Liz Harkman is the managing director of the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival which returns to Bristol next week, featuring six days of unparalleled filmic delights, this year once again predominantly taking place at Watershed and Arnolfini, with a cine-sauna at The Parlour Showrooms on College Green and one-off special events at the Big Top @ Creative Common.
Here is Liz’s Bristol top-five:
The Victoria Park, recently refurbished and is now one of the best pubs in the Windmill Hill/Totterdown area. It has a great selection of food, amazing deserts and a wood-fired pizza oven. There is also a recent addition of a table tennis table in the generously-sized garden. They do a quiz on Tuesday nights every other week and an open mic night occasionally.
My favourite route to run is through Victoria Park to the banana bridge, towards the harbourside, around the Floating Harbour to Cumberland Basin passing the Amphitheatre, Grain Barge and Pump House, then down the chocolate path and back up Nelson Parade to Windmill Hill. Passing by a lot of Bristol’s iconic vistas and buildings, this route never fails to remind me why I love this city.
I may be biased but it has to be Watershed – not only because it is this the main venue of the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival but because they show great films, serve cheap but interesting food, have the best nachos ever, and the staff are always friendly and charming.
My favourite place to drink depends on the night but barely an evening on the town goes by without a stop in No. 1 Harbourside. The atmosphere is great, especially given its location on ‘rat run’ of late bars. Another favourite would have to be Milk Thistle, although this is a more planned affair with a phone call made prior to arrival to pre-empt the ghastly possibility of being turned away at the door.
www.no1harbourside.co.uk & www.milkthistlebristol.com
Of course I’m going to say Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival for its breadth of programming, international reach, friendly staff and accessibility for all ages and audience tastes. However, if I were not allowed to choose that I would go for See No Evil. The recent event surpassed its debut and the transformation of Nelson Street from drab concrete jungle to living piece of art is a huge achievement.
www.encounters-festival.org.uk & www.seenoevilbristol.co.uk