Depict is a super-short film competition running since 1998 as part of Encounters Film Festival (September, Bristol, UK) – a key destination for new and emerging talent, Encounters spotlights short film as a vital and exciting art form, offer validation at a critical crossroad in artists’ careers, equip new talent with the support needed to take their next steps, and create a space where lifelong collaborations can be made.

Depict is about creative freedom and imagination – it doesn’t matter what your budget is or what genre you’re working in as long as you show originality and are able to connect with audiences.

The competition is open to anyone from anywhere in the world, and entry is absolutely free – but there is ONE simple rule: your film MUST be 90 seconds or less in duration.

Each year, we enlist the expertise of a panel of industry professionals to select the winners. Previous jury members have included cinematographers such as Robbie Ryan BSC, Rachel Morrison A.S.C and Annemarie Lean-Vercoe FRPS, directors Peter Jackson and Roystan Tan and industry practitioners such as Sorcha Bacon (Producer and Try Hard Films founder), Catherine Bray (Channel 4’s Random Acts), Tabitha Jackson (Channel 4, Sundance), Chris Auty (National Film and Television School) and David Sproxton (Aardman Animations). All short-listed entries are also open to the Audience Award.

The short-listed entries are also exhibited online at where from early September onwards they are open for votes towards an Audience Award.

Take a look at previous winning and shortlisted films at

Watershed managed the Depict short film competition after its creation by Brief Encounters in 1998 as a storyboarding competition from 1999 until 2022.

Awards and prizes TBC

• The duration of your film(s) must not exceed 90 seconds including titles and credits.

• Depict is open to short films of all production techniques, including animation, documentary, drama, experimental or artist film and hybrid work. We do NOT accept advertisements.

• Only films completed since January 2022 may be submitted. Whilst we do not have a premiere policy, we positively encourage entries made specifically for Depict.

• The maximum number of entries per individual is THREE.

• The primary contact completing the submission process must be authorised to submit the film(s) and must have obtained the necessary permissions for the inclusion of copyrighted music and/or images within the films.

• If the original language is not English, please ensure that the film includes English subtitles.

• If your film(s) is /are shortlisted, you will be asked to promptly send in a high-resolution version of your film for online use on, connected social media channels and screening at Encounters Film Festival (September 2023). You will also need to supply publicity stills, a synopsis and a bio.

• Please note that only the director(s) will be credited on the website and any other promotional material. In the case of shortlisted and/or winning co-directors, multiple prizes may be granted at the discretion of the organisers.

Overall Rating
  • Lovely festival and screening. Really appreciate the support and focus on microshorts with my film Best Day Ever.

    October 2023
  • It was perfect 👌 special thanks for everyone was behind the festival

    October 2023
  • After submitting many times to Encounters I finally got selected for The Depict block, which was fantastic. A really great range of live action and animation.

    October 2023
  • Wonderful festival, wonderful short films! An honour to be part of it Thank you so much! I'm really sad that I couldn't make it to see the Awards ceremony live, but I've watched it on YouTube and it was great.

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Iván, much appreciated, glad you got to catch up:)

  • Alicia Johnsen

    This was an incredible festival, especially for one that was restricted by the pandemic. The online events were plentiful, the event organizers were helpful and communicative, and the overall experience was great as both a viewer and a competitor. Highly recommended!

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the lovely feedback Alicia, glad you had a positive experience.