Industry Networking Sessions

Aesthetica Short Film Festival's Networking Sessions provide an opportunity to interact with film aficionados and experts alike. Delegates from many UK film and media institutions will be in attendance at every session. Find out more about the sessions and explore the speaker profiles of the industry professionals who be attending the Networking Events at ASFF.

Networking Sessions

Networking Session 1

Wednesday 7 November
Upper Foyer
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Aman Sharma (MODYST Film Network), Charles Storr (Make it York), Colin Pons (Workstation/Studio of the North), Jonny Tull (Jonny Tull Digital Consultancy)

Networking Session 2

Thursday 8 November
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Isabelle Croissant (HOME), Joanna Roy (Signal Film and Media), Lauren Dark (Film4), Megan Evans (Deer Shed Festival), Rupert Lee (Film & TV Charity), Sile Culley (Altitude Film Entertainment), Sadhbh Murphey (Network Ireland Television)

Networking Session 3

Friday 9 November
Upper Foyer
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Alice Whittemore (Ffilm Cymru Wales), Anna Redfern (Cinema & Co.), Anson Hartford (Banyak Films), Chris Shepherd (Chris Shepherd Films), Gayle Woodruffe (Northern Film & Media), Ian Fenton (Tyneside Cinema), Luke Toyne (Maker Projects), Maria Caruana Galizia (Candle & Bell), Phoebe Roberts (Artangel)

Networking Session 4

Friday 9 November
Upper Foyer
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Abi Standish (Cinema For All), