Highlights from ASFF 2011

ASFF 2011 brought a fresh, exciting event of unprecedented scope and scale to the city of York, with filmmakers and audiences attending from locations as diverse as South Africa, New Zealand, the USA and from across Europe, and key industry figures taking part.

Among those delivering masterclasses were Mark Herman (Screenwriter, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), Ivana Mackinnon (Executive Producer, Slumdog Millionaire) and the Senior Commissioner for Channel 4. Alongside screenings, there were panel discussions, special events and parties such as Meet the Filmmakers, which provided an opportunity for filmmakers to network with each other and audiences alike.

Spanning across 15 venues, ASFF 2011 created an event that saw audiences moving around the city together, resulting in many new collaborations between filmmakers. Uniting its audience in an appreciation of high calibre filmmaking talent, the festival established itself as a major player on the UK film festival circuit. A selection of 2011 highlights and audience feedback can be found below.

Winners from ASFF 2011

River Dog (Best Documentary/Overall Festival Winner) James Muir/Daniel Hunter, New Zealand Mangakuri Pictures

Dr Knowgood: The Lion’s Pride (People’s Choice) Arnold Zwanenbur, The Netherlands/Indonesia Googoo

Tooty’s Wedding (Best Comedy) Frederic Casella, UK Hoot Comedy

LIN (Best Drama) Piers Thompson, UK/Bulgaria/Turkey Hector Film Ltd

Cleaning Up (Best Thriller) Thomas Guerrier, UK Big Finish Productions/Dead Dog Films

Wall (Best Art Film) Michael Barwise, UK University for Creative Arts, Farnham

Dogged (Best Experimental Film) Jo Shaw, UK Red Crow Films

Amatorski: Soldier (Best Music Video) Maria de Gier, Belgium Independent

Masterclasses at ASFF 2011

Alex Williams, Animation

Renowned character designer, Alex Williams, will cover the techniques to developing successful animated characters. He will explore what makes an interesting and appealing character and offer his advice on how to approach good design in animation, as well as how to create a memorable character performance. A must for those serious about working in animation.

Catherine Yass

Leading art organisation, Artangel, introduce their collection and their relationship with the moving image; exploring artists’ film and presenting the practice of contemporary artist, Catherine Yass (Turner Prize nominee 2002). Catherine will speak about her projects and offer an insight into the concept of artists’ film and how the moving image influences her work.

Documentary Filmmaking

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Saeed Taji Farouky, will discuss the creative limits of documentary and explore the idea of responsible documentary making. He will talk about his own experiences dealing with issues of human rights and social justice in the Middle East and the importance of sensitivity and ethics in portraying complex situations.

Ivana Mackinnon

Producer Ivana Mackinnon will talk about the move from shorts to features and provide hints for the best way to build a sustainable career. Drawing on her own experiences in development and production, she will offer advice on how to get ahead and what commissioners and producers are looking for in the current UK film industry.

Mark Herman

Award-winning screenwriter, Mark Herman, will speak about his own experiences in the industry and explore the intricacies of screenwriting in conversation with Tony Earnshaw (former Director of National Media Museum). Mark has written and directed several critically acclaimed films including Brassed Off, Little Voice and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Secrets to Success

Drawing on her extensive screening experience, SXSW Shorts Programmer Claudette Godfrey will provide insight into what programmers look for in short films and offer tips on how filmmakers can get noticed while avoiding the most common mistakes. She will also provide background on the SXSW Film Festival and Conference and explain how the submission process works.


Barry Ryan, Head of Production for Warp Films and Warp X (the low budget digital slate for Film4, UKFC and Screen Yorkshire) will talk about the evolution of Warp from their first BAFTA winning short to their first feature Dead Man’s Shoes and beyond. He will offer insights into the making of Four Lions and explore what the future looks like for filmmakers.

Women and Film

Rebecca Brand, Head of Communications and Operations at Women in Film & TV (WFTV), will explore the role of women in the film industry, from the early days of cinema to the present day. A positive look at what women have contributed to the industry over the years and how we can ensure that more women are involved with shaping its future.


ASFF has really helped put Yorkshire on the map and has added to the cultural offering of York and the county. It was a terrific celebration of films while using the unique and historic surroundings of our beautiful city of York.
David Shields - North Yorkshire Area Director at Welcome to Yorkshire
We really enjoyed exploring the beautiful city of York and all its fantastic places. The festival had a great atmosphere and we met some wonderful people from across the world.
Elsa and Jean-Claude - WeGo Productions, France
It was great to be involved with ASFF. I thought you and the team had done a great job of organising things and that the attendees were enthusiastic and engaged with what was being discussed. I really enjoyed delivering my talk on Women and Film and am hoping to continue some conversations I started with people who attended, which is always exciting!
Rebecca Brand, Women in Film and Television - the premier membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK
I couldn't have asked for a more engaging festival and a better time… Congratulations on a great festival.
Claudette Godfrey, Programmer, SXSW