Issue date: 15 November 2002

The Faculty of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England is taking a key role in the programme for the 8th International Brief Encounter Short Film Festival.

Paul Gough, Dean of the Faculty of Art, Media and Design at UWE said, “Brief Encounters is one of the great short film festivals in Europe and the Faculty is extremely pleased to be playing a lead part in it. Our students and staff are showing films, launching books, leading seminars and enriching the debate – once again it will be a great event for the city.”

Eileen Elsey, Principal Lecturer at the Faculty, will be launching a book entitled In Short: A Guide to Short Film-making in the Digital Age co-written with Andrew Kelly. Th book will be launched at the Arnolfini Cinema on Saturday 23 November at 1.30 to 3.00pm. Eileen said, “The book traces the history of the short film and its current position. It focuses on the creative process through interviews with Directors, and looks at drama shorts from animation to commercials, from artists’ films and video to pop video, and at outlets ranging from the web through to television and cinema. It is concerned with the economic, social and conceptual inter-relation of these different areas. It also covers issues around funding, marketing, distribution and exhibition and provides an extensive web guide.”

At the book launch Eileen Elsey and Andrew Kelly will be joined by film makers John Smith, Tessa Sheridan and Keith Wright who will discuss issues raised in the book chaired by Nick Bradshaw from Time Out, London.

Carol Stevens, a lecturer in the Faculty, will be showing a film made during her research practice time entitled ‘Clutch’. Funded by the Film Council Digital Shorts scheme, South West Screen and matching funding from HTV West ‘Clutch’ explores the cusp between childhood and adulthood. Carol said, “A teenage girl spends time with her pony. For pocket money she collects eggs at a battery farm, where she enters the strange and confusing world of men and chickens. I wanted the film to have a cinematic look and I think I have succeeded in doing this using digital technology.”

The film will be screened during the opening highlights on Wednesday 20 November and at other times during the festival.

Two UWE students, Melissa Warren and Tom Armitage, have also been selected for the 90 minute NAHEMI Student Shorts selection due to be screened on 21 November at the Watershed. More than 40 entries were judged by a panel of members from the National Association of Higher Education and the Moving Image (NAHEMI), to arrive at a final selection of just 11 student productions.

Barbara Hawkins, UWE’s Head of Media, is one of the judges, she said, “The qualities looked for include good narrative, aesthetic quality, engaging stories and technical excellence. UWE’s students are often very successful at getting their work noticed and we believe that one of the reasons for this is that all UWE lecturers are either practitioners or have recent experience of being practitioners in film making. This means that advice and help passed on to students is very relevant and the students have access to a wide range of useful contacts accessed through lecturers’ networks.”

Barbara said that the judges were particularly impressed with the way that both students took risks and experimented with techniques. “Many students opt for safe films and try to emulate existing mainstream genres. Melissa’s film "Sinkronised Fusic" used techniques normally associated with animation and applied these to live action. She devised an original soundtrack and actors had to give a synchronised performance to the live soundtrack. Tom's film "Hitchhiker" is an extract from a much larger piece of experimental interactive work. With a sophisticated use of split-screen techniques, the story of a chance encounter between two strangers is presented in a 21st century homage to Jean-Luc Godard."

UWE is also sponsor of ‘The Brief Lecture’ which will this year feature Alan Yentob, Chairman of the ICA and director of Drama, Entertainment and Children at the BBC. Alan will give the festival keynote address on opportunities for new talent in the film and television industry.

Brief Encounters 8th Bristol international Short Film Festival will run from Wednesday 20 to Sunday 24 November at the Watershed and Arnolfini.

Back to top