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About .

Aesthetica is a BAFTA and BIFA Qualifying Festival and is one of the UK’s largest and most revered events in the screen industries. We are proud to be based in York, a UNESCO City of Media Arts making waves in the booming creative sector. Our programme encompasses film, virtual reality (VR) and games, shining a light on the best in moving image and digital culture.

Our Vision

We love independent film. It is at the heart of everything that we do. Our programming is innovative and expansive, and is based around connecting audiences to the best new cinema, whilst offering opportunities to filmmakers. We believe that film is transformative, and creativity should be shared. Talent development is at the core of our mission statement, a premise aligned with equality, diversity and creativity.

What We Do

We launch filmmakers’ careers through competition and exhibition. Each year, we launch a global call for submissions, asking practitioners to send us their best work, to be part of both a physical festival and an interactive online platform. Through selecting the best work, and offering screenings all across York’s city centre, we create a unique ecosystem for anyone who loves new and independent cinema.

Innovative Programming

Beyond the competition and film screenings, we organise a stellar programme of industry masterclasses that cut to the heart of what it means to make film. Previous guests include Dame Judi Dench, Asif Kapadia, Sally Potter, Chinonye Chukwu, Maxine Peake, Rankin and Andrea Arnold as well as representatives from Aardman, BBC Films, Film4, BBC Writersroom, Industrial Light & Magic, British Vogue and more.

The Festival .

Founded in 2011, Aesthetica is an international film festival which takes place annually in York, UK, at the beginning of November. It a celebration of independent film from around the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing filmmaking. In 2024, the festival will take place in a hybrid capacity, running from 6-30 November.

Previous Editions .

Since being founded in 2011, the festival has continued to grow, welcoming some of the world’s largest directors, producers and editors, whilst expanding its BAFTA-Qualifying programme of films.