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Games Lab .

Engage with the full breadth of screen culture at Aesthetica. Here is your opportunity to explore new worlds and interactive storytelling. We are the first UK Film Festival to curate and includes games in our public programme, working in partnership with investigate.games to bring you this expansive programme.

Games Lab 2024

Video games are an immersive experience. We see the journeys into narrative design as a crucial way to understand the way that storytelling is evolving. At the Aesthetica Games Lab, we will exhibit 40 projects across PC, console and headset, offering you an immersive and interactive experience. We are celebrating game culture, design and production through this Lab, which is enhanced by a variety of Q&As, panels and masterclasses.

Interactive Storytelling

We are looking for bold stories told differently. The video game industry is undergoing dramatic change culturally and technologically. We want to create an impactful and engaging programme of content that brings audiences on new adventures. We see gaming much like film, but that as a player you are involved in bringing that story to life. We are supporters of creativity in all its forms and are looking for games that excite and immerse users in new worlds.

Submit for 2024

The BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival is a hotbed of new talent and ideas. It is a place of collaboration, idea generation and bold storytelling. We are the first film festival in the UK to develop a Games Lab alongside our film screenings. We see the screen industry evolving and want gaming culture to be part of that conversation. You will have the chance to gain feedback, meet industry and exhibit at one of the UK’s leading film festivals.

Submission Information .

  • 1 December 2023| Open for submissions
  • 30 June 2024| Regular Submission Deadline
  • 6 July 2024| Late Submission Deadline
  • September 2024| Official Selection Announced
  • 6-10 November 2024| Festival taking place in York, UK
  • 10 November 2024| Festival winners announced at the Awards Ceremony
  • Regular Submissions | 1st December 2023 – 30 June 2024
    Games £25
  • Late Submissions | 1 – 6 July 2024
    Games £35
  • Games can have long durations but please note playtime will be 1hour slots at the festival.
  • There is no premiere requirement. We will accept submissions of gams that have previously been exhibited elsewhere, including at other festivals or online.
  • There is no required completion date for screening, but games completed in the past 4 years are preferred.
  • Your entry form must include your name, address, telephone number and email so that we can contact you.
  • Your game must not be in breach of any copyright, including music or sound used in your game.
  • The link to your game included in your submission form must not expire.
  • Aesthetica is unable to grant waiver requests.
  • Submissions are final and subject to a no refund policy.
  • All submissions are played and given the full attention of our team of programmers. The date of submission has no reflection on our selection decisions.
  • View our FAQ page for more information.
  • ASFF is one of the UK’s leading and most expansive film events, recognised by the BFI as a festival of national significance and being both BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying for short film. The festival celebrates the work of outstanding filmmakers through its coveted awards. All films which are selected for the Official Selection will screen in competition and will be eligible for our Best in Category awards which are decided by a jury of industry experts and practitioners. In addition to the Best in Category awards, we present a number of special awards which offer project support, services as well as a combined total of £5000 in cash prizes.
  • The Award in this area of competition is for Best Game.
  • Please submit a playable link from either github or itch.io.
  • It must be an executable file.
  • We can also accept Steam or GOG.com (please include game key if required).
  • VR games accepted.