Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, the leading UK showcase of short film and animation, is now accepting entries for its 19 edition. 2013 will see the festival settling into its new September slot (from 17 – 22) at Bristol’s harbourside and across the city. Expectations for this year’s event are high, with the organisers hoping to build on a record audience of over 11,000 attracted in 2012.

Last year 1,889 film submissions were received from 79 countries (notably, 85% of the films were European), confirming the festival’s strong international profile and reputation. 188 short films and animations were selected in competition across the main festival strands Brief Encounters (live action) and Animated Encounters (animation).

The festival is an important UK gateway for upcoming talent, giving selected filmmakers the chance to qualify for a whole host of major awards nominations – the Academy Awards®, the BAFTAs, the European Film Awards and the Cartoon d’Or. 2012 Encounters alumni are already making a mark, with Timothy Reckart’s animated short Head Over Heels (an NFTS graduation project) up for an Oscar® and Irish animator Eamonn O’Neill BAFTA nominated for I’m Fine Thanks (Royal College of Art). The Animated Encounters jury also selected Reckart’s animation as the festival’s nomination for the Cartoon d’Or.

Encounters is celebrating awards season from 10 – 24 February with its Nominated Shorts Season, a series of showcases of the live-action and animated short films nominated for the 2012/2013 Oscars® and European Film Awards. The festival is proud to bring the stars of tomorrow to Watershed in partnership with Shorts International and the European Film Academy.

Managing Director Liz Harkman said, “2012 was a challenging year for the festival, but they’ve been delighted by positive reactions to the new September dates from delegates and audiences, and are brimming with new ideas for our 19 edition. Sadly several key short film festivals have had to close their doors recently – Worldwide Shorts Festival in Canada and the London based Rushes Soho Shorts. Both were long-term partners of Encounters, and their work in the landscape of short film support will be greatly missed. We feel that now more than ever it’s crucial to continue working hard on showcasing, celebrating and inspiring short filmmakers.”

The call for entries is now open, and has two separate deadlines. Films completed in 2012 must be entered by 29 March, whereas 2013 productions have until 3 June. Films of any genre with a maximum duration of 30 minutes, completed after January 2012, are eligible. For the second year running, submissions are made through the Reelport website, which will host the Encounters Digital Viewing Library, making all films available online for delegates. Watershed’s 90-second film competition DepicT!, which is part of the festival, will close its call for entries on 8 July.

Full submission guidelines, awards and online submission at www.encounters-festival.org.uk.

Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival

Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival is the umbrella festival for Animated Encounters and Brief Encounters which together presents one of the world’s best-known showcases and meeting points for new and established international short and animated film talent. The longest running competitive short film and animation festival in the UK, and one of Bristol’s leading cultural events, Encounters seeks to promote the importance of short film as a means to develop and progress the next generation of creative talent. The 19nd edition will be held in Bristol, UK, from 17 to 22 September 2013.

Encounters is a qualifying UK festival for the Oscars®, BAFTAs, European Film Awards and Cartoon d’Or. The festival is funded by the British Film Institute, Bristol City Council and Creative England. Encounters Festivals Ltd operates as an independent company and is a registered charity.

For more details log on to: www.encounters-festival.org.uk