Industry Networking Sessions

Aesthetica Short Film Festival's Networking Sessions provide an opportunity to interact with film aficionados and experts alike. Delegates from many UK film and media institutions will be in attendance at every session. Find out more about the sessions and explore the speaker profiles of the industry professionals who be attending the Networking Events at ASFF.


Networking Session 1

Friday 10 November,
11:00 – 12.30
Dean Court Hotel

In attendance: Tamsin Beevor (Forum Cinema Hexham), Christine Hogan (Make It York), Stuart Page (York St John University), Christine Morrow (Northern Ireland Screen), Anna MacDonald (London Film Academy), Aman Sharma (MODYST Film Network) Jerome Vyland (Northern Bear Films), Daniel Clifford (The Customs House)

Networking Session 2

Friday 10 November,
13:30 – 15:00
Dean Court Hotel

In attendance: Justin Edgar (104 Films), Ruth Heritage (They Eat Culture), Sally Joynson (Screen Yorkshire), Anna MacDonald(London Film Academy), Eleanor Hilton (Imperial War Museum)

Networking Session 3

Saturday 11 November,
11:00 – 12:30
Dean Court Hotel

In attendance: Isabelle Croissant (HOME), Lou Phelps (BFI NET.WORK),Jonny (Ffilm Cymru Wales) Ian Fenton (Tyneside Cinema) Eleanor Hilton (Imperial War Museums),James Russell (Hull Independent Cinema), Annabel Grundy (Film Hub North)

Networking Session 4

Saturday 11 November,
13.30 – 15.00
Dean Court Hotel

In attendance: Jonny Tull (Film Programmer), Maria Caruana Galizia (Candle and Bell), Colin Pons (Studio of the North), Polly Wright (Film and Video Umbrella),James Russell (Hull Independent Cinema) Creative England Team

Networking Session 5

Sunday 12 November,
12:00 – 13:30
Dean Court Hotel

In attendance: Robbie Gibbon (Editor) , Arlen Barke (Scottish Film Talent Network), Joanna Roy (Signal Film & Media)




Networking Hosts

Aleks Dimitrijevic

Film Festival Producer, The Smalls

Aleks is an Account Director and Film Festival Producer with 11 years of experience working in NYC, Belgrade, Sydney and London. Her experience ranges from production of TVCs and video content for brands such as L’Oreal, Unilever and Coca-Cola to event management for organisations like LSFF, Sundance London and MTV.

Aman Sharma


Aman is a film entrepreneur and founder of MODYST, the next generation film distribution and streaming platform, with tech that disrupts the way independent content is distributed and consumed globally. He previously worked at Sunderland Short Film Festival as programming director.

Anna MacDonald

London Film Academy

Anna keeps the wheels at LFA turning, ensuring that the Academy remains inspiring and cutting edge. Anna deals with the Academy’s day-to-day running, business development or the distribution of films made by students and graduates. She has produced hundreds of motion pictures.

Anson Hartford


Anson Hartford produces documentaries for cinema and broadcast through Banyak Films.
He has worked with Film 4, BBC Films, Britdoc, BFI, CH4 and Al Jazeera developing award winning character driven films like Alan Bennett’s “A World In Photographs” and Film 4’s “Ping Pong.”

Berwyn Rowlands

Founder, The Iris Prize

Berwyn is a Welsh internationalist who has 30 years’ experience in film and events with a significant track record of turning artistic and strategic vision into reality. In 2006 he established the Iris Prize – presented annually during the Iris Film Festival in Cardiff. Seven short films have been produced to date with the Iris Prize.

Catherine Bray

Random Acts

Catherine Bray is the commissioner for Channel 4’s Random Acts arts strand, and an independent producer, working with Charlie Lyne on documentary features Beyond Clueless (Netflix) and Fear Itself (iPlayer) in addition to shorts including Fish Story (Sundance, Guardian Docs).

Charles Cecil

Revolution Software

Charles Cecil has more than 30 years’ experience in video games. He is the founder of Revolution Software, one of the world’s leading game companies and has an interest in the narrative and aesthetic aspects of interactive entertainment.

Chris Paul Daniels

Artist & Filmmaker

Chris Paul Daniels is an Artist and Filmmaker, based in Manchester. His work is characterised by experimental documentation of communal perspectives and memories regarding geographical location. His work is regularly screened internationally and he has made work in and about Kenya, China and Iceland.

Chris Wyatt

Animex AVFX

Chris is responsible for the Animex AVFX programme. Originally from a design background he decided to retrain in animation and graduated with a master’s degree in computer animation from Teesside University fifteen years ago. He now works as a senior lecturer in 3D animation and Visual Effects.

