Film Library 2020

Aesthetica is dedicated to showcasing the best in independent cinema. As part of the open submission process, we welcome filmmakers from around the world to share their stories with one of the UK’s largest film audiences.

The 2020 Official Selection comprised our most expansive and diverse programme to date, spanning 12 categories of short film as well as 360, Narrative and Documentary features that reflect on the world around us.

Explore a selection of featured works through our 2020 film library. Whether you’re interested in laugh out loud comedies, animated adventures, chilling thrillers or captivating documentaries, there is something for everyone.


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Anthropologie

Dir. Emma Tempest
Anthropologie is a destination for the creative, worldly woman. Emma Tempest shoots a fashion film for its latest seasonal campaign. Playful and musical, these clothes are about fun.

Eyes Say More Than Words

Dir. Dean Alexander
Featuring the fashion eyewear of Georgetown Optician, viewers are taken into a world of silence, where eyes do the talking and quiet is zealously guarded. Set in the quietest library on Earth.

Let Love Live On

Dir. Daniel Stankler
A playful animated short for UK-based charity Live Life Give Life. Let’s talk about organ donation so that our loved ones know our choices and can honour them after we’ve gone.

Pump it Up

Dir. Roni Shao
Celebrating Reebok’s first international PUMP DAY. Rip-roaring and energetic, this film is for the brave – for the taste makers, the rule breakers and the risk takers. Pump it up with Reebok!

Sharpen Your Focus

Dir. Georgia Tribuiani
The art of style and fashion is all about the most minute details. Returning to his starring role, Henry Cavill steps in front of the lens for a new film, wearing the latest BOSS eyewear collection.

The Dreamer

Dir. Robert dos Santos
Driving through the incredible Lesotho mountains in Southern Africa, our character, spurred on by the beauty of the car he is driving, imagines himself to be a powerful and fearful African warrior.


Animation

Apart

Dir. Diana Cam Van Nguyen
This short film is about life after the loss of a loved one. It deals with this difficult topic using both live-action and animated film. Real experiences are combined with reconstructions.

Losing Pace

Dir. Naomi Soneye-Thomas
A young black man is on a trajectory towards major success, when an encounter with the police jeopardises everything in his life. Losing Pace is a heartbreaking and relevant animation.

Shopping Trip

Dir. Barry Wilkinson
Set during an exaggerated lockdown, one man sets off walking to the shops alone in the dark of night. Shopping Trip is a dark and isolated short that examines and accentuates the “new normal.”

The Last Flight

Dir. Ander Alencar
They say that when you’re about to die, a film plays in your head. Maybe it is the desire to revive the moments we have experienced. Maybe it is the desire to feel a little more of what we lived through.


Artists’ Film

A Room for Living

Dir. Ana Husman
A living room. This Artists’ Film examines part of the home that is on public display. Using measurable architectural elements, the living room is continuously constructed and reconstructed.

Eyelash

Dir. Jesse Lewis-Reece
The film is an adaptation of spoken word poet Neil Hilborn’s beloved poem OCD. The film considers the nuances of mental healths, navigating “him” and “her” though a specific lens.

Heartbeat of Squirrels

Dir. Stacy Cochran
Heartbeat of Squirrels is a short rumination, featuring sleight of hand and a live action melody. Inspired by an academic text about the role that strangers play in late 19th century novels.

Paradiso

Dir. Jan Vrhovnik
A provincial Calabrian lets us into his humble world, eager to prove just how rich a modest existence can truly be. He grapples to make sense of life, from the macro to the micro.

Singularity

Dir. Yiannis Biliris
As we approach the singularity, machine learning algorithms learn from our data with exponential speed. A short experimental film that attempts to visualise the POV of a future AI robot.

To A Broken Image

Dir. Mikaela Guariniello
Para Una Imagen Rota represents the many specific pressures that women face in order to meet beauty standards in today’s extreme society. Unachievable self-expectations are personified.

WATA

Dir. Joy Yamusangie and Ronan Mckenzie
Joy Yamusangie and Ronan Mckenzie present their debut collaboration, WATA. An exploration of the colour blue and its connotations – the lengthy journey of music from Africa to London.


Comedy

ASMR for White Liberals

Dir. John Connor Hammond
Liberal? White? Guilty as hell? Let ASMR for White Liberals help you get through those tough, tough times! This new technology is taking the world by storm, and this one is for you.

Barbara

Dir. Wibout Warnaar
A man introduces his new girlfriend to his family, but the evening takes an unexpected turn, and, ultimately, he will have to rethink his relationship with Barbara for the future.

