ASFF 2017 Programming Team

Find out more about the industry professionals who selected the ASFF Official Selection 2017.

Abbe Robinson


Abbe is a multi-award winning filmmaker. She has worked as an assistant director for over 15 years and has been commissioned twice as a Writer/Director by the UK Film Council and Screen Yorkshire. Her short film Private Life played at over 150 film festivals worldwide, winning 21 awards and her recent film La Ragazza e la Gondola is currently on the festival circuit. Abbe has been a programmer for numerous festivals.

Alex Tobin

Artist and Programmer

Alex is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates elements of animation, programming, performance and music. He studied in Edinburgh and Kyoto, and has previously exhibited and performed across Scotland at multiple venues including Summerhall, Tramway and the Centre for Contemporary Art. A former co-editor at the Dundee-based arts collective Yuck ’n Yum, he now works at Aesthetica Magazine.

Cherie Federico

Editor, Aesthetica Magazine

Cherie is the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine and the Director of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF). Originally from New York, Cherie moved to the UK in 2002 to study for her Masters degree and founded Aesthetica, which she has developed into an international brand distributed in 525 stores in the UK and exported to 20 countries. Interested in visual culture, setting up ASFF has been a career highlight.

Dale Donley

Production Director, Aesthetica

Dale is the Production Director and co-founder of Aesthetica Magazine and ASFF. He spent his early career working as an artist and then moved into graphic design. He is passionate about film and animation in particular. He loves to see animators pushing the boundaries of their craft to create something entirely new. He believes in strong aesthetics and powerful narratives that create a unique experience for the audience.

Emma Parker

Marketing and Events Programmer

Emma is passionate about film festivals and documentary. She spent 2016 and 2017 as interim Marketing Manager at City Screen Picturehouse in York. Prior to working at Picturehouse Emma was Assistant Producer at DocHouse, the UK’s first cinema dedicated to documentary. Emma has produced events at The Great Yorkshire Fringe in collaboration with Cinem@, and worked as Venue Manager at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Jess Loveland

Blinder Films

Jess is the Development and Production Executive at Creative England, based in their Sheffield office. Jess manages Creative England’s short film initiative iShorts, which is now in its third year and aimed at new filmmaking talent based in the English regions outside of Greater London. Jess also works across the company’s Emerging Talent short film and feature development initiatives.

Rob Speranza

Producer and Director

Rob is a producer, director and line producer from New York who currently resides in the UK. His feature film credits include Arthur and Merlin, Entity, Inbred and Small Creatures (nominated for Best Film at EIFF 2013) alongside 15 short films. He has enjoyed screenings and awards at hundreds of festivals globally and has won over 60 awards for his work. Rob holds an MA and a PhD in film studies from the University of Sheffield.

Sophie Brown

Programmer Adviser and Writer

Sophie is a programmer adviser for BFI London Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest. She has written for publications including Dazed and Confused, Sight & Sound and Aesthetica, and coordinates for Scalarama, a nationwide celebration of cinema. She also curates Bijou Electric Empire Forever, a film strand focusing on lost treasures, underground voices, alienated perspectives and rebels in cinema.