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Close encounters of the mini cinema kind

Two of our favourite Bristol things are the Encounters Short Film Festival and 20th Century Flicks, one of Britain’s few remaining proper DVD rental shops.

Well imagine our joy when we spotted that those two things are getting together!

One of the amazing stores lining the quirky 17th century Christmas Steps in Bristol, 20th Century Flicks is a film lovers’ paradise.

Who needs a Netflix subscription when you’ve got thousands of DVDs from the latest Hollywood blockbuster to the most obscure subtitled cult masterpiece.

In these days of instant, on demand, no-need-to-leave-your-sofa culture, it’s nice to have a bit of old school, face-to-face entertainment service.

What the staff don’t know about movies isn’t worth knowing!

But that’s not it; the shop also has its own cinema that you can rent!

We’ve become regulars in the 20th Century Flicks kino. Our little one has celebrated her last two birthdays there with private screenings of Jumanji and Goosebumps

Like 20th Century Flicks, the Encounters Film Festival is a celebration of the diversity of the silver screen but in its shortest form.

For the event’s 23rd year the usual venues of the Watershed and Arnolfini are being used but we’re so happy that 20th Century Flicks is also involved.

Throughout the festival, which runs from now until 24 September you can catch a selection of shorts from Bosnia and Herzegovina on a loop in the kino.

And if you’re lucky, the shop’s resident cat might pop in for a cuddle too.

Cold & damp…makes me want to cosy up in @20thcenturyflicks #bristol #rainysunday #igersbristol ☔️

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#movies #rental #cats #BRISTOL #flicks #videoshop #videoshoplife #videoshopcats

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Annual birthday visit to the amazing private cinema @20thcenturyflicks 🎥 🎥

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We highly recommend a visit to our favourite DVD shop but here are some other recommendations we’ve picked out from the programme.

Children’s Jury Award (PG), 11am, Saturday 22 September, Watershed: Cinema 1

We’re regulars at the Saturday morning family screening at Encounters and this year’s session looks like a corker.

The films have been chosen by young people for young people with the programme delivered by the students at Downend School in Bristol.

It includes South Korean animation Seesaw (pictured) about a child who wants to make a friend her own age, but it is not as easy as she thought plus French, Georgian and Swiss short Le Petit Bonhomme de Poche which tells the story of a little man who lives in an old suitcase.

Virtual reality, various sessions, Watershed

Hello play! The Future of Music by Greg BarthVR is a major feature of this year’s Encounters with several screenings.

Features include Hello play! The Future of Music, a ground-breaking 360° experience immersing viewers in a surrealist musical universe.

Masterclass with Pierre Coffin, 8.30pm, 21 September, Arnolfini

Pierre Coffin

The big guest for 2017 is Pierre Coffin, the creator and co-director of the Despicable Me film franchise.

He will discuss the origins of the Minions, the making of the films and how the fabulous characters got their crazy language.

Stuart Warren Hill presents Holotronica, 8.30pm, 22 September, Arnolfini

EPIC3 by Stuart Warren-Hill

Stuart Warren-Hill is an AV pioneer and creates 3D like you’ve never seen it before!

Using his patented screen technology, Holo-Gauze, he has created a 3D show of his own original compositions with amazing music and visuals.

Deaf shorts showcase, 4pm, 23 September, Watershed: Cinema 3

This pioneering selection of shorts features the representation of deafness not as the main form of conflict but as part of a wider narrative.

Features include British short, The Silent Child. 

Set in rural England and inspired by real life events, a profoundly deaf girl named Libby is born into a hearing family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.

It stars former Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton who is a strong advocate of raising deaf awareness and is fluent in sign language.

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