Singapore's controversial director Royston Tan will head up the Spotlight on Singapore event at this year's Encounters Short Film Festival in the UK.

With a record number of entries from more countries than ever before in its 13 year run, the festival has selected shorts from as far as Belarus, Ecuador and Ghana for the Bristol-based five day event (Nov 21-25).

Tan has combated censorship clashes with the Singaporean government over his depiction of local life. His short Monkey Love, which follows a young boy dressed whimsically in a monkey suit as he searches for a lost love will be screened along with DIY, which brings together the day to day noises made by disparate people into a tuneful cacophony. Screen International's Talent Filter selected director Anthony Chen's Ah Ma, the tale of a dying grandmother's family, will have its UK premiere.

Managing Director Sue Lion says: 'We've always looked internationally for films to showcase but it's definitely a two-way street now. Increasingly, film-makers and talent-spotters from all over the world, are looking at Encounters as the international showcase that counts.'

Other highlights include three-time BAFTA winner Daniel Mulloy's Dad. With two of his shorts accepted last year into the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, his most recent work plots a middle aged man's embarrassment over his parents' active sex life.

The Best of British section sees Dead Man's Shoes actor Paddy Considine's directorial debut Dog Altogether, an Irish phrase for when a situation gets worse. Screen International's Star of Tomorrow Zam Salim's series of shorts entitled Is It Just Me' detailing universal daily difficulties, such as Avoiding People and Waiting for a Friend will be at the Live Action Late Lounge.

Visual effects specialist Henry LaBounta (Minority Report) will be the keynote speaker at an animation symposium on Nov 22. The debate will centre on the effectiveness of UK animation training courses in equipping students for the highly competitive marketplace. Bristol is also the home for Oscar winners Aardman Animations.