ASFF 2021: One Week To Go

The countdown begins. The 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival starts
next week, with an incredible array of films, industry delegates and live events.

This year’s edition of ASFF is the largest to date. Running in person from 2-7 November and online from 2-30 November, the festival offers audiences a flexible approach to viewing. Enjoy the festival in venues across the UNESCO World Heritage City of York, through virtual screenings from the comfort of your own living room, or through a hybrid pass which allows you to experience the maximum the festival has to offer.

Leading ASFF 2021 will be six conceptual strands, each containing 9-12 programmes of incredible new shorts and features from filmmakers from over 20 countries. Guest programmes also feature, as we invite curators from around the globe to share their diverse perspectives. This year, a three-part series exploring the legacy of 9/11, 20 years on from the terrorist attacks, plays a crucial part in the festival.

For our 11th edition, key speakers include Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), seminal British filmmakers Peter Strickland (Berbarian Sound Studio, The Duke of Burgundy) and Sally Potter (Orlando, The Party), acclaimed actress Maxine Peake (Peterloo, Funny Cow) and Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt (Shakespeare in Love, The Father).

Every year, ASFF also welcomes industry leaders from a range of disciplines to speak about their craft, offering a unique opportunity to gain insights in areas such as animation, VFX, documentary production and camera operation. For 2021, Industrial Light & Magic’s Julian Foddy (The Mandalorian) will unpack the world of visual effects. BAFTA-nominated Paul Davies sound designer (You Were Never Really Here) explores the importance of audio in film. And executive producer Lizzie Francke (Ray & Liz) will offer insights into bringing new voices to screen.

Other key events include the Screen School VR and Immersive Experiences Lab, a celebration of innovative storytelling in partnership with the London College of Communication (LCC). This year, ten 360° films and six Immersive Experiences will play at City Screen Basement in York. Topics include a meditative journey to the bottom of the sea, a ride on the 1600s on the Mayflower ship or a trip into deep space in the future. Audiences are also invited to attend the Interactive Media Lab, which hosts three displays exploring how new technologies are changing the way we produce and experience film-based media.

First introduced in 2019, the Industry Marketplace returns for its third year. The first event of its kind in the UK, it is a platform for attendees and delegates to meet both in person and in a virtual space more than 40 organisations from across the sector, spanning international film festivals, screen agencies, sales agents, global distributors, and renowned universities, including Regents University London, Sheffield Hallam University, University of East London and University of Chichester.  

The 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival runs in-person from 2-7 November and online from 2-30 November. Tickets start from £25. Book your passes at Learn more about our full programme here.