This Year's Encounters Short Film Festival Will Celebrate 80 Years Of Richard Williams

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Patrick Dane writes for Bleeding Cool.

Encounters has somewhat of a special place in my heart. This short film festival in Bristol is like no other I have ever attended.

When I first went along in 2009 as a hungry, film-obsessed student, Encounters introduced me to the experimental, funny and imaginative world of short film. If you are looking for variety, this fest certainly has that.

I try to attend annually, not least because this fest provides a great opportunity for film fans, filmmakers and press to meet together in a boiling pot, cultivating a good social atmosphere as well as allowing everyone to enjoy offbeat little films from all across the globe.

This year's lineup, running from September 17th to 22nd, looks like it might be one of their most exciting, at least since I have been attending.

The headline event is a retrospective of Richard Williams, the multi-Oscar winning animator. Williams is probably most recognised as the director of animation on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but his work is vast and influential. I know Brendon is absolutely gaga about him.

On the 18th, to celebrate his 80th birthday, Encounters will hold a Gala Screening of the digitally re-mastered Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They've also scheduled an event with Williams in attendance called Desert Island Flicks with Richard Williams, hosted by Phil Jupitus. On top of all that, there will be a retrospective of Williams' work on the 19th of September.

But Encounters is never about just one man or woman. The festival will feature approximately 200 films across six days, from all over the globe, competing for awards that act as qualifying gateways to the Oscars and BAFTAs. Because there are so many premieres, it's hard to know what to recommend up front, but Encounters is certainly more about discovery than checking off must-sees.

I know I'll make the trip again this year. And just in case you meed further incentive to join me, let me remind you that reviewed the fest last year and loved it.