Last week saw the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival open its many doors to thousands of filmmakers, industry and audiences for its 5th edition. Each year since 2011 the programme has expanded and offered more opportunities for networking, sharing best practice, building new collaborations and experiencing varied cinematic choice in partnership with major film organisations and other supporters.
2015 is by far the biggest line-up yet, screening 375 films across 15 venues within the historic city centre of York. There were also over 35 masterclasses and special events. York St John University, the festival’s main sponsor, hosted the majority of masterclasses, welcoming record label Beggars Group (Rough Trade) back by popular demand, as well as representatives from Channel 4, Ridley Scott Associates and British Society of Cinematographers.
ASFF also partnered with the National Railway Museum to show rare archive footage before and after the 5th Anniversary Panel and Showcase. This event welcomed back previous ASFF winners for a screening followed by film discussion. This included Coda by Alan Holly, which won Best Animation in 2014 and was selected as the overall Festival Winner.
Joining forces with Creative England, ASFF presented a premiere of its iShorts films. Part of the BFI.NET.WORK, iShorts is Creative England’s entry level short film initiative. Supporting filmmakers outside London whose work has not yet attracted financial backing, iShorts helps a diverse group of talents to take their first steps. A fresh party of filmmakers showed and discussed their work at Bootham School.
For the first time, ASFF presented a Videotheque to enable festival goers to delve into the Official Selection plus special line-ups in one location, and revisit a film that they missed screening at the festival. This was a popular edition to the festival, located at the newly refurbished city centre library, Explore York.
In keeping with the pioneering approach of the festival and its continued commitment to showcasing the breadth and diversity of the short film industry, ASFF 2015 also presented an outstanding line-up of fashion films and a wide array of masterclasses on fashion and branded content, in partnership with Creative Skillset.
Returning for the second year at ASFF, the Fashion Film Strand includes 24 films by top brands, featuring Pinch Me for Ted Baker by Crowns and Owls (White Lodge), One Day by Mototake Makishima celebrating Toogood’s Collection 002 at Selfridges, and River Island x Jean Pierre Braganza by DVEIN (White Lodge).
ASFF 2015 partners also include BFI, City of York Council, York Science Park, University of Arts London, Grand Central, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and York Museums Trust. To see all partners, visit www.asff.co.uk/partners