The UK's largestshort film festival, Brief Encounters, has awarded its international jury prizeto Spanish short Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! by Marcal Fores.
Other winners atthe 11th Bristol International Short Film Festival were Bristol-basedfilm-makers Sam Hearn and Richard Penfold of Omni Productions, whose short Indians won the ITV West Award and its £1,000prize. (Hearn and Penfold also won the award last year for their short DogYears.)
The Jameson ShortFilm award, selected by the British jury, was Cathy Snelling's Susie. That film wins 4,000 Euros and ascreening tour at other European film festivals.
The UK FilmCouncil audience award went to John Bryant's Oh My God from the US.
The DepicT!competition, for films under 90 seconds, gave its £3,000 jury prize to MyriamThyes' Ascension(Germany) while the Orange DepicT! audience award was given to Steven Sanderfor Screen Kiss.
The BBC NewFilm-Makers award, carrying a £5,000 cash prize, went to Bristol filmmakingtrio RONG (Matt Smith, Stephen Scott-Hayward and Alex Kirkland) for their shortOedipus. The BBC NewAnimation Award went to Lucy Izzard for Tea Total.
The NAHEMI/Kodakprize for creative film-making was given to Andrew Visser from Surrey Instituteof Art & Design for Double Helix, while the cinematography prize went to CalixteDavis from Goldsmiths College for Fragile.
The winners wereparticularly edgy at this year's festival -- with their themes of punk rock andyoung love (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!), graphic masturbation (Susie, Oedipus), and finding humour in violence (Oh My God). "These films are very provocative,"festival creative director Mark Cosgrove told ScreenDaily. "There's a kind of punky energy tothem all, and a real vibrancy. They're not following a conventional three actstructure."
Cosgrove saidthat the festival's aims to get more of an industry presence in recent yearswas certainly paying off with more large numbers of film-makers and industrydelegates in attendance.
"This yearthere's been much more of an industry side, there's a sense that business isbeing done or that people are networking with each other. Yet they're alsoengaging in the films," Cosgrove said.
The festival'sspeakers included film-maker John Smith, producer and Stoned director Stephen Woolley, cinematographerDanny Cohen (Dead Man's Shoes), East is Eastdirector Damien O'Donnell, and Oscar-winning local hero Nick Park of AardmanAnimations. Park, the creator of Wallace & Gromit, even offered audiences the chance to seean animated short film he made when he was 12 years old.
Jurors included Gypo director Jan Dunn, the British Council'sSatwant Gill, Damon Wise of Empire magazine, National Film and Television Schooldirector Nik Powell, and Shane Smith of Toronto's Worldwide Short FilmFestival.
Next year'sfestival will merge Animated Encounters (typically held in April) with BriefEncounters in a new event called the Encounters Short Film Festival. The dateshave been set for November 22-26, 2006 again at Bristol's Watershed MediaCentre, which has undergone a recent refurbishment.