As part of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2019 (6-10 November), a programme of diverse guest curators present films that document key moments in the 20thcentury, from the Apollo 11 Mission to the fall of the Berlin Wall. ASFF is dedicated to bringing a well-rounded, inclusive programme of shorts to festival-goers. In reaching out to key organisations for their input, the festival reflects a diversity of voices to offer audiences new perspectives and dialogues.
As part of the Guest Programmes for 2019, Defining an Era: The 20thCentury on Screen not only presents viewers with rare documentation of historical events that would have altered the world irrevocably, it also highlights the importance of motion picture at a time when social, environmental and political landscapes were undergoing radical change.
Perhaps the most globally publicised event of this era celebrates its 50 anniversary this very year. In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon – a monumental result of the Apollo 11 mission into space. ASFF welcomes Archive Producer Stephen Slater to present Apollo 11, a new, breath-taking documentary and Sundance sensation, that is made entirely from archival footage, restored reels and unseen 70mm film.
Meanwhile, Garry Morris’s DocumentarySkin & Coalbrings festivalgoers closer to home and to the present day. With its focus on the UK miner’s strike that began in 1984, the film profiles black miners from Yorkshire and Nottingham, who faced mounting prejudice above ground as well as below. The film is a sensitive exploration of human labour, camaraderie and resilience, focusing on the unity that miners found below ground, whilst racist attitudes still permeated the land above.
ASFF’s longstanding collaborator The Imperial War Museum also returns to the guest programming line-up this year with a selection of carefully curated archive footage charting the D-Day invasion 75 years after the Normandy landings. Through this rare footage of the Normandy Breakout and Liberation of Paris, attendees can witness some of the most pivotal moments in British history as never seen before.
1. Still from Apollo 11. Courtesy of Stephen Slater and Dogwoof.