Christine Hogan

Make It York

Christine is based in the Business Team at Make It York and leads on attracting inward investment to the city. Christine works closely with businesses from initial point of enquiry right through to soft landing and aftercare, working with companies to support their decision making through a range of services.

Christine Morrow

Northern Ireland Screen

Christine is short film executive at Northern Ireland Screen. She is currently working on several initiatives through the Northern Ireland Screen BFI Net.Work initiative. Shorts to Features is a development scheme encouraging the development of proof-of-concept short films with a view to eventual feature production.

Clare Anyiam-Osigwe

British Urban Film Festival

Dr Clare Anyiam-Osigwe is the wife of Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe and is an award-winning business owner in her own right. She joined the BUFF board along with producer Damian Jones in 2015 and is the co-founder of Jo Clare PR – a boutique press and PR agency. Prior to launching her businesses, Clare trained to be an actress.

Colin Pons

Sheffield Hallam University

Colin has worked in the the UK Film and Television industry for over 25 years, building up a range of skills that he regularly shares, these include financing, production and mentoring of television and feature films. He is currently Course Leader, MA Filmmaking at Sheffield Hallam University.

Dan Haworth-Salter

Hereford College of Arts

Course leader for BA (Hons) Short Film Making at HCA, and a film-maker at Rural Media, Dan is an experienced visual storyteller, working primarily
in the third sector. He has recently shot a film in the Amazon rainforest, documenting the indigenous Wampis people defending their land rights against state sponsored logging and mining.

Daniel Clifford

The Customs House

Daniel manages a range of projects as part of the Learning and Participation department at The Customs House. He is responsible for film initiatives aimed at those aged 25 and under including Custom Reels, a young people’s production team for which Daniel acts as a producer and mentor extending young people’s skills.

David Desmond

Dublin Sci-Fi Film Festival

David is the Director of the Dublin Sci-Fi Film Festival. Over the past decade David has worked with numerous festival and arts organisations including programming and management roles with Cork Film Festival and Dublin International Film Festival. David is also a sound editor and composer for film.

Dr Neil Fox


Neil came to Falmouth from industry having been an independent filmmaker, festival programmer, director, and screenwriter. He has written and produced award winning short films, curated and directed the Filmstock and Joe Strummer film festivals among others and write for publications including The Quietus.

Elanore Smart

Rural Media

Elle worked as writer, DoP and editor on her debut feature ‘In a Year’ nominated for best narrative feature at the long beach indie international film festival in LA 2016, and won best feature at MFF 2016. Elle wrote and edited her own random acts film ’Impact’ which won at Amsterdam’s Lift Off festival 2017.

Eleanor Hilton

Senior Producer

Eleanor works in IWM’s Public Engagement and Learning team, and is the Project Manager for IWM Short Film Festival. She has previously worked on events within the People Power: Fighting for Peace and Syria: A Conflict Explored seasons, and is currently working on IWM’s ground-breaking Age of Terror season.

Emilio Della Chiesa

Founder, River Film Festival

Emilio Della Chiesa was born in Verona, Italy, and is a Cinematographer and Director of River Film Festival, Padova. Ten years ago Emilio founded River Film Festival which has now grown into an international film festival. He has subsequently served as a jury member at festivals around the world.

Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe

Founder, British Urban Film Festival

Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe is a business owner and founded the British Urban Film Festival in 2005. BUFF was set-up to establish a better representation of diversity in UK film and TV. This is achieved via the films that BUFF screens, the audience it attracts and the talent it promotes.

Felix Völkel

Cellu l’art Short Film Festival

Felix is the Festival Director of cellu l’art Short Film Festival in Germany. He was responsible for the festival’s country focus programme in Finland and for the forthcoming festival season. cellu l’art will celebrate its 19th edition between 24-29 April 2018 in Jena, Germany.

Freya Billington

Filmmaker & Lecturer

Freya is a Bristol-based filmmaker and lecturer who sits on the Executive for NAHEMI (National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image) Currently Programme Leader at UWE_FILM, she is a National Teaching Fellow Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of Syracuse University, NY.

Gary Thomas

British Council

Gary Thomas has been commissioning and producing artists’ moving image for over twenty years. He is a Film Programme Manager at the British Council, overseeing projects in East Asia; he also works as a creative producer at Animate Projects which he co-founded in 2007.

Giedre Bumbulyte

European Independent Film Festival

Giedre is Festival Coordinator at the European ÉCU. Interning at ÉCU during her studies, she later received her BA in Creative Industries with a focus on Film and TV. She spent five years coordinating the film section at Devilstone Music Festival in Lithuania before returning to full time in 2015.

