The 25th Edition of the Film Festival Hosted the Awards Ceremony at Colston Hall in Bristol.
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.
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:
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 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 “5 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.
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.