Tag Archives: Encounters

New short film collection – Encounters Film Festival Award Winners 2013

We’re thrilled to be working once again with Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival on a fantastic collection of short films.
This collection of 12 shorts, animated and live action, homegrown and international, is available for purchase now from BFFS. At only £100 with screening rights for 12 months this is a tremendous offer for some fantastic new short films.

Here’s a quick run through of what’s on offer:

Adrift | Frederik Jan Depickere | 9 mins
Documentary Award

After fleeing genocide in Uganda a lonely man now clings to a poorly paid job in the Arctic circle working on the construction of a school designed to look like a rocket. Tragically he reveals that his childhood dreams have been replaced with the simple desire to live a quiet life.


Anomalies | Ben Cady | 12 mins
Animated Best of British Award

A black and white hand drawn stick world is invaded by suspicious objects, flickering coloured images. Though they just sit there, they are soon prodded and poked and observed by a gathering of people: scientists, painters, children. What are these strange objects? And why have they appeared?

Beat | Aneil Karia | 12 mins
New Talent Award

A man (Ben Whishaw in a committed performance) is living on the edge of hopelessness. He is reckless and troubled, paranoid even. We see a day in his life, filled with confrontation and threat.

Behind the Journey | Bristol Sprout | 3 mins
Best of South West Award 

Made in just 117 hours this brief documentary looks at the workers behind the scenes of the nail network, those who clean up after the travellers have disembarked. It’s full of surprising, and sometimes shocking, stories about the kinds of things we leave behind in our journeys.

Cargo Cult | Bastien Dubois | 12 mins
Cartoon d’Or 

A native tribesmen is entranced by the great machines of the naval army base on his island. He regales his community with tales of flying machines and builds models of them. But when WW2 breaks out the terrible power of these machines is revealed.

cargo cult

Cool Unicorn, Bruv | Ninan Doff | 2 mins
DepicT! Audience Award & Grand Prix

A guy is trying to sell his bike – “it’s got a titanium frame, new wheels…” he boasts to an interested passer-by. But then someone else comes past with a unicorn – it can travel to the 4th dimension and harness the energy of the universe. Can his bike compare?
Short, sharp and very funny.

Fear of Flying | Conor Finnegan | 9 mins
Children’s Jury Award

A delightful family friendly stop motion short. Dougal, a small bird, has a dreadful fear of flying. He lives in a treehouse and happily climbs down an enormous ladder to go and look for food. He’s coping, but winter is coming and all the other birds are heading to the Sunny South. Will Dougal overcome his fear and follow them? Or will he have to brave the cold in his little house?

fear of flying

Happy Birthday Cindy Wei | Tsveta Cozanova | 11 mins
South West Showcase

A shy and lonely teenager who works part time in her father’s takeaway is encouraged to express herself after learning of her cousin’s unusual double life.

Home | Thomas Gleeson | 11 mins
Audience Award

An empty but intact house is being transported across the New Zealand countryside on the back of a huge flat-bed truck. Mountains pass by out the bedroom window, the doors swing back and forth as the truck squeezes round a tight bend. Spectacular cinematography and a truly unusual event.

In The Air Is Christopher Gray | Felix Massie | 10 mins
Grand Prix Award

Christopher is in love with Stacey and “no amount of lemonade could cool his desire”. But Christopher doesn’t know how to impress her until Stacey’s mum compliments him on jumping over 8 earthworms laid end to end on his bike. Would Stacey find such a feat impressive? Meanwhile Barry Flynt has bought his son a six foot long python…
A darkly funny short with vivid animation.

Rosemary Jane | Carolina Petro | 17 mins

Best of British Award

63 year old Rosemary lives alone after the death of her husband and is plagued by insomnia. In an effort to break out of her depression she heads out to the streets with a bold idea to lift her spirits: to smoke marijuana.

Stardust | Mischa Rozema | 4 mins
Music Video Award

Set to the song Helio by Ruben Samama this stunning short follows the Voyager 1 probe, the furthest man-made object from the sun, and witness to incredible sights. Rozema’s short imagines what Voyager may discover in the future, a cacophony of colour, stars and disintegrating planets. Sublime.

The films of the BFFS Conference – reactions, notes and how to screen them

The BFFS National Conference is over and what a fantastic weekend it was! As a follow-up to last week’s post about the films we were screening at the conference I’m going to take a quick look at: why we screened the films we did;  what the reactions to the films were, and booking information for those who want to screen the titles in their venue.


How we pick the films

The films screened at the National Conference are selected to serve several purposes. On the one hand we try to preview forthcoming titles that gives community cinema programmers the opportunity to preview titles ahead of release to help with programming. We also try to highlight Booking Scheme titles – this isn’t a strict rule but for the most part we will usually screen a majority of our own titles.

Then there is the consideration of supporting the film with extra content – this might be a Q&A or a discussion – and we always provide programme notes for each film that includes detailed information about the film as well as words from the filmmakers talking about the making of the film.

Finally we try to pick films that we know are suited to the community sector and which could be overlooked otherwise. So you can always expect documentaries, independent and international cinema as well as short films.

So how did we pick this year’s titles? (click the links to view our programme notes)

Blackfish – Certainly one the year’s best documentaries, Blackfish is a devastating piece of work exposing the the inherent cruelty of keeping killer whales in captivity. It has a tremendous impact raising awareness of these animals’ plights and in engaging viewers to reconsider their views towards places like Seaworld. It has also sparked a wide debate and has seen rebuttals from Seaworld following its release, all of which have benn challenged by the filmmakers.

