Celebrating 4 Years of Overall Winners at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival

In 2015 the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival turns five! Since its inception in 2011, the festival has championed short film by international filmmakers working in a diverse range of genres from animation and artists’ film to comedy, documentary and drama. With the addition of experimental and music video, and more recently fashion and advertising, ASFF will be widening its scope to include its first ever dance strand. A recognition of independent film from across the world and an outlet for supporting short filmmaking, ASFF has established itself as one of the UK’s most exciting site-specific events.

To celebrate the festival’s upcoming fifth edition, which will take place in 15 iconic venues across the city of York from 5-8 November, and its current call for entries, we reflect on ASFF’s outstanding Overall Festival Winners from 2011 to 2014. Previous winners include filmmakers working in the categories of animation, documentary and drama.

Coda (Best Animation / Overall Festival Winner 2014)
Alan Holly, and maps and plans
Coda offers an outstanding fusion of fluid animation and captivating film scoring for young and older generations alike. The animation tells the story of a lost and drunken soul’s encounter with the character Death, who finds him and shows him many things. Filled with an emotive awareness of collective existence, Coda is a hand-drawn animation directed by Alan Holly and voiced by Brian Gleeson and Orla Fitzgerald.

Out Of Darkness (Best Drama / Overall Festival Winner 2013)
Manjinder Virk, Mango Films
Out of Darkness directed by Manjinder Virk is the unique story of an aid worker’s experience of death, told through nine different voices. This mesmerising short drama examines the haunting of a conscience by lost souls that won’t let go. The film sees excellent performances by Tom Hiddleston and Riz Ahmed.

The Sugar Bowl (Best Documentary / Overall Festival Winner 2012)
Shasha Nakhai/RIchard Williamson, Squire Entertainment
A chorus of eccentric and endearing characters takes us through the rise and fall of an island in the Philippines and its historic sugarcane industry. The documentary’s use of stunning images paints a portrait of a charming place struggling with its past and trying to move into the future.

River Dog (Best Documentary / Overall Festival Winner 2011)
James Muir/Daniel Hunter, Mangakuri Pictures
In the remote New Zealand countryside the underbelly of a farming community continues to pollute the water and destroy the last remaining natural values of the Pahaoa River. Yet, not all is lost. One farmer and his team of dogs challenge the status quo, battling against all odds to keep the river clean, protect the wildlife and to simply survive in this isolated and lawless land.

ASFF 2015 is open for entry. To find out more, visit www.asff.co.uk/submit

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1. Alan Holly’s Coda (2014).