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Encounters 08 Awards Announced

The Encounters Short Film Festival announced Saturday the winners of its 14th annual international competition to find the world's best new live action or animated films of under 30 minutes length.

At a gala ceremony -- held before a capacity audience -- the five-month long judging process, with the submission of 1,183 entries from 63 countries, reached its finale with presentations of the festival's principal prizes.

International Jury Award, for the best entry overall

DENNISDirected by: Mads Matthiesen (Denmark, live action, 18 mins)

Danish filmmaker Mads Matthiesen receives 3,000 pounds and the festival's top prize with DENNIS, a film about a son trying to break away from his possessive mother, and a fragile teenage mind trapped inside the body of macho man.

Best of British Award, for the best U.K. entry

SEPTEMBERDirected by: Esther May Campbell (U.K., live action, 21 mins)

Bristol-based filmmaker Esther May Campbell delivers on the promise that has already seen her tipped by the U.K. Film Council as a Star of Tomorrow by clinching the 1,000 pounds prize for best British entry with an atmospheric story, shot where motorways speed through ancient countryside, near Severn Bridge, about a meeting between a young no-hoper and a girl who is learning to fly.

ITV West Award, for the best entry from SW England and South West Screen Audience Award, chosen by festival attendees

LEAVINGDirected by: Richard Penfold and Sam Hearn (U.K., live action, 22 mins)

Bristol-based Richard Penfold and Sam Hearn's powerful drama about domestic violence adds to its triumph in the Turner Classic Movies channel's short film contest by winning both the 1,000 pound ITV West award, for the best festival entry to be made in the South West, and the 1,000 pound South West Screen award as the festival audience's favorite South West entry.

Children's Jury Award, chosen by children from the Bristol area

OFFICE NOISEDirected by Mads Johansen, Torben Sottrup, Karsten Madsen and Laeke Enemark(Denmark, animation, 3 ms 45 secs)

Denmark achieves its second success of the ceremony when OFFICE NOISE, revealing how tensions rise when a tidy rooster meets a clumsy elephant, is judged this year's best film for children by voters aged 8-14 from the Bristol area.

Depict! Awards, for the best entry of 90 seconds or less

ENOUGH (Jury prize)Directed by Tor Kristoffersen (U.K., live action, 90 secs)

BREAKING THE MOULD (Online audience)Directed by: Rebecca Manley and Luca Paulli (U.K., animation, 90 secs)

WHAT'S VIRGIN MEAN? (NFTS award)Directed by: Michael Davies (U.K., live action, 90 secs)

Watershed and Encounters' 10th annual Depict! competition, for the best micro-movie, gives prizes to three winners this year. Tor Kristoffersen gets the Jury prize with a troubling tragedy about teenage drinking; the Online Audience prize goes to Rebecca Manley and Luca Paulli for their animated circle of life story, with original music, about a windfall apple on a colorful journey, and National Film and Television School's Special Mention prize goes to Bristol-based Michael Davies for his comic view of what happens when a small girl asks her mum a big question. To view the winning films in full, visit: www.depict.org.

4Mations International Newcomer Award, for new animation talent

OUR WONDERFUL NATUREDirected by Tomar Eshed (Germany, animation, 5 mins)

Tomar Eshed of Germany wins 2,500 pounds as the best newcomer to animation with a nature "documentary" that takes a very different view of water shrew mating behavior than, say, Sir David Attenborough and the BBC's Natural History Unit.

NAHEMI/Kodak Prize For Creative Filmmaking, for the best student film

STAND UPDirected by Joseph Pierce (U.K., 6 mins 50 secs)

The NAHEMI/Kodak prize for the best film by a student goes to Joseph Pierce of the National Film and Television School and his dark comedy about a stand-up comic, the truth behind his laugh lines and an unforgiving audience.

Kodak/NAHEMI Cinematography Award, for student cinematography

ISLAND TO ISLADirected by: Jem Garrard (U.K., 12 mins 49 secs)

The Kodak/NAHEMI award, for the best cinematography in a student film, goes to the camerawork on the film by UCCA Farnham student, Jem Garrard, about a Scottish island postman who rows to the mainland every day to collect letters.

Cartoon d'Or Nomination

The festival's animation jury also nominated the following films for European's chief animation prize, the Cartoon d'Or:

SKHIZIEN, by Jeremy Clapin, 13 mins, FranceVARMINTS, by Mark Craste, 24 mins, U.K.THIS IS JO3, by Once Were Farmers, 3 mins, Scotland

Encounters 2008 ended on Sunday, November 23 with a day-long program of compilation screenings providing a final chance to enjoy this year's top entries. For more details, see: www.enounters-festival.org.uk.

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