Talent Recognition

We’re into our final month of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival call for entries. With the 2017 deadline approaching, we reflect on the wonderful prizes that you could win by entering the festival, as well as some of our previous winners. This year’s festival will run from 8 to 12 November in venues across the historic city of York. As a BAFTA qualifying festival, ASFF is an excellent platform for emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their work, as well as making them eligible for BAFTA nomination. If you’re a dynamic, creative individual who is pushing the boundaries of short film forward, we want to hear from you.

The Prizes:

1. Each year we select an overall Festival Winner from across our Best Film in each film category winners. These are chosen from across the festival’s Official Selection, and is not genre-exclusive. The Festival Winner will receive additional exposure from ASFF online and editorial coverage in Aesthetica, as well as £1,000 prize money and future screenings at festivals across the country. In 2016, the award was won by documentary Irregulars by Fabio Palmieri; in 2015 it was awarded to Petros Silvestros for his thriller, A Confession; and in 2014, Alan Holly’s animation Coda gained the spotlight.

2. Best Film is awarded to the leading piece from each of the festival’s 11 categories: advertising, animation, artists’ film, comedy, dance, documentary, drama, experimental, fashion, music video and thriller. These prizes recognise the talent and creativity of filmmakers working within each category, who are also challenging genre boundaries and merging with other artistic models. The winners are revealed at our special Awards Ceremony and receive coverage online and in Aesthetica magazine. Last year, Robo-Trumble by John Wright won the advertising category; Lay Me Low by Marlene Millar was our dance winner; and Breaking Rules from Victor Claramunt became our latest fashion winner.

3. Here at ASFF, our audiences’ opinions really matter. That’s why we have an annual People’s Choice award. This prize is voted for throughout the festival run via ballot boxes located at screening venues throughout the city. As the event draws to a close, we count up the results and reveal the winner at the Closing Night. Recipients hail from all areas of the ASFF Official Selection programme. In 2016, the prize went to Dust & Resin by Stephen Parker, Manor Hill Productions & Chrome Productions.

4. New in 2016, the Northern Film School Award for Best Screenplay returns this year. Sponsored by the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University, the prize recognises outstanding talent and supports future career development by awarding the winner £1,000. All films in the 2017 Official Selection will be eligible for this exciting accolade. Short film Rhonna & Donna by Daina O. Pusic, Creative England / Dan Films, was selected by an expert jury in the prize’s inaugural year.

5. Part of the York Youth Programme, a project designed to show the best of short film to young people aged 11-14, ASFF invites young festival-goers to nominate their favourite film for the York Youth Vote Award. The winner in 2016 was Litterbugs directed by Peter Stanley-Ward and funded by the emerging talent fund from Creative England. The film was shot in Pinewood Studios with VFX completed in-house at their studio in Bournemouth, and with the help of Arts University Bournemouth.

Alongside these prizes, films in the Official Selection will receive opportunities for further exposure through Aesthetica and its online channels, as well as screenings at ASFF in November and other festivals, as part of our nationwide tour, later in the year. Previous winners have gone on to achieve further award success, including wins at the Oscars (Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary, in 2016) and BAFTAs (The Bigger Picture, Daisy Jacobs, in 2015).

Films with running times up to 30 minutes are accepted. Deadline: 31 May.

For full entry guidelines and to submit, visit: www.asff.co.uk/submit

1. Fabio Palmieri (NotWorkingFilms), Irregulars.