Industry Activity at Encounters 2018

A major part of every Encounters festival are our industry activity events. At these events, we aim to engage both fresh new filmmaking talent and experienced veterans in discussion and debate about the current filmmaking landscape and what the future of short film looks like.

Throughout the week we’ve got various panel discussions, a 1-day summit about gaming and social innovation and masterclasses led by experts from around the world. New this year are our Filmmaker Focus panels, which coincide with our Shorts2Features series as audiences hear the stories of filmmakers who’ve made the bold transition from short to feature film.

Below is a low-down of what’s on during the week for anyone who’s involved, or wants to get involved, in the filmmaking industry:

(Please note: some of these events are only available to Festival Pass holders)


14:00 / Short Film Studies Presents: Dean Leon Anderson 

We welcome Dean Leon Anderson back to Encounters, alongside Amy Rollason, in partnership with the Intellect journal ‘Short Film Studies’. Dean will offer insights on short & feature-length film development and festivals as an experienced writer and director – he’s worked with Denzel Washington, Usher, Lily Allen, David Walliams and on the musical Kinky Boots. The seminar will include a screening of his short film Class 15, which premiered at Encounters in 2016. Watch the trailer for Class 15 here.

Tickets are included in festival pass. You can book from 9am on Wednesday here.



14:30 / NAHEMI

The National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image – otherwise known as NAHEMI – will feature at this year’s festival with a screening of some of the most exciting, dynamic and diverse films made in the UK this year by new graduate talent. NAHEMI represents film schools all over the country, and a crucial part of what they do is showcasing students’ productions at film festivals like Encounters. Find out more on their website.

Get tickets


18:00 / Kotatsu Animation

Learn from award-winning stop-motion veterans, Tsuneo Goda and Hirokazu Minegishi, who are travelling from Japan to present a workshop where they’ll talk about their methods in creating stop-motion films. Goda is a founder of Dwarf Studios, best-known as creator of Domo-kun, and Minegishi has worked on a number of Japanese animated films, including his collaboration with Goda on Komaneko. Catch the Kotatsu Screening at 10:30 on Wednesday 26th.

Get tickets for the Kotatsu Animation Workshop


18:30 / Filmmaker Focus: Toby Macdonald 

Toby Macdonald is best-known for his short films – BAFTA-nominated Heavy Metal Drummer (2005) and winner of Best European Short Film at the European Film Awards, Je t’aime John Wayne (2000). Before the screening of his debut feature Old Boys, there’ll be a Filmmaker Focus with Toby as he describes his journey from making shorts in the early 2000’s to the premiere of Old Boys at the Edinburgh Film Festival this year. Catch Shorst2Features: Old Boys straight after Filmmaker Focus, watch the trailer here.

Get tickets for Filmmaker Focus: Toby Macdonald



ALL DAY FROM 10:00 / Games for Change

Alongside Games for Change we are bringing you 1-day summit, ‘Games for Change Europe’ which sees experts showcase their work and explore the ways in which social innovation and real-world impact integrates with animation, XR and games. There’s a prestigious line up of expert speakers: including Co-Founder & Executive Chairman at Aardman Animations, David Sproxton; Head of Digital Entertainment & Games at the BBC, Phil Stuart; and Executive Producer at Nexus Studios, Claire Spencer-Cook.

In the afternoon there’ll be a panel discussion I Second that Emotion: How different levels of visual verisimilitude affect our empathetic responses to socially conscious narratives’, two conferences and three workshops, all of which centre around how emotion can be incorporated into animation and gaming.

See the full itinerary and register for a FREE ticket here.

(Please note: tickets are not included in festival pass)


10:15 / Festival Formula

Festival Formula are the UK’s leading festival strategists and their sole purpose is to help filmmakers navigate the worldwide festival circuit. Founder, Katie McCullough and Submissions Coordinator, Ian Bignell are here to guide you through getting your film accepted into festivals across the world – so do not be afraid or bamboozled!

Tickets are included in festival pass. You can book from 9am on Thursday morning here.


14:00 / Shorts2Features Panel

This panel will explore the challenges faced by debut British features trying to get into cinemas and achieve profile & presence in the current competitive market. Industry experts and directors who have successfully made the jump from shorts to features will look at how to get low budget feature films in front of those desired audiences in a very crowded theatrical market.

To see some successful transitions, check out our Shorts2Features series of screenings, including Old Boys, Possum, 10X10, Terror Nullius and Dede.

Tickets are included in festival pass. You can book from 9am on Thursday here.



10:15 / Ghanaian Animation Talk

A discussion about the animation industry on the African continent and what opportunities exist for filmmakers. How can we connect the African continent to the International animation scene? If you’re new to African animation, get a taste before the panel discussion at our Ghana Animation screening on Thursday at 10:30, which will screen 19 animated shorts from Ghana.

Get tickets for Ghanaian Animation Talk


14:00 / NFTS Masterclass

Join key figures from the National Film and Television Society Chris Auty, Head of Producing and Multi-Media Entrepreneurship, and Debbie Rowland, Head of Marketing, Distribution, Sales & Exhibition, for a masterclass and discussion about the recent changes in content distribution and what this means for filmmakers, marketers and audiences in film and TV.

Tickets are included in festival pass. You can book from 9am on Friday here.


14:30 / Filmmaker Focus: Dionne Edwards & Georgia Goggin 

We welcome back the hugely talented Dionne Edwards and Georgia Goggin to Encounters for another Filmmaker Focus. The pair have made a number of award-winning short films together, including We Love Moses, which won our Brief Encounters: British Award in 2017. They are now developing their debut feature film with the BFI, so come along to learn about their partnership in making brilliant film and what they’ve learnt as they venture into the world of feature film. Read Dionne’s award winner interview from last year here.

Get tickets


18:30 / Filmmaker Focus: Matthew Holness 

Writer and star of Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace, Matthew Holness, will discuss the journey to the creation of his first feature film Possum in this Filmmaker Focus. His short film Gun for George screened at Encounters in 2011 and we are delighted to welcome him back, along with his dark and terrifying feature, Possum, which is screening straight after the talk – get tickets here and watch the trailer here.

Get tickets for Filmmaker Focus: Matthew Holness



12:00 / Short Film Today
16:00 / Animation Today

Competition filmmakers will feature alongside a panel of industry experts to discuss issues facing short film and animation talent today. Topics will include internationalising shorts, developing careers and making the most of your festival experience. Join us for an organic, open forum where nothing is off limits.

Tickets are included in festival pass You can book from 9am on the day on the relevant event page, just scroll through our programme to find the event you want to go to.


Whether you’re an old-time industry expert or completely new to the world of filmmaking, there’s a lot to learn from our industry activity events – so why not come along in between screenings to pick up some extra knowledge and sound advice?

Don’t forget to have a look at our full programme to find out what else we’ve got in store for Encounters 2018.