Breakdown

Dir. Dominic O’Riordan
When a man’s car breaks down, salvation doesn’t quite come in the form he was hoping for. This breakdown is like no other, and this will surely be a day to remember for this unfortunate man.

Dad Joke

Dir. David Abramsky
A disabled comedian performs a make-or-break gig on the night his first child is born. David Abramsky’s Dad Joke teeters on the brink between fame and fatherhood. What’s to come next?

The Cocaine Famine

Dir. Sam McMullen
Two Irish drug dealers imprison a cockney rival in a shed. Things don’t look good for the prisoner from London. Especially since the vengeful Jacko has a mighty bone to pick with the Englishman.


Dance

Divided We Scroll

Dir. Klaas Diersmann
Technology is rewiring our brains, changing not only our physical movements but the way we process our inner thoughts. Divided We Scroll is an eerie depiction of the way we interact with phones.

FILTERFACE – Double Tap To Like

Dir. Will & Carly
A satirical piece that looks at the relationship young people have with social media and the problems it causes. How far are they willing go to secure one more “like”?

Hong Kong Ballet: Never Stand Still

Dir. Dean Alexander
Produced for Hong Kong Ballet’s 40th anniversary. What happens when we break the mould of ballet and open it to everyone? Inspired by the colour palette of Hong Kong architecture.

Physical Thoughts

Dir. Anne Hollowday
A dancer’s body is their whole life. It is the sum total of their history. It’s the medium through which they make a living and their method of expression. What happens when it’s injured?

Under the Waterfall – The Avener

Dir. Sebastion Caudron
Explosive passion between two lovers –punctuated by an elegant choreography in the streets of Paris, where buildings are changing into real waterfalls. An emotive, fluid and figurative short.

You Boy – Arigato MassaÏ

Dir. Juliette Labrousse, Sonia Guitz
A disappointed boy walks through his suburban residence. However, alone in his room, he creates another reality in which his dreams, fantasies and fears mingle. Dance is truly transformative.


Documentary

A Sonic Pulse

Dir. Dorothy Allen-Pickard
A Sonic Pulse explores deaf people’s experiences of electronic music from a visceral, communal and scientific perspective. Hear the world another way through this immersive and innovative doc.

Faces

Dir. Patrick Taylor
Faces is a short documentary in which several young people discuss the joys and challenges of being mixed race, whilst also being set against visuals of an interracial couple.

Invasion

Dir. Michael Toledano, Sam Vinal
Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. Invasion is about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who are standing up to the government.

S.E.N?

Dir. Alfie Barker
The current education system doesn’t work for everyone. Debris Stevenson shares her experience of being at school, where she was labelled as someone with dyslexia – as a failure.

Somalinimo

Dir. Alice Aedy
Four British-Somalians navigate being black, female and Muslim at one of Britain’s most traditional institutions: Cambridge University. Somalinimo explores what it means to belong.

ZEF

Dir. Jessica Barclay Lawton
Environmentalist, non-binary skimpy bar worker, and free spirit. Meet Zef – a 21-year-old on a mission to discover the truth in and amongst the noise. A snapshot of humanity’s desire for intimacy.


Drama

22. Anna Matthews

Dir. Ben Hector
During an audition for a TV commercial, the actress in question struggles to control her emotions and feelings. Instead she lets them pour out of her and fill up the character she’s supposed to be playing.

I Was Still There When You Left Me

Dir. Marie McCourt
A little girl is saved from a fire by her young neighbour. They take shelter in an apartment from where they see their tower burning. I Was Still There When You Left Me is a powerful short drama.

Judas

Dir. Adam Palmer
Two opposing gangs. Two individuals from either side of the dispute. In Judas, watch as they come together and share a moment during a seemingly innocent game of basketball.

Mandem

Dir. John Ogunmuyiwa
A job is just a job, but as with anything, time flies when you’re doing it with your best friend. And today’s no different. We follow Ty & Malcolm as they go about their daily routine.

Sauce

Dir. Daniel Daniel
At a takeaway drive-thru, a couple discusses what they want. What they would like from the menu and from each other. A conversation about food turns into something altogether different.


Experimental

Dear Hearing World

Dir. Adam Docker
Dear Hearing World is a short film directed by Adam Docker, based on a poem written and spoken by deaf spoken-word artist Raymond Antrobus. It is a very thought-provoking performance.

Dont Know What

Dir. Thomas Renoldner
A film that returns to the original impulses of cinema – that of creating both magic and humour. Dont Know What questions the traditional rules of genre by utilising elements of the avant garde.


