Film Library 2021

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 2021 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 2021 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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Born Guilty

Dir. Sinan Sevinç
Born Guilty tells the true story of Huwe Burton, a young black man from the Bronx who wrongfully ends up in prison at the age of 16. He is accused of murdering his own mother.

Circa 2020

Dir. Rodrigo Inada
Circa 2020 promotes the project that took over Piccadilly Circus to propose an open space and public gallery. Every day at 20:20, artwork would take over the advertisement spaces.

Never Again

Dir. Mario Dahl
Lea tells audiences about a summer day when she got caught between the execution of hostages by the SS. But her memories are quickly fading away and soon there’ll be nothing left.

The North Face X Gucci by Highsnobiety

Dir. Fiona Jane Burgess
A new generation of birdwatching enthusiasts are breaking the stereotypes of what outdoor recreation looks like and who it is for. Discovering the mental and physical benefits of being in nature.

Tommee Tippee – The Boob Life

Dir. Fiona Jane Burgess
A brand new global campaign for Tommee Tippee. Honest and intimate, this campaign is a battle cry for women and parents to feel confident about how they feed their babies.

Vectronom – Release Trailer

Dir. Pedro Lacerda
At the end of a dark corridor, white light emanates from a room full of electronics. An on / off switch is turned on by a mysterious character and all the electronics come to life with the music.


Animation

Floaters

Dir. Karl Poyzer, Joseph Roberts
High in a sci-fi metropolis a lone spaceship is confronted by a much larger vessel. When the bigger ship asks why they share the same identification number a strange quandary forms.

Playgrounds

Dir. Antonio Milo, Fabrizio Fioretti
Playgrounds is a short film that travels back to the early 1990s, lost deep in the suburbs, absent parents allow forgotten kids to escape to other worlds where they can’t be found.


Artists’ Film

2020 Vision

Dir. Jake Polonsky
“This year revealed many things. I don’t even know where to start.” The last 18 months have been a whirlwind, with multiple global crises collapsing into one another. How to make sense of it all?

Lesbian

Dir. Rosemary Baker
Lesbian is a powerful poem. It’s about the word and the decades of toxic connotations that have made it feel like a hostile piece of language and many queer women hesitate before using it.

Nude Me / Under the Skin

Dir. Freddie Leyden
British Ghanaian textile and performance artist Enam Gbewonyo was invited to do a live performance of her work at the Two Temple Place.


Comedy

Craving

Dir. Greg Barth
An isolation fever dream about a man’s hunger that’s becoming harder to satiate, driving him to the brink of manslaughter (or man-potato slaughter) to satisfy his delusions of grandeur.

In Hope of Nothing

Dir. Peter Hamblin
With nothing more than; an idea, a shit load of hope and a storyboard, a group of filmmakers cast their dreams on the impossible. This is a film dedicated to all the stories never told.

Mamils (Middle Aged Men In Lycra)

Dir. Ben Marshall
MAMILS (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) is a short comedy that captures an intense rivalry between two amateur cyclists as they eagerly try and one up each other in increasingly ridiculous ways.

Seeds of Love

Dir. Behnam Taheri, Gideon Beresford
Love grows in unexpected and truly cuious places. It can take you by surprise at any given moment. Seeds of Love was made during lockdown in London with a three-person cast and crew.

Selling Out

Dir. George Hackforth-Jones
Selling Out is a short comedy about an actress’ realisation that perhaps her life isn’t going to turn out quite the way she’d imagined. Written by and starring Lucy Scott-Smith.

Taj Mahal Presents… A Short Film

Dir. David Dearlove
A short film for people who don’t like short films. A hilarious swipe at a genre that often seems longer than it is short. Starring Bafta-nominated actor and director Phil Davis.


Dance

Blyndex

Dir. Rodrigo Inada, Yuri Mira
Through the eyes of various members of House of Blyndex, a multidisciplinary ballroom family from São Paula, we discover how a proud group of Black and LGBTQ people come together.

Mother/Land

Dir. Amaal Mustafa
A visual poem and dance piece that critiques and questions the problematic discourse between a first generation immigrant and their parents, specifically the so-called motherland.

Puzzle

Dir. Anastasiya Sovashchenko
Full of powerful, pondering sequences. This film is about the moment when a person creates something unique. We will consider what the process consists of.

The Kitchen

Dir. Vishwakiran Nambi
The Kitchen looks at the traditional roles assigned to women in a patriarchal society. In it, we see the complexity of the relationship she shares with the place where she prepares food for her family.

Toke

Dir. NONO
Set in the urban metropolis of London, Toke is an intimate portrait of Danish-born dancer Toke Broni Strandby. NONO expertly visualises the layered journey we endure to fulfil our dreams.

True Sound Façade

Dir. Laura N-Tamara
True Sound Façade is a poetic dance and animation film in which a dancer realises their digital self feels truer than their real world self. It was commissioned by the Barbican in London.


Documentary

Bridging the Gap

Dir. Nina Ross, Meg Barrett
Age 18 Meg started hearing a voice. She tried ignoring it, didn’t tell a soul, yet the voice grew. More abusive, more delusional and often out of her control. Eventually, her paranoia wore her down.

