Swiss theme and Bowie influencers for 19th Encounters film festival in Bristol

By Culture24 Reporter | 23 August 2013

Festival preview: Encounters, various venues, Bristol, September 17-22 2013

A photo of people looking at a huge outdoor cinema screen
A film festival making room for animations, installations, live music and a Pop-Up Cine Chalet, one of the core strands of this year’s Encounters, based around the national stereotype, takes the distinctly unpromising title God You’re so Square.

Curated by (deep breath) Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, it aims to break down stereotypes of the Swiss psyche – “efficient, boring, predictable” – by exploring dysfunctional, socially isolated men.

Keeping it singular, Franz Treichler – the founder of Swiss post-industrial band The Young Gods, cited by David Bowie as a key influence on his Outside album of 1995 – has created a special soundtrack for reels of experimental films from the last century. One film being premiered, Franz Trechler Plays Dada, serves to summarise their genre.

“A large part of creation is left to improvisation,” ruminates Treichler, whose fellow Swiss artist, Yves Netzhammer, will be forging an installation of his short film trilogy at the Arnolfini.

“This soundtrack takes us from Man Ray to Fluxus, to Jean Painlevé, Stan Brackage and Martin Arnold.”

A lot is going on for the 19th edition of the programme. Perhaps most notably, the sprawling list of 113 animation works are divided into seven international competitions, dotted with BAFTA and Cannes award winners and featuring two heats devoted to puppets.

“We continue to be amazed by the quality of work that we receive,” says Liz Harman, of the festival.

“So many animated films made the cut this year that we had to add an additional programme to the festival line up.”

Top prizes of £2,000 are on offer to short films deemed to be the best during the course of the six days.

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