Close encounters of the animated kind

Now in its 18th year, the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival is an annual showcase of movie-making talent, focusing on two of the most exacting disciplines in the medium.

For the 2012 Festival, 1,900 submissions have been whittled down to just 188 short films and animations representing 36 different countries - the very best of which will receive prestigious Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival awards, which are seen by many in the industry as a gateway to Academy Awards, BAFTAs and Cartoon d'or prizes.

Movie highlights of this year's Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival include :

  • The Man Phoning Mum by avantgarde filmmaker John Smith
  • Comedy DrillerFiller by Chris Shepherd
  • Care by Amanda Boyle and starring Gina McKee (The Silence, In The Loop)
  • Il Capo by award-winning Italian director Yuri Ancarani
  • Umshini Wam by US filmmaker Harmony Korine and South African rapper Die Antwoord

The Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival also gives filmmakers the opportunity to show off some of their fims to the public for the very first time, including Aardman Animation (opens in new tab)'s So You Want To Be A Pirate?, a game show pastiche featuring characters from the Pirates In An Adventure With Scientists feature film.

Still from So You Want To Be A Pirate? - the latest animated short by Aardman Animation

Still from So You Want To Be A Pirate? - the latest animated short by Aardman Animation

Creative skillsets

Of most interest to budding Spielbergs though will be a 5-day residential course on The Creative Business of Creating Animation; FilmWorks (opens in new tab) - a networked professional development scheme that aims to fast track 45 short films and animations and Future Encounters which will showcase the work of 10 upcoming filmmakers.

The festival also includes workshops, masterclasses and live debates including a rare joint appearance by Aardman creatives Nick Park, Peter Lord and David Sproxton, plus a spotlight on the film sound work of Adrian Utley of Portishead.

For a taster of some highlights from the show, check out the videos below:

2012 Encounters Festival trailer:

Babeldom - just part of a retrospective on the work of visual artist Paul Bush

Umshini Wam - a funny, but expletive-laden short film by US filmmaker Harmony Korine and South African rapper Die Antwoord

The Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (opens in new tab) takes place from Tuesday 18 to Sunday 23 September 2012 at The Watershed (opens in new tab) and Arnolfini (opens in new tab) in Bristol, UK. Free film screenings and other events also take place in and around the city during the Festival's duration.

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