Remember how last year we said that we absolutely couldn’t wait for the 2018 edition of the Encounters Short Film Festival? Well, a full year of expectant anticipation was rewarded with yet another collection of outstanding shorts. Whilst we desperately want to take you through every great film we saw at Encounters this year, we’ve somehow managed to restrain ourselves and have instead distilled our list of favourites down to a succinct 10 which will no doubt make their way to our pages before too long.
Prisoner of Society – Rati Tsiteladze
Nominated for the European Film Academy Award, Rati Tsiteladze’s intimate documentary depicts the isolation a transgender woman suffers living as an outcast from society and a cause of shame to the people closest to her.
Grand Canons – Alain Biet
A jaw-dropping act of creative perseverance, Alain Biet’s visual symphony of everyday objects Grand Canons features thousands of choreographed hand drawn pictures dancing across the screen in animated harmony.
Matria – Álvaro Gago
Sometimes we find ourselves searching for reason within the lives we live, the work we do and all the effort we make without any thanks. Álvaro Gago’s Matria tells the story of a middle-aged women living a tedious and monotonous existence, who finds purpose in a small sprig of life making hers worthwhile.
A Worthy Man – Kristian Håskjold
Ignored by his family and isolated in his nocturnal job as a baker, Kristian Håskjold’s A Worthy Man (En værdig mand) sees a middle-aged father slide into a deep depression as he fixates on being crowned the ‘Joker of the Week’ by his local radio station.
Enid & Valerie – Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy is a queer learning disabled filmmaker from Glasgow. His work brings together his own personal feminist/queer narrative through the scope of intersectionality. In Matthew’s stop-motion animation Enid & Valerie we follow the dreams of a lonely spinster and her encounters with a witch.
Ato San Nen – Pedro Collantes
This odd couple short from Writer/Director Pedro Collantes makes delightful use of its communication barrier conceit where a Japanese tourist arrives at the home of a Spanish window claiming to be friends with her son.
Egg – Martina Scarpelli
Egg is an elegant and captivating piece of 2d animation through which Director Martina Scarpelli tells her innermost thoughts and feelings of living with anorexia.
Love – Réka Bucsi
German filmmaker Réka Bucsi weaves a wonderous morphing intersecting ecosystem over three chapters in Love, a story of affection presented in the abstract tale of an impact on a distant solar system.
The Last Time I Saw You – Damien McLindon
This year’s Encounters D/deaf programme celebrated the centenary of the suffragette movement with all leading roles played by D/deaf women. Part of that screening, Damien McLindon’s The Last Time I Saw You grabbed our attention with its arresting opening and depiction of a sixteen year old Muslim refugee’s struggles as she confronts bullies at her school.
Tungrus – Rishi Chandna
A domineering pet rooster runs roughshod over a family in their cramped suburban Mumbai apartment, forcing them to consider adding him to the menu so they can reclaim their lives in Rishi Chandna’s eye-wateringly funny documentary short Tungrus.