The short-film industry welcomes the return of Encounters
- The UK-based festival, which has just announced its award winners, saw audiences flock back to cinemas
The Encounters Film Festival, based in the UK city of Bristol, is not only one of the most important short-film festivals in the UK, but has also garnered a reputation as being a place to discover new filmmaking talent (especially those based in Britain). After organising online editions for the past few years owing to the pandemic, this past week saw Encounters return to an on-site iteration. Since its in-person hiatus, the festival has undergone numerous changes, and this year – under the auspices of a new head of programme, Ren Scateni – a slimmed-down programme unspooled to an audience of cinephiles and industry professionals.
Over six days, the festival screened a selection of shorts and animations from the past year, whilst one retrospective saw those films that had screened online at the festival in previous years being shown to live audiences. Shorts2Features highlighted the filmmakers that had gone on to make a splash in the feature world. These included Vienna-based director Kurdwin Ayub, whose film Sonne [+see also:
interview: Kurdwin Ayub
film profile] – a winner at Berlin this year – screened after her short Intrigue and the Ronches had unspooled in previous years.
The festival held numerous industry events, including one focusing on “How to Navigate UK and International Film Markets as a Producer” and a master class on setting up your own independent production company.
This past Friday, the festival held its awards ceremony to announce the winning films for 2022. The winner of the Brief Encounters Grand Prix was Urban Solutions by Arne Hector, Luciana Mazeto, Vinicius Lopes and Minze Tummescheit (Germany/Brazil). The film, a satirical reflection on the past of colonialism and the more subtle notions of it during our present times, first premiered during this year’s edition of Rotterdam.
The Animated Grand Prix saw Love, Dad by Diana Cam Van Nguyen (Czech Republic/Slovakia – see the interview) win yet more plaudits. The film, reflecting on the director’s troubled relationship with her father, has already won at the likes of Tallinn Black Nights, the London Film Festival and Palm Springs.
The Immersive Encounters Award for Best VR Film was nabbed by Cycle of Violence by Felicia Bergström (Germany), which explores trauma and violence in a unique way.
Best British Short went to the moving documentary The Bayview by Daniel Cook (UK), about a hotel that becomes a sanctuary for international fishermen when they reach land. Best UK Student Short went to Suburb by Miles Jezuita (UK), a product of Arts University Bournemouth that stylishly explores the secrets of just what happens at night when the city sleeps.
The festival’s South West Award, given to films from the local area, went to Carolina Petro’s Sweet Little Despair, a moving examination of motherhood. The Children’s Jury Award was given to the animation The Girl Behind the Mirror by Iuri Moreno (Brazil).
Finally, the Audience Awards went to the UK film Babythump by Ian Killick, a brilliantly dark and funny story about reluctant parents, and the US title Monsieur Le Butch by Jude Dry.
The winners of Encounters 2022 are as follows:
Brief Encounters Grand Prix
Urban Solutions - Arne Hector, Luciana Mazeto, Vinicius Lopes and Minze Tummescheit (Germany/Brazil)
Monsieur Le Butch - Jude Dry (USA)
Animated Grand Prix
Love, Dad - Diana Cam Van Nguyen (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
Sierra - Sander Joon (Estonia)
Immersive Encounters Award
Cycle of Violence - Felicia Bergström (Germany)
I, Horizon – Paul Bush (UK)
The Bayview – Daniel Cook (UK)
I Am Good at Karate - Jess Dadds (UK)
UK Student Award
Suburb - Miles Jezuita (UK)
South West Award
Sweet Little Despair - Carolina Petro(UK)
Children’s Jury Award
The Girl Behind the Mirror - Iuri Moreno (Brazil)
Audience Award UK
Babythump - Ian Killick (UK)
Audience Award International
Monsieur Le Butch – Jude Dry
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