Plans for the 20th edition of the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, the first edition under the leadership of festival director Debbi Lander, have been announced.

The festival’s theme, 20/20: Looking back to look forward, aims to celebrate the past two decades of the Bristol-based event while looking ahead at new venues to connect film, technology, media and visual arts.

The festival will run from Sept 16-21. Throughout the week, Encounters will show a retrospective of 20 films, representing the diversity and impact short film can have.

The retrospective will be accompanied by special events including the UK premier eof the film version of Vinyl Requiem - a music and film event conceived by sound artist Philip Jeck and visual artist Lol Sargent in 1992 to mark the beginning of the era that saw the change from analogue to digital.

Along with the celebration, 250 new short and animated films from around the world will compete in the Short Film and Animation Competition. This year’s competitors were chosen from more than 2,000 submissions, and winners will be announced Sept 20.

Lander, who came on as director in November, was appointed to help shape a new vision for the festival and support its growth.

“Encounters Festival has been the UK’s leading short film and animation event for film-makers and the film industry for 20 years”, Lander said.

“Our mission is to ensure it remains the ideal place to spot new trends, meet film-makers and network and to continue to deliver a forward facing festival of national and international significance and reach”.

David Sproxton, chairman of Encounters, said: “As we enter a new era for the festival and a completely different landscape in 2014, this seems the perfect occasion to reposition the festival and celebrate its achievements to date.”

Encounters is funded by the British Film Institute, Bristol City Council, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, British Council and Arts Council England. It is a qualifying festival for the Oscars, BAFTAs, European Film Awards and Cartoon d’Or.