25th Edition Hosts Awards Ceremony at Colston Hall

©Matt Whiteley 2019

©Matt Whiteley 2019

On Friday 27th September at Bristol’s iconic Colston Hall, Rich Warren, Festival Director of Encounters Film Festival presented 12 accolades at a stunning awards ceremony on the 25th edition of the festival.  From over 4000 submissions a dedicated team of pre-selectors and programmers curated 270 films across 29 competition programmes.

Before awarding individuals, Warren celebrated the collective creative talent on display during the festival, which commenced at the Watershed on Tuesday 24th September.

The Children’s Jury Award - which carries a £500 cash prize was judged by Kingdown School in Warminster with the support of Encounters’ partners IntoFilm.    The winning film was “Mogu & Perol”, from Japan by, director Tsuneo Goda.  Jane Coulter from IntoFilm accepted the award on Tsuneo’s behalf.

The Youth Jury Award carries a £500 cash prize and was judged by members of Articulate, an organisation that supports young carers in Glasgow.    A “Special Mention” went to Mikael Techane for Boys Like Us and the Youth Jury Award went to “Signs” by Yero Timi-Biu.

Andrew M. Smith, Director of Corporate Affairs for the Pinewood Studios Group, presented the Deaf Shorts and Unchosen awards. 

Now in its third year at Encounters, the Deaf Shorts Award goes from strength to strength.  The UK film Hope by David Ellington was selected for the 2019 accolade, and included a £500 prize.

Deaf Shorts Award winner 2019 - Hope by David Ellington ©Matt Whiteley 2019

Deaf Shorts Award winner 2019 - Hope by David Ellington ©Matt Whiteley 2019

Following the closure of the Modern-Slavery awareness charity, Unchosen, in 2018 Encounters took on the mantle of providing a platform for films that highlight the impact of modern slavery and migrant exploitation.     Human Again from the UK by Roxana Vilk was selected by audiences for the Unchosen award.

The UK Film Audience Award and the International Film Audience Award, were selected from Encounters’ evening showcases of Comedy, Sci-Fi, Horror and the ever-popular Late Lounge.   Both films received a £500 prize as well as a year’s membership to IMDbPro.  Founder and CEO of IMDb Col Needham, presented  the UK Film Audience Award to “Nortenos” by Grandmas and the International Audience Award  to “Hors Piste”, from France, directed by Leo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille Jalabert and Oscar Malet.

For 2019, Encounters introduced a new category, the UK Student Award to celebrate the wealth of talent emerging from academic institutions across the UK.  With a cash prize of £500, jury members Eibh Collins and Laura Tofarides, presented 'Smile for the Camera'  directed by Lucy Graham and 'Andros' directed by Doris Taaker.

The evening awards ceremony culminated in presentations to Grand Prix winners who each received a £2000 a cash prize and a beautiful award crafted by Mangostone:

Grand Prix trophies designed by Mangostone - ©Matt Whiteley 2019

Grand Prix trophies designed by Mangostone - ©Matt Whiteley 2019

Immersive Encounters celebrates moving image outside of its natural habitat of the cinema and 2019 saw Encounters grow this programme with installations throughout the week in Colston Hall thanks to the support of Arts Council England.  The Immersive Encounters Jury, Nicola Burlet, Charlotte Corchete and Sanne Jehoul gave “Special Mention” to “How To Tell a True Immigrant Story” by Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz and the Immersive Encounters Grand Prix was awarded to “Fluchtpunkt” by Béla Baptiste.

The Animated Encounters jury’s Abigail Addison, Helen Brunsdon and Jen Hall, gave “Special Mention  to 4:3 by Ross Hogg,  and presented the Best of British Award to “Rough House” by Jonathan Hodgson

The Animated Encounters Grand Prix, receives £2000 and is eligible for nomination to the 2020 Academy Awards.   The jury’s “Special Mention” went to “Mind My Mind” by Floor Adams and the winning film was “Five Minutes to Sea” by Natalia Mirzoyan.

The Brief Encounters Best of British Award receives a prize of £1000 and was presented by the jury, Eloise King, Hannah Ladoul, Marco la Via and Lara Zeidan.  “Special Mention” went to  “Boiling Point” by Phillip Barantini and the winning film was – “Thrive” by Jamie di Spirito.

Brief Encounters Grand Prix winner - The Tent by Rebecca Figenschau ©Matt Whiteley 2019

Brief Encounters Grand Prix winner - The Tent by Rebecca Figenschau ©Matt Whiteley 2019

The Brief Encounters Grand Prix receives a £2000 cash prize and is eligible for nomination to the 2020 Academy Awards.“Special Mention” went to “She Runs” by Qiu Yung and the winning film was “The Tent” by Rebecca Figenschau.

Winners from this year’s super short Depict competition were:

Main Depict Award - “Lit” by Emma Miranda Moore
Depict British Special Mention Award - “Absence” by Alex Goddard
The Royal Photographic Society Award - “Six Mothers” by Candice Vallantin
Depict Random Acts Special Mention Award - “Zone 2.0” by Amatai Leopold
IMDbPro Audience Award - “WALL” by Leonard Mizrahi and Michael Gomes

Special Mention for the Main Depict Award went to: “After the Reign” by Jennifer Tarrazi-Scully

The Depict award winners this year were selected by Jess Loveland, Head of BFI Network; Catherine Bray, Random Acts Editor; Sorcha Bacon, Producer & Founder of Try Hard Films; Chris Auty, former film critic and producer; Molly Cowderoy, Communications Manager at Shooting People; David Sproxton, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman Animations and cinematographer Rachel Morrison A.S.C on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society.

Thank you to everyone for attending the 25th Edition of Encounters Film Festival, we look forward to seeing you all again in 2020!