Helen Upcraft

Assistant Curator – Film, IWM

Helen is Assistant Director of IWM Short Film Festival, managing submissions, shortlisting for and curating the programme. As the Assistant Curator in the IWM Film Archive, Helen facilitates access to the film collection, which covers conflicts involving British and Commonwealth troops since the start of the twentieth century

Iain Gardner

Animator & Programmer

Iain Gardner has been creating animation since 1996, which followed an apprenticeship at the Richard Williams Animation studio on the legendary The Thief & The Cobbler. Iain is the short-form animation programmer for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Ian Fenton

Tyneside Cinema

Ian is the Creative Director of Learning & Participation at Tyneside Cinema where he leads on the design and delivery of a wide range of activities for filmmakers including a Pop Up Film School for children and the Random Acts education, training and production programme.

Isabelle Croissant


Isabelle works at HOME, Manchester’s new international multi arts venue. She programmes events that aim to showcase and develop creative talents and forge connection between practitioners in all creative sectors. She also manages Filmed Up, HOME’s regular regional short film night.

James Russell

Hull Independent Cinema

James is Chair of Trustees at Hull Independent Cinema. HIC brings world and independent film to new audiences. In Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, HIC is the lead local delivery partner for the BFI-funded Transformative Film Culture for Hull programme.

Jamie Adams

Independent Filmmaker

Jamie Adams is a independent Welsh based writer/director of micro budget features. Including Songbird, Black mountain poets and Benny and Jolene. His recent TV work includes BBC III Comedy feeds – a Brief History of Tim (2016).

Jerome Vyland

Northern Bear Films

Jerome is an award-winning multimedia professional by trade, with experience developing products for international and national brands, he has developed MODYST’s MVP from ground up and he is now heading the development and marketing strategy for MODYST as it continues to grow.

Joanna Roy

Producer at Signal

Joanna produces the digital arts programme strand at Signal Film & Media, an award-winning charity which provides creative film and digital media access. Signal provides a unique resource for people of all ages and backgrounds. Joanna also lectures at Manchester School of Art.

Jody Tozer

Ffresh Student Media Festival

Jody is the director of Ffresh Student Media Festival and Cardiff Mini Film Festival, she also works for the Iris Prize Festival. Jody will be managing two BFI Film Academies taking place in South Wales in January 2018, any young people who are interested in taking part should get in touch!

John Wojowski

Founder, Kinofilm

John has worked in the independent cinema sector for 30 years. In 1993, he established the Kino Film Klub, a guerrilla, roving pop-up cinema club in Manchester. He founded Kinofilm International Short Film Festival in 1995. It is the most influential short film festival in the North West.

Jonathan Hook

University of York

Jonathan is a Lecturer & Researcher in Interactive Media at the University of York. His research is in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and explores the development of new interactive media and tools to support their creation. His work focuses on responsive video content.

Jonathan Zaurin


Jonathan Zaurin, 3rd year BA (Hons) Short Film Making student, HCA Jonathan‘s short documentary film Little Acorns won an award in the International Nature Film Festival of Godollo Hungary and To the World won Best Student Film at UK Monthly Film Festival June/July 2017.

Jonny Tull

Film Programming Consultant

Jonny Tull is a freelance consultant working in film programming, marketing, business strategy. Jonny has recently embarked on a freelance career after working at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema since 1994, where he held senior management roles in marketing and programming.

Jordan McGibney


Jordan McGibney is a Director based in Midlands. Beginning his career in 2012 Jordan has gained critical acclaim winning the Best New Talent Award at the Royal Television Society. Alongside this Jordan has also been shortlisted for the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Juliana Naples

Juliana is the Assistant Festival Director of Screentest: The National Student Film Festival. She enjoys creating films that bring the audience into another world. She holds a BSc in Digital Film Production and is currently studying a MA in Film Production, both from the University of Greenwich.

Keith Dando

Keith’s career has included work on short and feature films, television series and computer games in projects for the BBC, Channel Four and many independent film companies. Keith has also co-written screenplays that have reached the finals in the prestigious Zoetrope and Final Draft screenwriting contests.

Lesley Lipscombe

Production Guild of Great Britain

Lesley has worked in a variety of roles, over the last 15 years and is now the Training and Development Manager at the Production Guild of Great Britain. She is currently responsible for the design delivery and expanding the training programme for new entrants and industry professionals.

Levi De Sousa

Levi is the Director of Screentest: The National Student Film Festival.  He is a Director & Production Designer from Portugal. Outside the festival he is working on completing his degree and producing his own animations, documentaries and short films. He uses his history background to bring context to all his projects.

Lou Phelps


Lou works across the British Film Institute’s talent initiative, the BFI NETWORK. Every year NETWORK invest £3 million of National Lottery funding in filmmakers. The funding goes towards short film production, feature development as well as a range of training programmes.

