Award Winners 2020

The winners of the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival have been announced, from poignant documentaries that tap into the climate crisis to touching dramas about loss and forgiveness. The awards this year – which were judged by leading industry experts from the likes of Film4, BFI Network, ICA London and Nowness – are as follows:


Best of Festival Award

The Fantastic

Dir. Maija Blåfield | Finland, 2019

Eight former North Koreans tell about illegal foreign movies they watched in their homeland. How did they imagine the reality based on fictional films? The Fantastic isn’t about North Korea.

Hijack Visionary Filmmaker Award

Thinking About the Weather

Gardar Thor Thorkelsson | UK, 2020

Desperate to resolve his anxieties about the looming climate apocalypse, the filmmaker embarks on an odyssey that takes him around Britain, speaking to coastal inhabitants resting on a rising coastline as well as Extinction Rebellion protestors.

Best Advertising

Safe Water

Mario Dahl | France, 2020

A girl walks right to the edge of the board, breathing deeply, ready to make the biggest jump of her life. But what’s waiting for her down there? Safe water is more important than ever.

Best Animation

The Passerby

Pieter Coudyzer | Belgium, 2020

On a summer day, the paths of two boys unexpectedly cross. The Passerbyis about what happens when two lives become intertwined, and the possibilities of a new journey together.

Best Artists’ Film

Factory Talk

Lucie Rachel and Chrissie Hyde | UK, 2020

Factory Talkis an intergenerational conversation about identity, sexuality and masculinity. Through the clanging of metal, they make small talk, but the dialogue turns away from mere nostalgia.

Best Comedy

Maradona’s Legs

Firas Khoury | Palestinian Territories, 2019

During the 1990 World Cup, two Palestinian boys are looking for Maradona’s Legs– the last missing sticker that they need in order to complete their world cup album and win a free Atari.

Best Dance

The Conversation

Lanre Malaolu | UK, 2019

Through a dynamic fusion of movement and dialogue, The Conversationexplores the challenges black people experience when communicating their racial experience to white partners.

Best Documentary

The Fantastic

Dir. Maija Blåfield | Finland, 2019

Eight former North Koreans tell about illegal foreign movies they watched in their homeland. How did they imagine the reality based on fictional films? The Fantastic isn’t about North Korea.

Best Drama

The Present

Farah Nabulsi | Palestine, State of, 2019

On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his daughter Yasmine set out to the West Bank to buy a gift. Between the soldiers, roads and checkpoints, how easy is it really to go shopping?

Best Experimental

Softer

Ayanna Dozier | USA, 2020

Dozier examines the demands that black women’s bodies be made “softer” – be that in their voice, manners, or, critically, their hair. This experimental short plays upon grooming rituals.

Best Fashion Film

Baba

Sarah Blok and LIsa Konno | The Netherlands, 2020

combination of design and documentary, blending elements of truth, fiction and constructed narrative. Baba provides a surreal but nonetheless light-hearted portrait of a Turkish immigrant.

Best Music Video

Adventure

Monster Rally, Zak Marx | USA, 2019

Adventure explores the world of competitive moto-racing in finely textured, surreal miniature. It follows the #2 rider as he ruminates in the shadows of world champion, Jammin’ Jackie Hudson.

Best Thriller

Night Bus

Jessica Ashworth and Henrietta Ashworth | UK, 2019

Driving through the nocturnal streets of London on the eve of her 30th birthday, a night bus driver discovers a supernatural entity who has boarded her vehicle and threatens to stay.

Best 360 Film

VR Free

Milad Tangshir | Italy, 2019

VR Free explores the nature of incarceration whilst capturing the intimate reactions of inmates as they encounter virtual reality and immersive videos of life outside of prison.

Best Documentary Feature

Neighbors

Tomislav Zaja | Croatia, 2018

An observational documentary about people who experience mental illness but are leaving their institution after decades spent in isolation. The film follows the individuals as they venture out into the big unknown.

Best Narrative Feature

How to Stop A Recurring Dream

Edward Morris | UK, 2020

Faced with a split custody break up, a family’s older daughter kidnaps her hostile sister in order to embark on a journey and reconnect before they are forced to part. Shot in and around locations pertinent to the director’s childhood.

York Youth Award

Talia

Cara Bamford | UK, 2020

Talia loves nature. She’s always looking for new ways to slip out of the house, exploring the world beyond her front garden. But after being caught, her father forbids her to leave without permission.