Family Friendly

Chums

Dir. Olivia Perkins
Mack craves attention and just wants to be loved, but is constantly brushed aside by her Mom. Left unsupervised in an aquarium, she begins to follow a tiger shark to the top of his tank.

Crunch

Dir. Liukaidi Peng
Crunch is a sci-fi comedy 3D animation. The story starts with a guy named Bob who has just started working in the space agency. When watching the spaceship launching, Bob is hit by lightning.


Fashion

A Red Sock’s Tale

Dir. Carlos Velasco
There’s a solitary red sock floating in the sea. Has it ever had a partner? Does it belong to a pair? Maybe his owner only wears one sock, or was there one lost along the way? Find out in this short.

Behind the Curtain

Dir. The Blink Fish
Shot to celebrate Milan Fashion Week AW20/21, Behind the Curtain reveals backstage secrets in one long take. Choreography by Laccio takes us through all the preparations of a catwalk.

Elari’s Wake

Dir. EMMA TEMPEST
Delicate shimmers of gold. Ripples of water. Bubbles moving fluidly to the surface. An ethereal water series shot alongside model Vivien Solari. Produced exclusively for Vogue Italia.

Exhale

Dir. Igor Stekolenko
Our heroine has been caught in the wasteland, in conditions that are unsuitable and disturbing. Her fearless determination turns a crisis situation into a positive, until she’s no longer alone.

I, Unfolded

Dir. Phoebe Guo
Francesca Woodman once stated: “You cannot see me from where I look at myself.” I, Unfolded develops the ideas of identity and personality as it extends and unfolds through all its nuances.

In a Past Life

Dir. Carlos Velasco
In a past life I see myself running to a woman up the green grassy hill. I know she is my wife. She looks sad. We live in a little wooden house. In a past life I am back in that home.

In Between Spaces – Chapter 2

Dir. Jenny Gand
After Agent One failed in Chapter One, someone new is enlisted to complete the mission at hand. Chapter Two is shot in Vienna against the backdrop of fascinating 1970s architecture.

La Mer

Dir. Victor Claramunt
Across the world, we’re not fully cognisant of how much plastic we’re using. Four children, from the ages of 6 to 11, tell us exactly what we’re doing to our oceans and how to #gobeyondplastic.

Plum Flower Fist

Dir. Emma Tempest
Inspired by the techniques of traditional martial arts including Wing Chung, Southern Praying Mantis, Tai Chi Chung and Jeet Kune Do. A blend of hard and soft in eastern philosophies.


Music Video

Adventure – Monster Rally

Dir. Zak Marx
Adventure explores the world of competitive moto-racing in finely textured, surreal miniature. It follows the #2 rider as he ruminates in the shadows of world champion, Jammin’ Jackie Hudson.

Care – Beabadoobee

Dir. bedroom
Blooming flowers. Empty streets. Falling rain. Shot during the Covid-19 lockdown, directorial duo Bedroom paint an intimate portrait of musician Beabadoobee. The camera is rolling.

Hand Solo – Marika Hackman

Dir. Sam Bailey
Music promo for Hand Solo – a much needed anthem of female masturbation. Made by a crew of 85% women, and directed by Eve Fehilly, a sexpert from London’s famous SH! store.

Hard To Know

Dir. Alice Halstead
The music video for Claudia Fenoglio’s track is 12 videos in one. Taking viewers on a whimsical adventure all within four walls (and 12 screens), filled with colour and humour.

Pearl Cadillac – Gary Clark Jr.

Dir. Clément Oberto
Gary Clark Jr. is heading down the road of life and looking back to where he came from. Shot in super 35mm, Pearl Cadillac depicts moonlight as a wider symbol for a mother’s love.

Shaking – Hazel English

Dir. Erin S Murray
“When we are together, do I drive you wild? You’re out of your senses, easily beguiled.” A cult leader lures a new recruit into a “ jello” eating frenzy and welcomes him into the family.

Spend My Dayz – Wan

Dir. Agni Raj Singh
An impressionistic portrayal of an artist who is obsessively chasing his vision. Inspirations change as he journeys from a gritty urban jungle in Los Angeles to a delicate floral paradise.

Zebra Katz – Lousy / In In In

Dir. Daniel Wirtberg
A depiction of contrasts and parallels. This polarised music video moves between “soft” and “hard” masculinity; between introvert and extrovert; experiences push and pull at each other.


Thriller

Something Evil Becomes Us

Dir. T.J. Penton
Alex Levi has suffered throughout her life. Loss and grief has caused her to question everything about her life, this then leads her to become victim to vandalism against her Jewish heritage. Things quickly become critical.