Encounters Film Festival 2023
Festival Description: Encounters Film Festival stages one of the world’s leading international competitions for the short film, animation, and immersive moving image work. The international competition is an official gateway to the world’s most prestigious awards; the Academy Awards®, BAFTAs, and the European Film Awards. Its mission is to provide an international platform for new and emerging talent in filmmaking. For over a quarter of a century, Encounters Film Festival has welcomed guests from all around the world, connecting filmmakers with the wider industry, our wonderful audiences, and, of course, each other.
2023 Call for Entries
The 29th Encounters Film Festival will take place from 26 September to 1 October 2023 in Bristol, UK.
Awards and Prizes
- INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: Films in the competition are presented in thematic programmes including live action, animation, documentary, experimental/artists’ moving image works, and judged by an international jury of industry professionals. The films compete for the following awards: (a) Brief Encounters Grand Prix for live-action shorts, and (b) Animated Encounters Grand Prix for animated shorts. The winning Brief Encounters and Animated Encounters films are both eligible for Academy Awards nominations and each receives a £2000 cash prize. The films in the International Competition are also eligible for the International Audience Award.
- NATIONAL COMPETITION: The National Competition showcases work from UK-based filmmakers including live-action, animation, documentary, and experimental/artists’ moving image works. Films in the competition are judged by a national jury of industry professionals and compete for the UK Award, which carries a cash prize of £1000. Entries submitted here may also be screened in the International Competition. The films in the National Competition are also eligible for the UK Audience Award. Films made by UK Student filmmakers are eligible for the UK Student Award, which carries a cash prize of £500.
- SOUTHWEST COMPETITION: The Southwest Showcase is Encounters' newly revamped competition to nurture and celebrate local talents. Live-action, animation, documentary, and experimental/artists' moving image works from Southwest-based filmmakers are eligible to participate. Films in the competition are judged by a jury of industry professionals and compete for the Southwest Award, which carries a cash prize of £500. In addition to the Southwest Competition, the short films submitted can also qualify for National or International Competition. The films in the Southwest Competition are also eligible for the UK Audience Award.
- UK STUDENT ENTRIES: Entries created within UK educational institutions are eligible for the UK Student Award. You may be asked to provide evidence that you were a student in UK education at the time of making the film. Submissions made through the UK Student category are automatically enrolled in the National Competition. Films from UK student filmmakers can still be submitted to the International Competition but a reduced entry fee is only available for submissions made through the UK Student category.
Terms and conditions
- The festival is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, experimental or artists' films, and hybrid work from low to high budgets.
- Films completed after 1st January 2022 will be eligible for the 2023 festival. The maximum eligible duration is 40 minutes (including credits). Encounters does not require any premiere status, including online.
- Films previously submitted for competition to past editions of the festival are not eligible for re-submission unless withdrawn prior to the programme announcement or at the festival’s discretion. Films that have appeared in guest programmes at previous editions are still eligible to submit, providing they meet all other eligibility criteria.
- Regular deadline: 27th March 2023 (20 EUR for International Entries, UK Entries, Southwest Entries and 15 EUR for UK Student Entries), Late deadline: 15th May 2023 (25 EUR for International Entries, UK Entries, Southwest Entries), Final deadline: 29th May 2023 (40 EUR for International Entries, UK Entries, Southwest Entries), UK student final deadline: 12th June 2023 (20 EUR)
- Rules and Submission via Filmfreeway
2020 Festival Coverage
The festival has selected over 250 titles, from a huge 3000+ submissions, to be part of this year’s digital festival.
Your £10 Digital Festival Pass will give you access to our festival programme for the entire 3-week duration of the festival (18th September - 11th October 2020), unlocking a world of the international short films, and much more.
The majority of the competition films are available to view internationally, with the exception of a handful of films that are not available to view outside of the UK due to distribution rights.
2019 Festival Coverage
2018 Festival News (25-30/9/18)
- From 06 September 2023 to 01 October 2023