ASFF 2020: 10 Must-Attend Masterclasses

The 10th edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival boasts a stellar array of film industry professionals in conversation. Below are 10 must-attend masterclasses taking place at this year’s ASFF:

Dance on Screen: Stories Through Choreography
The way we move our bodies says so much about our emotions. We tell stories through gesture, without a single word being spoken. Dance is a boundless form of expression and its use on-screen allows choreographers and filmmakers to transform spaces and reinterpret traditional storytelling. Renowned choreographers and screen-dance practitioners Alexander Whitley, Omari Carter and Shobana Jeyasingh look at film as an extension of the stage.

Date & Time: 3 November | 16:00   

Inspirational Cinema: A Commissioner’s Guide
BBC Films produces innovative feature films with acclaimed credits that include Billy Elliot, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Philomena and Stan and Ollie. Development Executive, Dionne Farrell, discusses the process of sourcing and securing projects whilst supporting visionary talent along the way. Farrell closely examines what really constitutes a stand-out idea, offering valuable and practical advice on developing and pitching a project to commissioning team.

Date & Time: 4 November | 12:00   

Primetime Presents: Sarah Gavron in Conversation
Sarah Gavron is a BAFTA-winning filmmaker whose credits include This Little Life, Brick Lane, Suffragette and Rocks written by Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson and made collaboratively with cast and crew. In this spotlight, hosted by Primetime, Gavron speaks about her motivations and inspirations and her progression from short film to TV and features. She also reviews the necessity for a more equally representative film industry, on-screen and behind the lens.

Date & Time: 4 November | 19:00   

Short Film On Demand: Curating Exceptional Cinema
It’s never been easier for independent creators to engage with audiences and to showcase their work online, thanks to the rise of Cinema On Demand. MarBelle (Directors Notes), Rob Munday (Short of the Week), Lyndy Stout (1.4) and Shelley Jones (NOWNESS) discuss the internet as an integral platform for new voices looking to develop their craft. They also discuss the process of curating, exhibiting and supporting outstanding filmmaking talent.

Date & Time: 5 November | 12:00 

Disclosure: Sam Feder in Conversation
Sam Feder is an award-winning filmmaker whose work investigates the intersections of race, class, equality and gender. Feder’s projects include Boy I Am, Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger, and the Netflix Original film DISCLOSURE (Sundance 2020), which chronicles the troubling history of Hollywood’s distorted portrayals of trans people in film and TV. In conversation, Feder reflects on their practice and the importance of informed representation.

Date & Time: 5 November | 17:00   

Equality In Focus: Redressing the Balance
The world has finally woken up to the urgent need to tackle inequality. Film and TV practitioners are integral to supporting and creating an industry that is representative of society as a whole. Digital Orchard Foundation hosts a panel of leading Heads of Departments to take a close look at their experience of unconscious bias. This session includes personal responses to industry shifts, and insights as to what should be done next moving forward.

Date & Time: 6 November | 13:00   

The Forefront of Innovation: Virtual Production
DNEG is one of the world’s leading VFX and animation companies, working on renowned productions such as Captain Marvel and Tenet. DNEG is also leading the way in virtual production, delivering cutting-edge technology that allows creatives to completely rethink the way they make films. Creative Director and double Oscar-winning VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin (Interstellar, Inception) tells attendees about revolutionary virtual production workflow.

Date & Time: 6 November | 17:00   

The Legacy of Cinema: An Industry Post-pandemic
The effects of Covid-19 have been felt, and are still being felt, on a global scale. Economies came to a standstill as the world anxiously looked on. The film industry is no exception to the crisis. Exhibitor Jason Wood (HOME), Journalist Simran Hans, Filmmaker Jeanie Finlay (Seahorse) and Curator Anthony Andrews (We Are Parable) discuss the effects of the pandemic on cinema, and ask what steps will need to be taken to reboot and reassess the entire industry.

Date & Time: 6 November | 17:30   

Iconic Cinema: Andrea Arnold in Conversation
Andrea Arnold is one of the most celebrated filmmakers of the last decade. Her credits include the Oscar-winning short Wasp and the features Red Road, Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights and American Honey. Chaired by Producer Mia Bays, Founder of Birds Eye View, Arnold offers a retrospective of her career, looking at inspirations and shedding light on the recurring narratives and themes that can be found across her work, honing in on the importance of style.

Date & Time: 6 November | 19:00   

Birds Eye View Presents: Josephine Decker In Conversation
Josephine Decker is an actor, performance artist and a leading voice in independent filmmaking. Her works for the screen include the features Butter on the Latch, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, Madeline’s Madeline and Shirley – starring celebrated actress Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) as writer Shirley Jackson. Speaking with Mia Bays, Director of Birds Eye View, Decker shares insights into her style of filmmaking, reinterpreting storytelling for the big screen.

Date & Time: 6 November | 19:30

1. Still from Andrea Arnold’s American Honey.
2. Still from We Need to Talk About Kevin.
3. Still from Inception.
Still from Butter on the Latch.