David Sproxton, co-founder of Aardman Animations and executive chairman of BAFTA, has been appointed as chairman of UK short film festival, Encounters.

The producer, cinematographer and director, whose credits include Chicken Run and the Wallace And Gromit films, will take over from the current chairman Simon Cooper.

The year’s event, which took place in November in Bristol, saw 1500 films from 58 countries compete for 19 awards. Special guests included Andrea Arnold. It is funded by Bristol City Council and South West Screen.

Sproxton said: “Having been involved with Encounters since its inception 15 years ago, I am delighted to take over from Simon Cooper as chairman who has done an exceptional job, following on from Andrew Kelly, the very first chairman.  It will be a hard act to follow and with the current economic climate but I’m certainly up for the challenge.”