The UK short film festival Encounters (now incorporatingprevious events Brief Encounters and Animated Encounters) will run as anexpanded six-day festival from Nov 21-26 in Bristol.

More than 300 new shortfilms will screen from 30 countries. High-profile guests to the 12th festival atBristol's Watershed will include director Ken Russell,screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, Wallace& Gromit producer Claire Jennings anddirector Asif Kapadia.Chris Shepherd will be the subject of a Late Lounge retrospective.

International selectionsinclude Balint Kenyeres' Before Dawn, Jens Johnson's Linerboard, Jean-Gabriel Periot's EvenIf She Had Been A Criminal and Jannicke Systad Jacobsen andKarin Beate Nosterud's The Clown Children.

UK selections include Amy Neil's MaBoy starring Shirley Henderson, Joe Penhall's The Undertaker starring Rhys Ifans and Natalie Press, and Jez Benstock's HolocaustTourist.

Aside from screenings, otherevents will include talks by Kapadia and Russell, aday devoted to the animation industry, a screenwriting class, a "desert islandflicks" presentation, and an awards ceremony with prizes of more than $18,654 (£10,000).

"Short filmmaking iscurrently experiencing a healthy upsurge in production which is reflected inthe 20% increase in entries we've received this year," said festival directorSue Lion, who noted that there were more than 1,500 films submitted including100 regional films.

Jury members will includePeter Ignacio from Atom Films, Luke Morrisfrom Cinema16, Christopher Olofsson for the Uppsalafestival, Caroline Norbury from South West Screen andPeter Carlton from Film4.