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658 Delegates Attend The 18th Encounters Short Film And Animation Festival

The 18th Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival came to a close on Sunday 23rd September, wrapping up an impressive 6-day programme celebrating talent, creativity and innovation.
Showcasing the latest short films and animations from established and new filmmakers alongside a host of exclusive special events such as Jeremy Thomas' Independent Visions, a Filmmaker Focus on Kim Longinotto and Directors UK presents Sam Fell, this year’s festival was a huge success. The festival welcomed a total of 658 delegates attend from 30 different countries, of whom 183 were filmmakers coming from 17 different countries.
There were a total of 1,900 films submitted to the festival, with less than a tenth of those making it through to the festival competition programmes.
On the closing night of the festival, we announced the winners of the 2012 Encounters awards.
The Brief jury consisted of Caroline Cooper-Charles (Creative England, UK), Alexandra Heneka (Kurzfilmagentur, Germany), Katarzyna Klimkiewicz (Film Director, Poland), Jukka Pekka-Laakso (Tampere Film Festival, Finland) and Jan Naszewski (New Europe Film Sales). They awarded the Brief Grand Prix, to Gunhild Enger’s PREMATUR (PREMATURE) from Norway, describing it as “a funny, painfully true 17 minutes of ordinary life. An excellent script with execution to match”.
Gunhild Enger said: "I am honoured and very glad that Premature won at Brief Encounters. I love British film, language and humour, and it has always been a big inspiration for me. A prize like this gives me courage and energy to keep on making films."
The Animated Grand Prix, was presented by the Animated Jury; Paul Bush (Director, Animator, Visual Artist), Peter Lord (Aardman Animation) and Marjut Rimmenen (Director, Animator) to Emma de Swaef and Marc James for OH WILLY… (Belgium/France/Netherlands).
The film's co-director Emma de Swaef said: "It's such a lovely surprise! As stop frame animators, Bristol holds a special place in our hearts, so we're very happy! Thank you for programming the film!"
Both Gunhild Enger and co-directing team Emma de Swaef and Marc James each received £2,000 GBP and a Digital Cinema Print to be submitted directly to the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences for consideration in the Short Film and Short Animation categories for winning the Brief Grand Prix and Animated Grand Prix respectively.
Watershed's super-short filmmaking competition DepicT! presented three awards selected by an esteemed jury including Karen Alexander (Royal College of Art), Ravi Amaratunga (Channel 4), Karni Arieli (Filmmaker/Photographer), Chris Auty (NFTS), Sarah Chorley (Shooting People), Will Massa (British Council) and David Sproxton (Aardman Animations). The DepicT! British Special Mention was awarded to LIVING WITH DEPRESSION by Anna Ginsburg. The Shooting People DepicT! Audience Award was won by HEY! By Scott Coello, the DepicT! Random Acts Special Mention was awarded to BIG SIGNAL by Evelien Lohbeck and the DepicT! Award went to THE FAT CAT by Mole Hill.
The UWE European New Talent Award for Brief Encounters was given to Anke Blondé’s DURA LEX (Belgium) for its "great sense of character and timing shot through with darkly comic undertones".
Anke Blondé said: "I'm really honoured and proud! Making this short film has been such a nice adventure with a lovely and creative cast and crew! I'd like to thank everybody who worked on the film and everybody who inspired and supported me on doing this. Especially thanks to the people at Menuet Productions and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund for making Dura Lex possible. I feel very much encouraged to continue on filmmaking as I feel it."
UWE European New Talent Award for Animated Encounters awarded to KUHINA (SWARMING) by Joni Mannisto from Finland. They both received 1,000 Euros supported by the University of the West of England.
Animation graduate Anders Furevik (University Arts College, Bournemouth) received £1,000 GBP for the Best of South West Award for KLOVESTEINEN, presented by Bristol’s Mayoral candidates; Daniella Radice (Green), Geoff Gollop (Conservative) and Jon Rogers (Liberal Democrat).
The jury chose I AM TOM MOODY, directed by Ainslie Henderson, as the winner of Animated Best of British and awarded £1000 GBP. Brief Best of British Award was given to Matthew Knott for his film ON THIS ISLAND, for "its irreverent and bold statement on culture and class, its wry wit and quintessentially English conclusion". The award has a value of £1,000 GBP, which will go towards the director’s next project supported by Directors UK. Matthew Knott also will receive a short film course from the National Film and Television School, and the film will be included in the British Council Shorts Support Scheme.
Ainslie Henderson said: "I'm delighted to have been awarded the best British animation at Encounters. To have been selected by such an esteemed jury is extremely flattering. Plus, I was wondering how I was going to pay my rent next month, so the money is also good news. It's a fantastic feeling to have won."
The Documentary Award, supported by Icon Films with a prize of £1000 GBP, was presented to Finlay Pretsell and Adrian McDowall for their film CUTTING LOOSE, presented by Documentary Jury; Owen Gay (Icon Films), Kim Longinotto (Documentary Filmmaker) and James Mullighan (James Mullighan).
The Audience Award, voted for by festival audiences, went to Icelandic directors Halldór Ragnar Halldórsson and Helgi Jóhannsson for their live action short film Þegar Kanínur Fljúga (WHEN RABBITS FLY).
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