Industry Activity at Encounters

Between Wednesday - Friday during festival week, we offer high-level masterclasses, panel discussions, film screenings and networking opportunities, designed to connect filmmakers to the industry. Encounters provides an informal, social and friendly environment for professional exchange, learning and conversation.

You can access all of the industry activity, alongside international competition screenings, with a festival pass. Passes will go on sale Summer 2018.

An overview of the type of industry events that take place at the festival follows.!!

Industry Activity 2018

Industry activity will take place between Wednesday 26 Sept to Friday 28 Sept at the 2018 festival.

We will list a selection of our events here – but we recommend you sign up to our newsletter for regular additions to the programme.

A festival pass entitles you to a free ticket (subject to availability) and must be booked at 9am on the day of the event. A festival pass also secures a 20% discount on headline events. 

Industry Activity 2017


Wednesday kicked off our industry activity, and showcased some of the best new and emerging talent.

The morning started with a WIDENING THE LENS (‘WTL’) screening; a selection of films made by alumni from both WTL schemes who have received mentoring from Encounters. Baby Gravy by Marley Morrison was the winner of the 2016 festival pitching competition.

In the afternoon there was a screening and panel discussion from PHILOMELA’S CHORUS, addressing the absence of a broad diversity of black female and female identified voices in the arena of artist moving image, bringing together the work of four rising artists from different disciplines.

There was also the first of a duo of PUPPETRY SHOWCASES which screened during festival week, providing audiences with a rare opportunity to see some of the most exceptional puppet shorts. ‘The Cabinet of Curiosities’ was the Wednesday programme.

Other industry screenings included a programme from OSKA BRIGHT, the UK’s leading film festival for disabled people and those with learning difficulties. NAMEMI (The National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image) and UWE_FILM also showcased programmes of some of the most dynamic, exciting and diverse student work made in the UK in 2017.


Alongside Thursday’s competition screenings spanning live action and animation, the festival also screened a CHRIS SHEPHERD RETROSPECTIVE. One of the most prolific short filmmakers in the UK, Chris gave a unique insight into his tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of British playwright, Joe Orton, in EDNA WELTHORPE SHOW AND TELL.

A triple header of Shorts2Features began with Carol Salter’s documentary, ALMOST HEAVEN, Jennifer Reeders’ wrestling comedy romance, SIGNATURE MOVE, followed by Peter Mackie Burns’ drama DAPHNE.

Guest programmes included a collaboration with Krakow Film Festival that better acquainted audiences with the very best in POLISH SHORTS. KFF curated a range of activity with a double dose of screenings on Thursday, including archive Polish Documentaries and a Polish Close Ties shorts programme.


In the morning, filmmakers enjoyed a panel from YOGSCAST on how to get 7bn views on YouTube.

Award-winning animator YUICHI ITO presented his incredibly diverse short films and music videos alongside screenings of work from his students at Tokyo University of the Arts. This was followed by Yuichi presenting a masterclass – which proved a must for those interested in animation.

Talent scout Shelley Page presented her hand-picked selection of standout shorts from around the world in her EYE CANDY SHOW. Shelley has accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge in animation, from a career working with some of the most legendary animators and directors of all time.

Chief Staff Picker for VIMEO STAFF PICKS, Sam Morrill, gave an in-depth look at the process behind curating a daily showcase of the best short narratives, documentaries, animations and music videos on the internet from the tens of thousands of videos that are uploaded to Vimeo daily.

The evening screening was SHUBBAK PRESENTS IMAGINED FUTURES: SHORT FILMS BY ARAB ARTISTS presenting a unique opportunity to discover the Arab region’s most exciting new voices in a rich mix of sci-fi, animation and drama curated by Elhum Shakerifar.


Industry Activity 2016


Creative England iShorts STICKYWednesday had Industry screenings including a Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy retrospective, a programme of Lithuanian (post) soviet documentary and International Competition screenings followed by a funding panel and a chance to meet and hear from the Creative England ishorts Alumni about their development and production journeys.

There was also a premiere of Creative England and Film London‘s Alumni Short Films.

Other industry screenings included a programme of Deaf Shorts, and NAMEMI (The National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image) showcased a programme of some of the most dynamic, exciting and diverse student work made in the UK this year.


Guinness, Kibwe Tavares, This Is NexusAlongside Thursday’s competition screenings spanning Live Action and Animation, the festival hosted a breakfast with Bristol Media, where the city’s top media professionals came together for a networking session with attending delegates, and showcased an exiting showreel of work from the city.

