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The Listening Pitch .

Aesthetica Film Festival teams up with Audible, offering £20,000 to fund a new documentary.

Submit Your Pitch .

There’s more to imagine when we listen. Aesthetica and Audible have teamed up for The Listening Pitch 2023 and are inviting filmmakers to submit proposals for a documentary on how hearing new stories can change our lives. The successful filmmaker will win £20,000 to make their project, as well as premiering at the Festival.

2022 Winners .

Last year's awards were given to three films: Birdsong (Sparsh Ahuja, Omi Gupta), Speed of Sound (Jade Ang Jackman) and The Short-Wave Listener (Ross McClean). The selected films approach the subject of sound from different angles – from the dying whistling traditions of the Hmong people of northern Laos to a portrait of self-professed adrenaline junkie, Carina Edlinger, and the story of a man who communicates via an intricate system of radios. The winning films premiered at Aesthetica Film Festival 2022, and are continuing their festival run this year. The winning films will be released online this year, with one being picked up by Guardian Documentaries.

2021 Winners .

2021's recipients are Jessi Gutch and Liz Jackson, with Blind as Beat. Jackson was an in-house documentary director at the BBC for 10 years. The film portrays her journey: from ex-documentary filmmaker who used sight as a primary sense, to someone who is visually impaired and using hearing predominately. “There is a growing movement for film to become more accessible. People are starting to see that the disabled audience is a big one – they should be thought of in the production process. In this script, we’ve tried to take the idea of audio description but elevate it to something visually evocative.``

Submission Information .

  • Five filmmakers will be selected to present their idea at a live virtual pitch in May 2023.
  • A panel will review the pitches and a grant of £20k will be awarded to the filmmaker with the strongest idea.
  • The final film will be original and offer a new perspective on the theme.
  • It will premiere at the ASFF in November 2023 and also be shared on Audible and Aesthetica social channels.
  • Filmmakers from across the world are invited to apply for this grant.
  • We will also require the film to have subtitles available to meet accessibility requirements. Please supply two versions: one burnt on and one without.
  • We welcome submissions from first-time filmmakers and those underrepresented in the industry.
  • 15 February – 16 April 2023: Call for Entries
  • 16 April 2023: Deadline
  • April 2023: Judging
  • May 2023: Live Pitch
  • Summer 2023: Winner Announced
  • ASFF Premiere and Live Q&A: Between 7-12 November 2023