Maeve McGrath

Artistic Director

Maeve McGrath is a film producer, programmer and theatre artist. She studied Theatre Studies in Trinity College and “Television Production and Development” at GMIT. Maeve has a Masters in Media Studies from MaryI/UL. She is currently Artistic Director of the Kerry Film Festival and film programmer for I:NY.

Maria Caruana Galizia

Candle & Bell

Maria produces films through her company Candle & Bell. She has produced six short films including the multi award-winning “A Six and Two Threes” and has two feature films that are currently in development. In 2017, it was named one of the Top 50 Emerging Creative Companies in England by Creative England.

Matt Turner

Shooting People

Matt runs independent filmmaker website Shooting People. He promotes the filmmaker membership base. As well as handling site editorial and community management, curating the film competition, and organising events and attending festivals. Alongside this, Matt is a film journalist and programmer.

Mike Doxford


Mike began his career as a cinematographer, having studied at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His work includes a powerful documentary in Chernobyl, Ukraine; and British indie film Pleasure Island, (Metrodome). He has also directed award-winning music videos, short films, and advertising campaigns.

Natalys Wilcox

MA Film & Television Student

Natalys undertook the 1 year MA in film and television at Falmouth university. During her course, she had an opportunity to work on Songbird with Jamie Adams and experienced his approach to micro budget feature production. Inspired, she turned her 20-minute graduation film ‘A bad penny’, into a full feature made for 4K.

Paul Ashton

Creative England

Paul Aston is Head of Film and oversees all Film activity at Creative England, including the iFeatures programme. Throughout his freelance days, BBC position and current role, he has been dedicated to realising the voices and the work of emerging writing, directing and producing talent across film and television.

Philip Ilson

Director, London Short Film Festival

Philip is the Director of the London Short Film Festival, which he co-founded in 2004. A premier showcase for film, LSFF is renowned for its programming and being a platform for raw talent. Alongside his work at LSFF, he is also a short film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival.

Polly Wright

Film and Video Umbrella (FVU)

Polly works at Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) who commission and produce artists’ moving-image works. Currently, FVU are touring England with ‘Changing Places’, launching artist Hetain Patel’s new film ‘Don’t Look at the Finger’ and working with artists Maeve Brennan and Imran Perretta on their commissions.

Robbie Gibbon


Robbie has worked as an editor and assistant editor on film and TV productions including Face of an Angel, The Trip, Mad Fat Diary, The Casual Vacancy, Doctor Strange, Kingsman and Doctor Who.

Sabrina Schmid

Animex Screen and Awards Curator

Sabrina is responsible for the Animex Screen & Awards programmes. She holds a BA and postgraduate qualifications in fine art painting and in animation.. After working as freelance animator in Europe, Sabrina joined Teesside University in 2001 as senior lecturer in animation at the School of Computing.

Sally Joynson

Screen Yorkshire

A high profile champion of Yorkshire’s screen industries, Sally has extensive experience cultivating businesses, establishing networks and forming partnerships. She has led her team to secure significant investment, attracting more than 40 feature films and TV dramas to the region, from Dad’s Army to Peaky Blinders.

Sarah Ahern

Programmer & Manager, ADIFF

Sarah Ahern programmes short films and the young people’s strand, Fantastic Flix, at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival (ADIFF). Sarah’s role at ADIFF spreads across projects management, audience development, industry engagement and key festival relationships with partners and funders.

Sheyma Buali

Festival Director
BBC Arabic Festival

Sheyma Buali joined BBC Arabic Festival in its first edition in 2014, and became Director in 2015. With a focus on media, film and arts from the Arab world, she is also active in publishing as Commissioning Editor for Ibraaz and Creative Time Reports.

Steve Rawle

York St John University

Steve Rawle is an associate professor at York St John University, where he has taught media production and film studies for nearly a decade. His research covers independent American and cult Japanese films. He has published articles on a range of topics ranging from independent film stars to Godzilla movies.

Stuart Page

York St John University

Stuart Page is the Pro Dean: Development at York St John University. An interest in global urban cultures has allowed Stuart to engage in undergraduate and postgraduate delivery in China, Japan and Poland. Stuart’s other teaching and research interests are in the areas of gender and sexuality.

Tamsin Beevor

Manager, Forum Cinema Hexham

Tamsin Beevor is manager of the single screen community-owned Forum Cinema Hexham.. She was involved in the purchase of the cinema by Hexham Community Partnership in 2007, the introduction of digital technology and screening of event cinema, and the launch of the Wide Skies Film Festival in June 2016.

Xenia Glen

Producer at Shooting People

Xenia runs the independent filmmaker website Shooting People, communicating with and promoting the filmmaker membership base, handling site editorial and community management, curating the film competition, and organising events and attending festivals. Xenia is also an actress and producer