Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival from September 20th to 25th.
This morning I forced myself to go a 9:30am “networking breakfast” where filmmakers could meet festival programmers. I wasn’t sure whether there was any official presentation, but I thought I could meet some other festival people at the very least. It turned out to just be a room full of people and some coffee, but I ended up talking to a whole bunch of people, and that made me feel immediately better. I’ve been really tired and that makes my introvert tendencies dominate, so I’ve been in a bit of a social cocoon. Meeting people always makes me feel better, though.
The only film screening I attended today was the 12:00pm Animation 5: A Look Inside where the strongest films were Ticking Away by Michael Sewnarain, in which a clockmaker encounters the Grim Reaper, and Sean Vicary’s The Nose, a mesmerizing stop-motion tale of memories triggered by the fragrance of flowers.
I took some time off for a nap before returning for another networking session at 6:00pm. This time, there was free booze (yay, free booze!) and I finally met up with Philip Ilson, director of the London Short Film Festival, with whom I’d been messaging over the past few weeks.
At 8:30pm, I attended one of the most anticipated events of the festival for me, a wide-ranging conversation with filmmaker and DJ Don Letts. Over nearly two hours, he talked about his life and his friendships and collaborations with many of the pioneering punk musicians, including The Clash. He’s a fascinating and generous man whose contributions to music and film shouldn’t be overlooked.
A couple of pints after that in the cinema bar, but conversation proved impossible due to the presence of Bristol legend DJ Krust, who was spinning an energetic and bass-heavy set.