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Encounters 2016 presents their Animation Competition

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Taking place this September, Bristol’s Encounters Festival presents a prestigious annual International Competition, featuring the best new short and animated films from around the world. Filmmakers in competition are eligible for some of the world’s most prestigious short film and animation awards: the Oscars®, the BAFTAs, the European Film Awards and the Cartoon d’Or.

For this year’s edition more than eighty films are showcased across the festival’s six themed animation programmes. Specially curated to present a highly diverse range of styles, genres and technical approaches that will be sure to satisfy festivalgoers whatever their taste in animation. Some programmes are serious and weighty whilst others are more light-hearted; some are abstract and experimental whilst others are more figurative and metaphorical. It is no coincidence that much of the seriousness and sincerity in many of the films reflects the disturbing wider world in which we live.

My respect for animators and their work is deep and I hope you join me in supporting them for their countless hours of dedication getting their labour of love finished. Whilst it is often said that technology offers new and more open means of production, it is the generation of ideas and the skills behind the sounds and images where the blood, sweat and tears are shed. The effort put into animation is immense and to see the films on the big screen is hugely rewarding not just for the filmmakers but for all who appreciate this weird and wonderful art form.

-Kieran Argo, Animation Programmer

Some of the most ambitious animation dares to tackle weighty subject matter. Whether it is a comment on politics or violence/warfare, loss, liberty or identity, each of these moving films say something about humanity or the lack of.

Pain and happiness so often depend on each other. Mixed emotions are thrown into relief in these tales of love, loss, friendship and sacrifice.

An eclectic range of outstanding films selected for their powerful emotional impact. Each film has remarkable qualities whether in production style, story or artistic strength.

A serious and sometimes amusing look at the relationship humans have with nature and the built environment. Lush stories of flora and fauna sit next to cold concrete and empty spaces in this poignant collection of films.

The lid is lifted on aspects of medical, emotional and other psychological conditions. Memory, ageing and perception are explored in this spectacular array of films.


Each year Encounters is privileged to receive a number of bold and highly imaginative films that dare to be different. Through experimentation and often non-narrative approaches these films excel in their design and novel ways of visual and aural expression.

Animation is also a presence in mixed screenings such as Close Encounters of the Short Kind, Funny Looking Shorts, Family Friendly Shorts and the adults-only Late Lounge, this year supplemented by Late Lounge XXXtra. The cutting edge London based studio Nexus will show us their shorts and discuss their latest developments in augmented and virtual reality animation. The Oscar winning Founder and Creative Director of BreakThru Films, Hugh Welchman, will discuss the making of, and reveal some unseen clips, from the highly anticipated Loving Vincent feature film. Also not to be missed is Aardman’s 40th Anniversary Special, featuring studio co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton.

Encounters 2016 takes place in Bristol from September 20th-25th. Single tickets for film screenings and events can be purchased individually as well as Festival Passes that grant access to all festival activity. For the full line-up and updates visit

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Lewis Heriz
@themooks @skwigly Yeah! That's when it becomes << actual magic >>
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James Howard
@lewisheriz @skwigly That first time you see it move is such a buzz and then you add sound and it just enters a whole new stratosphere.
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Lewis Heriz
@themooks @skwigly I know it's kind of obvious, but I used to see it as 'important but secondary'. I don't see it as secondary any more.
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James Howard
@lewisheriz @skwigly Sound does bring it to life.
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