Bristol Encounters Festival 2011: 16-20 Nov – London Preview

Tuesday 4th October
Roxy Bar & Screen
London, SE1

A few weeks ago now, Front Row Reviews were invited to a special London screening event, previewing some of the highlights from this years upcoming Bristol Encounters Festival.

Now in an amazing 17th year, Encounters have once again cemented their position as the UK’s longest running short film and animation festival, showing no signs of slowing down yet! The festival presents itself on the world stage and is well known for showcasing new work, and also being a central meeting point for emerging talent.

The setting for the preview event was the fantastic venue, Roxy Bar and Screen situated close to London Bridge. The main festival which runs from 16th – 20th November is all based in Bristol, UK. The festival has 2 main strands – covering the fields of Short Films and Animation. Full details of the schedule, venues and ticket info can be found on their main website.

The London Launch evening was introduced the head honchos of the festival who were clearly all very passionate about doing a good job and it showed. In total 6 pieces of work were shown, giving a very good overview of the sort of content to expect from the main festival.

Pitch Black Heist
Dir. John Maclean
UK 2011


Two professional safe crackers meet up for a supposed one-off job. Refusing to even get each other names. Their objective to break into a property and relieve the safe of its contents. A simple enough premise but the catch un-surprisngly if you read the title, was that they have to conduct the mission in darkness to stop the alarm activating with any lights. A very solid British entry to this years fesatival. Starring Michael Fassbender and Alex MacQueen.

Hurdy Gurdy
Dir. Daniel Seideneder, Daniel Pfeiffer
Germany 2010

A really great little film, just 3 minutes 30 seconds long. In essence it takes real life footage, speeds it up and uses clever focusing and depth of field techniques to make everything appear as if its a miniature world. Very nice look, you can view it here.

La Detente
Dir. Pierre Ducos & Bertrand Bey
France 2011

The story follows a WW1 soldier paralysed with fear, who disconnects from the real world and escapes to a world were wars are fought by toys. A triumph in beautifully made animation.

God View
Dir. Billy Lumby
UK 2010

This was arguably the highlight of the evening. The film follows Philip around his neighbourhood in Hackney, East London. The camera follows from a very unusual and unique perspective. The mentally unwell Philip will make you sit up and take note. The film is very engaging, has a real grit to it and you will be hearing more about this in the coming months. A true work of class.

15 Summers Later
Dir. Pedro Collantes
Norway 2011

A quaint little film above a happy couple minding their own business, relaxing on a beach. When a mystery man turns up. A really cool and funny short.

Dir. Juan Pablo Zaramella
Argentina 2011

In a strange world, controlled by time and light, a normal working guy has an idea that could change the future around a bit. Fantastic film, bursting with creativity and style. Do not miss!

That was it for the screenings on the night just 6 snippets and a very good overview of what the main festival has to offer. Obviously this year will be maintaining the high standards of submissions, that have seen this guys reach their 17th year. A great achievement.

There are countless other highlights to look out for from 16th November onwards.

If you get the chance, check out the short piece by Kumareshan Satkunarasa entitled “Life and Stuff”. Unavailable on the web at the moment but well worth trying to hunt it down! A very personal piece of cut & paste style animation, which must have taken months to perfect. Really cool and really original.

Another classic in the making, is a new film ‘Dreams of a Life’ from Director Carol Morley. Currently showing at the London Film Festival. For full line-ups and screening dates, check the links below.

Also worth a mention is The Magical Misery Tour – a new audio-visual work from Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us). A live VJ set inspired from classic horror films – you can read more about that here.

Bristol Encounters – website
Bristol Encounters – facebook
Bristol Encounters – youtube
Roxy Bar & Screen – website

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