Know Your Enemy

Vienna-Bristol-Riga. Three festivals. One theme. On Thursday 29 May Encounters Festival will attend the Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival to present the premiere of the programme Know Your Enemy, the result of an exciting collaboration bringing together Vienna Independent Shorts, Encounters Festival and 2 Annas Film Festival in Riga.




On Thursday 29 May Encounters Festival will attend the Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival to present the premiere of Know Your Enemy, a new and exciting  film programme presenting a diverse selection of short films with radicalism at their heart.

Know Your Enemy is the result of an exciting collaboration between Vienna Independent ShortsEncounters Festival and 2Annas Film Festival in Riga. At the end of 2013, Vienna Independent Shorts challenged Encounters and 2Annas to develop a programme exploring the idea of radical, which was their thematic focus at the 2014 festival.

We  enthusiastically embraced this initiative at Encounters by deciding to express Bristol’s activist spirit through a selection of short films championing radicalism in film as a political tool, and an act of resistance taking place across different places and times.  We worked closely with the Bristol Radical Film Festival to develop our programme, through which we will rediscover poignant and rarely shown work.


The programme includes films such as Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez’s Now, which tackles the struggle for civil rights of Black people in the United States in the 1960s; Jorge Furtado’s grating satire on consumerism Isand of Flowers and the controversial Even if She Had Been a Criminal  by Jean-Gabriel Périot, a film that exposes the contradictions and brutal consequences of World War II. Our local, Bristol based gem gives us our programme title; 1972’s Know Your Enemy is the anti-capitalist statement by Bristolian collective Free Prop, a film as radical in its message as it is in its irreverent aesthetic approach.

Our partners’ proposals are no less exciting: 2ANNAs will explore radicalism with Cyclopes TV, a Latvian eccentric and fascinating experiment in avant-garde television in the late 80s, while Vienna Independent Shorts programme Trips and Trance will pursue the idea of radical cinema on a subcutaneous and aesthetic level with short films by directors including Harmony Korine, Ben Russell and Roy Andersson.

The three programmes will be presented at Encounters Festival in September as part of a thought-provoking weekend dedicated to theme of Radical, the details of which will be annouced as we get closer to festival launch. In the meantime, more information about the Vienna premiere of this exciting collaboration can be found here.

Encounters Short Film Programmer Gaia Meucci will be attending Vienna Independent Shorts to present the Know Your Enemy programme and will blogging about her radical experience upon her return!