About

DepicT! is Watershed’s international short film competition that, since its creation by Brief Encounters in 1998, has been challenging filmmakers to create 90 second ultra-short masterpieces. The focus is on uncovering emerging international filmmaking talent, which shows originality, imagination and the ability to engage in just a minute and a half.

Much has changed in the worlds of short and animated film-making in the past 20 years – digital has transformed the industry, short-film debutants have become major directors – but this festival has remained Britain’s premier destination for both.
Steve Rose, The Guardian on Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival 2014

Depict Jury 2015

Depict Jury 2015

The shortlisted DepicT! filmmakers, often in that crucial early stage in their career, are invited to the Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival and offered a prime industry platform. A gateway to the world’s most prestigious awards: The Oscars®, BAFTAs, European Film Awards and Cartoon d’Or, the festival is a priceless opportunity for filmmakers to promote their work and make contact with a broad range of international industry professionals from distributors and producers to funding bodies and exhibitors, as well as other filmmakers and, of course, enthusiastic short film fans.

Can’t spell DepicT! without epic. Fantastic way to spend 90 seconds.
Cinematographer Robbie Ryan, BSC, DepicT! 2014 Jury

All the shortlisted DepicT! films are screened at the extremely popular (and consistently sold out) DepicT! showcase, where the winners are announced in front of the audience. Winning films have regularly gone on to be screened at other international film festivals and cinemas across the UK and regularly get picked up by commercial distributors while many of the DepicT! filmmakers have gone on to carve themselves successful creative careers in the film industry and beyond.

Even when Encounters has wrapped up and the prizes have been collected DepicT! films continue to enjoy a life of their own through the DepicT! online archive. We’re proud of our rich history of films and talent at DepicT! and work hard to make sure your films are watched by films fans from Lithuania to Detroit, Glasgow to Geneva, for years to come.

Presented by

  • Watershed
    Embedded in Bristol’s creative ecology Watershed invites people of all backgrounds and abilities to engage with our cross-artform programme and seeks to generate exemplary cultural experiences and maximise the talent and creativity of everyone it works with.
  • Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival
    Encounters Bristol International Film Festival presents a major celebration and leading competitive showcase of short film from around the globe. A unique forum for emerging talent and established industry alike designed to nurture creativity and innovation.

Sponsored by:

  • Royal Photographic Society
    The Royal Photographic Society has a rich and diverse heritage. Through our distinctions, workshops, lectures, exhibitions and funding opportunities we bring an international, creative community together with one aim – to promote the art and science of photography and image making. Membership is open to everyone throughout the world, be they amateur or professional, artist or scientist. rps.org
  • Channel 4
    Random Acts is home to the world’s most innovative and creative short form content. This exciting partnership between Channel 4 and Arts Council England has created a strand that showcases original short form creative content from artists from a multitude of different practices. From visual arts, performance, music, animation, spoken word or an amalgamation of the above, we show work from as diverse a range of creative people as we can find from across the UK and beyond, giving breaks to new talents and premiering work by established creatives as well.
  • Aardman Animations
    Based in Bristol, UK, Aardman Animations was founded in 1972 by David Sproxton and Peter Lord. From legendary clay character Morph and the Oscar(R) winning Creature Comforts, to favourites Wallace and Gromit, Aardman’s imagination and innovation have made it the world’s leading model animation studio.

Supported by:


  • BAFTA – The British Academy of Film and Television Arts supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image, by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. To learn more sign up to our newsletter at bafta.org. BAFTA is delighted to be able to support new British talent with the DepicT! ‘10 British Special Mention Award.
  • The National Film and Television School is the UK’s national centre of excellence for education in film and television programme making. The NFTS has turned out numerous world-class, award-winning film and television programme makers in its 37 years and its reputation extends worldwide.
  • A catalyst for change, growth and innovation, Shooting People helps members get their films made and find the audiences they deserve through a community of filmmakers, sharing resources, skills and experience.

Promoted by:


  • The British Council Film Department promotes contemporary and innovative UK film to audiences around the world, and collaborates with artists and other cultural organisations to build skills, capacity and cultural awareness, create access to audiences and markets, and promote international partnership and creative exchange.
  • Films@59
    Films@59 provides award winning pre- and post-production services worldwide and have always been actively involved in the promotion of new talent through festivals such as Encounters and Cannes. Its sponsorship of DepicT! continues that commitment to nurturing innovation and bringing fresh creative blood into the industry.

  • Established in July 2003, the Independent Cinema Office is a national organisation that aims to develop and support independent film exhibition throughout the UK. The ICO works in association with independent cinemas, film festivals, film societies and the regional and national screen agencies.