Guest programmes included a 25th anniversary screening from Filmakademie, and the best of Molodist Film Festival.

Panel discussions included Grrls on Film, where we invited Award winning filmmaker Jennifer Reeder to talk with Integrate Bristol – a charity working towards equality and integration, to talk about representation on film and short film as a means of empowering young girls and women.

We also screened Voices from the Margins, by Gavin Scott Whitfield, a programme from Random Acts, and iShorts Funny Girls.

Nexus returned with a show and tell of recent VR/AR work, and a diversity panel looked at the importance of storytelling and good character development, whatever the subject matter.

Thursday also welcomed the first of our 360 degree showcase – with Nexus at a new venue for the festival in 2016 –  @Bristol’s Planetarium.


Lithuanian (Post) Soviet Ten Minutes Before the Flight of IcarusFriday kicked off with a Meet the Film Festivals breakfast session, hosted by the British Council.

Oscar winning Breakthru Films presented their work in progress –  at a sell out event examining the masterpiece Loving Vincent, which took us behind the making of this film.  A discussion of female archetypes was based around Day after Day by Anthony Ing.

The second in our Diversity panels looked at The Ethical Approach to Diversity, exploring how we tackle diversity ethics in film and filmmaking practice.

Guest programmes included a Lithuanian programme with Deimantas Narkevicius and Breakthru Shorts.

The day concluded with a one-off masterclass with the NFTS featuring multi award-winning cinematographers Oliver Stapleton and Stuart Harris.

Industry Activity 2015


VR_altergaze_nexusWednesday began with exclusive Industry Screenings and a chance to explore the future of filmmaking

Wednesday’s Industry screenings included the first UK showcase of the 2014 Cartoon d’Or nominees, and also included the NAHEMI Award Winners screening showcasing outstanding recent work produced by film and animation students from around the country.

There were panel discussions led by the BBC and Rich Pickings. A panel session with BBC Three’s Max Gogarty, who discussed the future of short-form channels in the online world. The intriguing Rich Pickings panel discussion, led by Stephen Hinde from Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology, looked at Attention, Immersion and Psychocinematics. 

Meet the Future of filmmaking events included a talk from Nexus director Felix Massie (Grand Prix winner at Encounters 2013) who presented an exclusive preview of animated comedy Rain or Shine, a new interactive 360° short film for Google Spotlight Stories.


Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 13.54.04The second day opened with a Creative Europe Desk Breakfast session for informal networking and information exchange. There was a Directing Actors Workshop with the London Film Academy as well as a guest screening programme from the ground-breaking animation studio Film Bilder.

Multi Camera Workshop looked at filming with multiple synchronised camera phones and a Mosaic Workshop explored the making of collages (aka mosaics) from short video clips.

The Widening the Lens Panel discussed stereotypes on screen bringing together new and established filmmakers and industry professionals to discuss the impact these stereotypes can have on audiences, and how underrepresented filmmakers are working together to address this issue.

NextGen presented a session about Careers in Animation with a panel of animation experts talking about their personal experiences and sharing their expertise about what qualifications, experience and skills employers are looking for.

There was a talk hosted by Jack Edwards giving an insight into smartphone filmmaking entitled Mobile Cinematography.

There was also another guest screening programme from the world of animation, in the form of the Astley Baker Retrospective.


Aardam logo NEWThe third day of Industry Activity began with a Creative Europe Desk UK breakfast session. There was a look at Comedy Writing for Screen with the inaugural Aardman Panel Discussion, bringing together some of the finest screenwriters and (writing) Directors in the business to discuss how to write good comedy for animation. Panel members included Rob Sprackling and Johnny Smith (Gnomeo & Juliet, Mike Bassett: England Manager, Dennis and Gnasher…amongst others), Mark Burton (Chicken Run, Madagascar, Curse of the Were-rabbit, Shaun the Sheep) and Darren Walsh (Angry Kid, the Meerkat and Sony Bravia ads and many more).

A country focus on Romania presented two screenings, Encounters with Romanian Shorts Part 1 and Part 2, as well as two masterclasses throughout the course of the day. The first of these was a workshop with actor Adrian Titieni before a further workshop with director Adrian Sitaru.

Next Gen presented The Role of Animation in Games and VFX, looking at the transferable nature of animation skills.

The National Film and Television School Open Day gave young filmmakers the chance to find out more about this leading film school. This included a Q&A session with NFTS graduate and acclaimed director Lewis Arnold (HumansStainedBanana).