Meet our pre-selectors!

We're pleased to introduce to you our team of Pre-selectors who have been watching all your submissions to this year's festival. We're lucky to have a dedicated group of film enthusiasts watching the thousands of submissions we've had to the festival this year, over 4100 to be exact!

Each pre-selector brings with them their own knowledge and experience from the industry and we are delighted to have them working with us!

Encounters strive to be leaders in supporting and developing careers in the film industry and for this reason in 2019 we will be paying all of our pre-selectors UK Living Wage for their time and dedication to watching the vast numbers of films that are submitted each year to the festival.

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Jude Lister

Jude has been part of the Encounters team since working on marketing and development for the festival in 2012 and 2013. Today she manages programmes for new & emerging UK film talent at Creative Europe, including debut feature film lab iFeatures and short film initiative shortFLIX. Jude ran international filmmaking workshops, screening programmes and short film competitions at NISI MASA, and was an editor on ‘zines covering film festivals all over the world.


Eibh Collins

Eibh is a short film programmer and film festival manager. Formerly the proud manager of Indiecork from its inception in 2013 to 2018, Eibh is currently the short film programmer for Irish Screen America, Irish Film London and the Oscar accredited Galway Film Fleadh. Eibh has a strong knowledge of and love for short film and has curated and guest-programmed dozens of Irish short film programmes for a variety of festivals across the world.


Kirsten Geekie

Operations Manager for the documentary cinema Bertha DocHouse, Kirsten has a background in film festival programming and management having worked for Edinburgh International Film Festival, East End Film Festival and Sheffield Doc Fest. Most recently she spent five years as Film Programming Manager at film education charity Into Film. A passion for short film, she has been a submission viewer for Encounters Film Festival since 2013.


Vithiya Narayan

Vithiya is a film producer, viewer and reviewer. For nearly ten years shed has worked in Canada as a television producer, developing and producing the film preview show The Watchlist for six seasons Vithiya has now made the leap across the pond. An avid short film fan, Vithiya has previously programmed short films for Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival and currently screens shorts for international film distributor Quat Media. Vithiya is excited to Join Encounters Film Festival as a pre-selector!


Wim Vanacker

After studying at EICAR, where he made two shorts, Wim discovered NISI MASA where he became the Head of the Script Department and Project Manager of the MEDIA funded project, European Short Pitch. Wim is a member of the Selection Committee for the Official Short Film competition at Cannes and works as a script consultant, creative advisor, tutor and guest speaker for many workshops, film festivals and projects in development.


Jonathan Bygraves

Jonathan is a freelance video editor and essayist, repertory programmer, and librarian at Bristol’s 20th Century Flicks video shop.


Qila Gill

Qila is a Malaysian born, London based, artist, curator and programmer. Prior to Encounters, her curatorial duties have included London Film Festival (Experimental Strand), London Short Film Festival and her films have exhibited internationally.




Ben Mitchell

Ben is a UK based animator and post production freelancer, independent director and writer/researcher. Ben’s award winning shorts have screened at over 200 international film and animation festivals. As Editor in Chief of the UK’s leading animation resource Skwigly Online Animation magazine Ben’s extensive writings, interviews and research on the international animation industry have covered not just the spectrum of animation production, but also the industry’s festival scene, online community and associated literature.


Laura Tofarides

Laura is a stop-motion Animator, puppet maker and co-organiser of Cardiff Animation Festival. After completing her degree at UWE, Laura went on to earn a certificate in Character Animation from the NFTS at Aardman. Laura has worked on a number of commercials, animated shorts and features including Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires and Isle of Dogs. recently, Laura has been assisting on a short film in northern China, she also actively volunteers with a number of charities including Ream Rubicon.




Apostolia Katsiantridou

Apostolia is a film festival professional based in Bristol. She has worked in various capacities for festivals in the UK and Greece, such as the International Short Film Festival of Drama, Thessaloniki Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Apostolia undertook a placement with Encounters Film Festival whilst studying for an MA in Film & Television at the University of Bristol, whilst in role she assisted with some pre selection. Apostolia is a dedicated fan of storytelling through the short film form, the versatility and playfulness of this form never ceases to surprise her.


Lina Samoili

After finishing her MA in Film Studies in 2015, Lina worked for various film festivals in the UK including Encounters Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest. In 2016 Lina worked as a Film Writer for Sounds and Colours and DMovies, she has also worked on TV publicity for projects such as Fleabag. Lina has been part of the preselection team for Encounters since 2016.


Varun Raman

Varun is a programmer and a filmmaker. Varun currently pre-selects for a couple of big North American Festivals and has a particular appreciation for the bold, the different and the risk-taking. He’s also one half of PARALLEL MADNESS, a writing and directing duo whose short, TRANSMISSION, which premiered at Fantasia, played at over 90 festival and won 13 awards.


Iris Došen

Originally from Croatia, Iris became involved film festival production during her BA and fell in love with helping bring new films closer to an audience. After working for the World Festival of Animated Film Animafest and Zagreb Film, she moved to the UK to pursue an MA in Film and Television at the University of Bristol. Having completed a placement with Encounters, Iris joined the team as Guest Liaison Manager for the 24th edition of the Festival. She is currently working for Edinburgh International Film Festival.