Encounters Short Film Festival and Animated Encounters in Bristol (18-23 September) presents the best of British South West talent.
Works by South West animators selected in Animated Encounters for animation and Mixed Competitions for strands featuring all formats - will be up for prestigious awards and cash prizes totalling £12,000 alongside productions from 32 different countries.
Two dedicated Best of South West Awards (Brief and Animated) will also be carefully discerned by the jury, with £500 going to the winner.
Flytopia by Bristol based creative team Karni and Saul will have its UK premiere at Encounters. Adapted from a short story by Will Self and brought to the screen in a mix of live action and animation, Flytopia is a fantastical tale in which a man enters into a pact with all the insects that live in his house. The directors already featured at Encounters in 2010 with the BAFTA-nominated Turning.
The Best of South West showcase returns to Encounters Festival, and includes an animated road movie by BAFTA-winning director Emma Lazenby:The History of the Orange.
The Academy Award winner Nick Park (Aardman Animations) also directs a hybrid, live-action and stop-motion music video for Plain Song by Sheffield band Native and The Name, his first after working on Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer in 1986.
Meanwhile, in a special gala event, Aardman Animation's key figures Nick Park, Peter Lord and David Sproxton will be brought together in conversation for a rare joint appearance at Arnolfini. Alongside this, a Retrospective includes two programmes of short format work - "Early Years Claymation" and "From Pigs to Pirates!", bringing Aardman treasures to the big screen in all their animated glory.
The Best of South West will welcome a number of works from promising students and new graduates of the region's universities, including the premiere of a fantastical short animation from local Bristol School of Animation graduate David Dymond, Fell. Several directors bring an international flavor to the selection: Shell and Paddy co-directed by Swiss animator Thomas Spettel with Joseph Hill (University of Falmouth); Klovesteinen, a Norwegian folk tale animation graduate Anders Furevik (University Arts College Bournemouth).
There are also international co-productions: Webbed by Maria Morancho (UK / Spain), and video art piece La Quantité de Vie by Phoebe Fleming (UK / United Arab Emirates).
The festival will notably be making use of the Arnolfini's ground floor gallery space for the first time, to present a free-entry exhibition of Aardman Models, sets and props from heart-warming creations such as Morph and Wallace and Gromit. Not forgetting the welcome return of model-making fun for all ages, with animation workshops for both kids and grown-ups led by Aardman's Jim Parkyn.
In line with its role as a champion of emerging talent from Bristol and the surrounding area, the festival will host the launch of the FilmWorks networked professional development scheme, designed to fast track the short and feature film projects of selected producers and directors. The initiative is organised by Watershed alongside Showroom Workstation in Sheffield and Broadway in Nottingham.
Bristol-based participants will be mentored by world-class local producer Julie Lockhart (The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!). For more information on FilmWorks visit www.filmworks.org.uk.
To see more of the Encounters festival programme, visit www.encounters-festival.org.uk