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Introducing This Year’s Festival Strands

With over 300 films across 5 days, Aesthetica is jam-packed with incredible stories. Our Festival is organised around movies that speak to timely issues and answer the big questions. We are delighted to bring together a selection of outstanding film, with a lineup that includes award-winning directors, actors, as well as exciting new talent. Read on to find out about our 5 Strands. Aesthetica Film Festival runs from 8-12 November in York, UK.

Want to learn more? Go ahead and download our full programme and get your screening pass.

Now, In this Very Moment

This strand provides us with an opportunity to come together and engage in meaningful discussions. It’s about appreciating the simple pleasures that bring happiness: a smile exchanged with a stranger or the sound of a loved one’s voice. Our experiences are brimming with beauty, just waiting to be cherished. Featuring directors such as James Button and Warda Mohamed, with appearances from Alexander Armstrong and Sarah Sayuri Leung.

Standing at the Threshold of Change

How do we broaden our horizons? What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? Planet Earth is vast and humanity’s story is complex. Oscar and BAFTA-winning directors such as Tom Berkeley and Ross White help answer this through stories that ask us to carefully look within our societies. Here, we can learn from history as we strive toward an inclusive and sustainable future. Ready to think critically? Get on board and join us.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step

Life can be defined by joy and euphoria or pain and loss. We may face challenges, but it is in those moments that our true character is revealed. We must face whatever comes our way and can always find strength and inspiration from one another. These films include work from artists such as Bani Abidi and Chloe Moriando, featuring star-studded casts that encompass Amit Shah, Ben Whishaw and Cate Blanchett.

Be Free From Yourself

Humans are multifaceted beings. But are we influenced more by nature or nurture, and does that distinction even hold significance in today’s world? Award-wining directors such as Ricky Gervais and Tessa Moult-Milewska consider this. These films explore our memories and aspirations. Join us on a journey of self-discovery, with a cast list that brings together Joe Wilkinson, Seroca Davis, Kimberly Nixon and more of the industry’s best.

It’s Nice to Meet You

Identity is intertwined with relationships. New talent such as Erin Lau and Tracey Lopes explore the connections between us, whether familial, platonic, professional or romantic. Our interactions teach us compassion, empathy and trust, seen here in performances by Maxine Peake and Erin Doherty. This strand explores the bonds that unite us: the ones that shape our lives and who we become.