ASFF 2021: Day One

The 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival begins today with an exciting and brand new mix of in-person and virtual screenings and events. With specially curated strands, illuminating masterclasses and must-join panels and pitching sessions, it’s an incredible line-up to explore. Read our 10 to See for today, including key masterclasses and the prestigious Opening Night Ceremony.

How it Was, How it Is, How it Will Be (In Person & Online)
Film Programme

Our first strand How it Was, How it Is, How it Will Be encompasses 11 film programmes that set out to examine the precious nature of the collective experience and how they bind us together.  From Aniel Karia’s award-winning The Long Goodbye, starring Riz Ahmed, to Ben Pearce’s A Few Miles South, with Toby Jones, this is essential viewing.

Writing in 360: Segmenting Narratives (10:30 – 11:30, York Explore)

Alongside screenings of 360 films at the VR Lab, Aesthetica Film Festival is hosting a range of panels about the future of immersive cinema. In the first of our VR discussions, we ask where should you begin when writing in 360? How do you construct a narrative when thinking about the story as an immersive experience?

Beyond The Studios: Shooting On Location (12:00 – 13:00, York Explore)

Richard Knight, Production Liaison for Screen Yorkshire, guides us through the process of finding and securing the right location, offering pragmatic advice for filmmakers looking to expand their horizons beyond the studio walls.

Interactive Media Lab (12:00 – 19:30, Spark York)

Kicking off today and running until November 7, London College of Fashion’s interactive exhibition explores how new technologies and digital platforms are changing the way we produce and experience film-based media.

Networking Session 1: Welcome – Delegate and Filmmaker Meet & Greet (14:00 – 15:00, 1331)

Here is a chance for filmmakers to introduce themselves and forge exciting bonds and collaborations for the days ahead. Organisations in attendance include London Film Academy, Guardian Documentaries, Screen Yorkshire, University East London and Film & TV Charity.

Birds Eye View: Facing the Music (15:00 – 16:00)
Panel Discussion

A Birds’ Eye View curated session, directors of two of the most significant UK music documentaries of the past year, Rubika Shah (White Riot) and Celeste Bell (Polystyrene: I am a Cliché) unite to discuss the responsibility of telling stories and working with music.

Harry Partridge: In Conversation (15:00 – 16:00, Yorkshire Museum & Live Channel 1)

Independent animator Harry Partridge, the man behind such iconic cartoon characters as Dr. Bees, the Starbarians and Trilby Dogtooth, alongside work on video game franchises Skyrim and Hitman, joins us to unpack his remarkable career.

Bounce Cinema: Mother Tongue (16:00 – 17:30, Bootham and Online)
Guest Programme

Bounce Cinema is a London-based organisation dedicated to building a better future through film. In this programme, they present a selection of shorts celebrating world cinema. Exclusively in the mother tongue of the filmmakers, this collection is dedicated to decolonising film.

Opening Night Ceremony (18:00 – 21:00, City Screen)
Special Event

Taking place at City Screen York, festival director Cherie Federico presents a curated selection of films that capture the breadth and innovative nature of this year’s programme. Here’s your chance to settle in and enjoy a taste of just a small taste of our most expansive and imaginative programme to date.

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