Encounters 2018

I couldn't believe that my short film "Pepper-Salt-Battle" was selected at the Depict Short Film Competition. This year July I was contacted by the DepicT! staff and told that my 90-second short film was shortlisted, I asked myself, "Is that real?" I received a long email with all the details about the film festival and was asked to sign a consent form, besides, they asked me whether I would be able to make it to the festival, the email seemed to be true...


...so, on 27th September, I and my boyfriend Moritz went to Bristol.

The DepicT! is a Watershed Project, and a part of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival. The festival began life in 1995 as Brief Encounters – a one-off event to mark the centenary of cinema. It proved successful that it became an annual attraction – and has expanded year on year ever since. Animated Encounters was set up in 2001 to celebrate and showcase animation. In 2006 the two festivals united as the Encounters Short Film Festival, and now known simply as ‘Encounters’.


A very thoughtful and welcoming meet & greet boat tour was arranged by the festival. We went to one of the main venues located at Watershed and waited there. The boat came as well as more and more filmmakers and probably organizers, we all got up on the boat and sat down, the weather was perfect for a boat trip.

On the boat there was a captain as well as a guide, telling us the history and stories about Bristol, the creative town that is full of cultural activities, where it breeds lots of famous musicians, actors / actresses, artists including the band Massive Attack, Portishead, Arya from Game of Thrones (Maisie Williams), Darth Vader from the original Star Wars (David Prowse), Damien Hirst, Banksy and of course many many more.


Does anyone know what they were celebratiing / protesting for? Same gender relationships? Brexit?

You can easily found murals and street art in Bristrol.

The film festival started already on the 25th, but my first Encounters day started on the 28th, Sep. I had a quick check on that day programs before I started my trip, some were interesting also the time schedule were fit. So I registered our tickets online that day sharp at 9a.m., first come first serve, luckily it wasn't that full when I went to pick up the tickets at the Box Office in the morning, later it was quite packed. I was glad to see many people came to support the festival, also with different ages, from teenagers to elderly people.


On the first day we watched over 20 short films, I'm sure. All of them are quite impressive, some of them are very touching, and surprising. There was also a lounge / bar with free drinks for the filmmakers at The Forge, I enjoyed a lot the way walking back and forth from the venues to the place, especially day time, very lovely streets, occasionally you can see people dancing and singing next to the fountains at the square / big pedestrian path.



My two beloved friends Kate and Sum drove all the way from London to support me and my film on the next day, we had a nice weekend together, watched lots of short films, walked around in the city, felt the river breeze next to the harbour, enjoyed the rare British good weather, and of course, witnessed my 90-second short film screening at the festival.


All the DepicT! filmmaker were called to have a group photo before the screening, also, a short brief about the Q&A section on stage. After that, finally, the screening started. I intentionally didn't watch the other short films which are also shortlisted before this day, as I prefer to watch them on screen. I really like some of them. Oo...mine had come, although 90 seconds was short, the moment when the film started was like a pause that even the images are moving, you freeze the film in your brain at certain point, then is only a feeling that you know you are sitting in the front roll and watching it (perhaps it's also because the screen and the image are too big that I couldn't see much... lol). You just filled with excitement, not sure if that occurred to other filmmakers, it was like this for me, the first time to see my short film in a cinema. And when you see how great the other films are, you are driven to create the next! OK, first I have to finish the next issue of Invasian Magazine.


Thank you my dearest friends for being there with me. Thank you very much to the organizers, judges, staff, helpers and anyone who made this wonderful event happened. I met also lots of great filmmakers, directors, event / festival / project / company founders, artor and actress during the festival, was indeed my honor to be part of the event and to meet all of you.

Copyright © 2020 Friendly Liu. All rights reserved.

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