We were joined for this screening by Patrick Hurley, Distribution Manager at Dogwoof, for a Q&A about the reactions to the film from Seaworld, campaigning organisations and even Pixar, who have altered the plot of the forthcoming Finding Nemo sequel as a result of Blackfish.


Gloria Gloria is the latest film to be released by Network Releasing, one of our partner distributors, and like No and Out in the Dark before it Network Releasing have made the film available to BFFS Members and Associates as part of an early release window. The screening thus helped allowed us to take advantage of this opportunity and promote it to the membership. The film was also introduced by Jaq Chell, BFFS Operations Manager.

Jaq talked about the legacy of No which we screened as a ‘secret film’ at last year’s conference. No was a huge success for BFFS and has accumulated the most bookings for any BFFS Booking Scheme title. A hugely important film that  we were thrilled to help get this film seen by new audiences. Likewise, Jaq explained the importance of Gloria both as Chilean film taking a look at contemporary life in the capital Santiago and as a film anchored around a strong female character, richly detailed and stunningly performed. The lack of strong female characters in mainstream film is well noted but Jaq reinforced the fact with a statistic that only 11% of characters in major films last year were female. It is vital then that films that do focus on independent and unique female characters are seen and that is one of the things that really drew us to Gloria. 

Like Father, Like Son – Following the success of I Wish, the most recent film from Hirokazu Kore-eda, we were excited to be able to preview another of his films to delegates. Kore-eda is one of the most consistent directors who has created a string of rich, powerful and human dramas – usually centred around the theme of family. His latest is a delightful and warm-hearted drama that has been picking up buzz since it premièred at Canned Film Festival and won the admiration of Steven Spielberg and the rest of the jury.

We were fortunate to be able to get Alexander Jacoby, a lecturer in contemporary Japanese cinema at Oxford Brookes University to give a talk covering Kore-eda’s career, comparisons with legendary filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu and Kore-eda’s perception of the modern Japanese family. In contemporary Japan families usually only have one child and there is a risk of children being withdrawn due to a lack of social interaction – apart from through technology. Kore-eda’s films, although focused on the same themes and utilising similar motifs and reference points as Ozu’s, offer their own perspective and a rejection of nostalgic perceptions of the past. Jacoby also discussed how Like Father, Like Son examines the nature of family relationships and argues that blood ties as the traditional basis of a family unit is not as important as the relationships that we build up. 

The Artist and the Model – The latest film from Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba, The Artist and the Model is a brand new release from Axiom Films and is a moving portrait of an aging sculptor drawn reinvigorated by his love of art when a fugitive from the Spanish Civil War takes refuge in his studio. It is a film that covers the great themes of life – art, love, death. It is centred on a tremendous performance from the great Jean Rochefort.

Following the film BFFS volunteer and Film Unit Acting Chair Gemma Bird led a lively discussion about the film which debated: whether the sexual content was at odds with the rest of the film; whether or not the war should have played a bigger part in the film, or if the concentration on art was more relevant; the cinematography of the film; and the nature of the characters.

Encounters Film Festival 2012 Award Winners Collection

We screened five of the short films included in this collection which covered an astonishing mix of styles and subject including stop-motion animatio in the form of the Oscar nominated Head over Heels, political satire in On This Island and a darkly humorous Icelandic short about a family evicted from their house and forced to live in a box on the roof of a tower block in When Rabbits Fly. 

Audience Reactions

For all the films screened at the National Conference we take a reaction score from the audience. We take a rating from A – E and then workout an overall percentage by scoring each rating. These are the reaction scores for this weekends films:

Blackfish – 88.6%
Encounters Short Films – 66.6%
Gloria – 69.7%
Like Father, Like Son – 88.6%
The Artist and the Model – 72.3%

All of the films received great scores with Blackfish and Like Father, Like Son sharing the highest score. The scoring categories are:
A- Excellent
B- Very Good
C- Good
D – Average
E- Poor

How to screen the films

If you are interested in screening any of these titles the booking information follows:


Dogwoof Popup Cinema: DCP available now | Popup@dogwoof.com | 020 7831 7252
BFFS Booking Scheme: DVD/Blu-ray (Screen from 16 November) | rich.bffs@gmail.com | 01142 210314


Network Releasing: DCP | Martin Myers | martin@miracle63.freeserve.co.uk | 07836 360343
BFFS Booking Scheme: DVD (Screen from 22 November) | rich.bffs@gmail.com | 0114 2210314

Like Father, Like Son

Verve Pictures: DCP (on release from 18 October) |  sarah@vervepictures.co.uk | 020 7436 8001
Verve Pictures: DVD/Blu-ray (screen from January 2014) | angus@vervepictures.oc.uk | 020 7436 8001

The Artist and the Model

Axiom Films: DCP available now | Daniel@axiomfilms.co.uk | 020 7243 3111
BFFS Booking Scheme: DVD/Blu-Ray (date TBC) | rich.bffs@gmail.com | 01142 210314

Encounters Short film Collection

BFFS: DVD | rich.bffs@gmail.com | 01142 210314
More information here

A quick round-up of new titles and BFFS National Conference news

We’re all hands on deck getting prepared for the BFFS National Conference and Film Society of the Year Awards which unfortunately means I’ve been neglecting the blog a little, so in light of that, here’s a rundown of the new titles on the scheme, and a look at the films you’ll be able to preview at the National Conference. Continue reading