Taking place in York from the 6th November until the 10th, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival brings with it an enormous amount of creative art to the city. Boasting a collection of over 300 short films, 16 feature films, Virtual Reality and immersive experiences, masterclasses and artist screenings. There are a variety of activities to see and take part in and now in its ninth year, the festival is bigger than it has ever been. JumpCut Online will be present throughout the festival to cover the highlights.

The short film festival is organised by the Aesthetica magazine and was founded in 2011 as a celebration of independent filmmaking. The event hails new talent and technologies and is BAFTA qualifying, making it a must for new filmmakers in the industry to showcase their expertise and network. Returning to York this year sees the festival covering multiple locations throughout the historic city and offers a further look into the film development process with panel discussions, interviews and ‘meet and greats’ with the filmmakers.

There is a plethora of events each day including short films that represent multiple genres including thriller, animation, comedy, documentary drama, dance, experimental and fashion along with multiple feature length presentations. Along with the films there are insights into future technologies of film as well as immersive experiences and VR allowing a glimpse into what is coming our way within filmic technologies.

Alongside the 300 plus films available to see there are masterclass sessions lead by celebrated individuals within their fields from such established entertainment organisations as the BBC writers room, Film 4, Aardman Animation and Origin Pictures. These masterclasses offer a deep dive into many aspects of filmmaking and present the festival’s diverse venture to include all aspects of the filmmaking process and not only the end product. The ASFF also boasts the opportunity for budding story tellers and documentarians to pitch their ideas to industry professionals from some of the UK’s biggest production and distributions organisations. These sessions offer the opportunity for invaluable feedback and advice on the development of projects.

The schedule for The ASFF is full of interesting and exciting viewing and I have selected a few of the films and events I am most looking forward to seeing.

The Blackouts

Wednesday 6th November 14.30-1530

Oliwia Tonterir, Jerem Tonteri

A feature length documentary telling the story of a family that move from Finland to Warsaw in search of their roots, facing the hustle and bustle of the city with a tragic past. The film is said to present viewers characters at breaking point who all have a hole in their memories.


Showcase Screening

Film and Social Justice: Making a Difference

Thursday 14.00-1600

Taking into consideration how film can transform lives and alter perceptions as well as delivering engagements including social and political issues, a panel from York St John University discuss the impact and risks of making film around the subject of social justice.

The showcase includes 5 short films including; Rebel (Chris Healey) a documentary about the Extinction Rebellion taking place during the spring of 2019 and Keeping Mum (Rachel Conlon) a short film considering female prisoners and how their incarceration impacts their children.


Misadventures Comedy Screening

Multiple days and times throughout festival.

Misadventures features six different short comedy films offering something different for everyone for fans of the popular genre. The comedy selection is said to offer pieces dealing with relatable themes such life lessons, unexpected adventures and heartbreak. Two of the films that have me excited are, Ghosted (Duncan Roe), a mockumentary that centres around a woman turning to the paranormal following the loss of her husband and The Last Supper (Alicia MacDonald) dealing with the subject of PR that Jesus had to consider, including book deals, resurrection and increasing followers.



The Pillars of Production: Ensuring Success

Thursday 7th November 12.30-13.30

Emmy and BAFTA winning producer David Thompson was the founding head of BBC Films and started his own company in 2007 named Origin Pictures. His various credits include Billy Elliot and Brideshead Revisited and at the event he discusses the timeline of the production process and how to transform a vision into on screen reality.