Wifi Rider

Dir. Roxy Rezvany
Queer Palestinian teenager Shukri spends his days on the internet. Immersed in a world where Western popstars preach self-love and acceptance, he escapes from his lonely life in Jerusalem.


Drama

Blue Corridor 15

Dir. Dubheasa Lanipekun
After her family falls on hard times, Elizabeth starts styling her classmates’ hair at break time to earn money. Classroom politics and tensions come to a head in a friendship close to sisterhood.

Eggshelter

Dir. Bluzet Raphaël
10-year-old Hugo is raised by his grandpa. Suddenly, they are arrested by police. Before being arrested, his grandpa gives him a key and promises to reveal what it opens if he keeps silent.

Housemaid

Dir. Prach Rojanasinwilai
A young boy and a housemaid that works for his family have to come to terms with an inevitable parting as the end of the day fast approaches. A relationship that defies all cultural boundaries.

The Long Goodbye

Dir. Aneil Karia
A sobering and powerful watch, The Long Goodbye imagines adystopian landscape in the near future and sees our lead protagonist Riz unpack his feelings towards his country.


Experimental

Postcards from the Orient

Dir. Sis Gurdal
A surrealist re-imagining of Orientalist artwork; a subliminal retelling of the colonialist, western male gaze and its hyper- sexualised representation of Middle Eastern femininity.

Uchronia, No.1

Dir. Kamila Kuc
Past time, suspended time. Macro vision serves as a tool to experience what has long been known. Here is tension between the in-and-out-of-focus, between enquiry and observation.


Family Friendly

Corky

Dir. Ty Primosch, K-J Mathieson
A corkscrew with a screw loose battles a giant glass bottle to uncork seven mysterious lightning bugs. With no dialogue, the story relies on visual storytelling to express acceptance.

Fishwitch

Dir. Adrienne Douley
A stop motion fairy tale in which Derek, an aquatic creature, tries to win the heart of Tootega, an isolated sea-witch living on an iceberg adrift in the ocean.

Stick

Dir. Ole Christoffer Haga
An abandoned dog encounters a friendly stranger on his day off from work. Afraid of losing his new-found friend, he gets attached – quite literally – to the man in question.


Fashion

Louboutin – The Holiday Countdown

Dir. Tiwirayi Magwenzi
C41, in collaboration with Christian Louboutin and director BOM, gives life to a film with a vintage retro touch with a festive, flamboyant, and crazy atmosphere. Everyone loves Louboutin.

Louis Vuitton – Message in a Bottle

Dir. Roni Shao
Roni Shao directs the concept film of Virgil Abloh’s LV SS21 man’s global traveling show in Shanghai, using the culture of Shanghai to observe the fashion show from a refreshing perspective.

Quick Fix

Dir. Annie Harmeston
A short, but oh-so-sweet story of a user’s journey on the way to ultimate self-optimisation. Quick Fix HQ, a glossy self-care sanctuary, welcomes the user to reach their full potential.

Rejoice Resist

Dir. Elisha Smith-Leverock
Rejoice Resist is a film that celebrates and shows Black pleasure as the ultimate form of resistance. It highlights the importance of allowing yourself to feel joy in the face of adversity.

The End of Social Distancing

Dir. Victor Claramunt San Millán
Since I started making films, many people have asked me about the distance at which I place my talents in my work. Now, in a quarantine state, I have decided to study it and show everyone.


Music Video

Cali Dreams – Vintage Culture & Fancy Inc

Dir. Rafael Kent
Cali Dreams is about connections. Bonds that can happen on a movie set in Hollywood or anywhere less glamorous. It might sound cheesy, but the spark can come from a look.

Earth Odyssey – Asaf Avidan

Dir. Adi Halfin
Earth Odyssey was made by dancers from different continents filming themselves in their confinement with their personal phones and computers. It was made in the first week of April 2020.

Monsters You Made (Bet Hip-Hop Awards)

Dir. Filmawi
A hugely impactful video for Burna Boy’s performance of the heartfelt Monsters You Made for the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Superheroes – Stormzy

Dir. Taz Tron Delix
Stormzy lets his inner superhero shine in Taz Tron Delix’s animated video for Superheroes. The concept has Stormzy talking to a young boy, explaining that nothing is out of reach.

The Rolling Stones: Ghost Town

Dir. Joe Connor
Joe Connor captures the eeriness of public spaces under lockdown, in the video for The Rolling Stones’ Living In A Ghost Town in one of the very first Lockdown Videos of 2020.

‘Sex is Good (But Have You Tried)’

Dir. Rodrigo Inada
A story about self-love. Sex is good… but have you tried? Breaking down the taboos in 2021 about pleasure and fulfilling your own journeys into desire.


Thriller

Eleusis

Dir. Andej Gavriss
A musician in the deep state of a creative crisis is signed to a rehab programme at the highly protected, isolated sanatorium that promises a lifetime warranty for endless inspiration.

Lesson 7

Dir. Neil Linpow
Having downloaded a self help programme devised and narrated by the enigmatic Max, we follow Ash as he prepares to tackle Lesson 7: Confronting Death. A twisting journey of anguish.

The Retreat

Dir. Marcus Anthony Thomas
Mia is a young woman who struggles to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic event that has changed her life forever. She seeks out the help of a secretive retreat lead by a figure named Echo.