Noa Gusakov (image) – it’s lovingly heart-warming! See the full listing here.



We’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of cult classic, The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb created by the bolexbrothers in 1993. On Thursday night, the dark stop-motion masterpiece will be introduced by two of the films key figures, Dave Alex Reddit and Mike Gifford, who’ll also offer a rare look at a few of the bolexbrothers’ short films. There’s a second screening on Sunday, but this one won’t include the introduction so if you’re a die-hard fan we advise you come down on Thursday!



Also on Thursday night, Asian Arts Agency will be hosting the cutting-edge audio visual experience Punjabtronix at Arnolfini. Join us as technology meets tradition in an exciting fusion of live electronica and Punjabi folk, courtesy of Mercury nominated DJ Swami and Bristol-based filmmaker John Minton. The performance will also feature a special guest appearance from Sunil Kalyan, a master percussionist who’s won Best Musician at the UK Asian Music Awards many times. Get your tickets here.



On Friday evening, escape into the worlds of the compelling young characters in our final live action competition screening, Short Film 9: Free Spirits. Watch them navigate their path to adulthood and find their place in the world. Make sure you catch Drug Runner by Charlotte Regen (image), a docufiction about the trials of being a young person surrounded by crime. And it was Short of the Week last week! See the full listing here.



Dystopian visions of the future are definitely not a rarity in film, but this collection of sci-fi shorts offer unique and sometimes unsettling depictions of what’s to come. The screening on Friday concludes with the particularly disturbing The Restrictor by Jade Hærem Aksnes (image), where happiness is rationed and those who overuse face the consequences… Check out the full listing here.




As ever at Encounters, we like to focus on a few different countries and showcase the best film from those chosen places. On Saturday evening you’ll have the chance to learn more about Italian short film. There’s been a widespread focus on hot social topics in the short film arena in Italy, as you’ll see in our Contemporary Italy programme where immigration and work are central themes. Italian horror has also made an experimental return and our Italian Horror Shorts showcase talent from the last few years. Finally there’s a throwback to classic Italian horror with Black Sabbath, Mario Bava’s spooky trio of horror stories (trailer above).



For those who have to miss the international competition programmes during the week, you can watch the best of our live action and animation competitions at the Award Winners Screening on Saturday night, where we’ll be showing all of the winning shorts back to back! And because we really don’t want anyone to miss out, there’s three more Award Winners Screenings on Sunday too. Just go to our programme and get tickets for when you’re free.


So head down to Encounters after work next week to escape the real world, if only just for an evening…

As with all of our film screenings, if you are already a festival pass holder you can book your free ticket from 9am on the day of the screening. If you’re yet to buy your festival pass, click here.

Don’t forget to have a look at our full programme to find out what else we’ve got in store for this year’s festival.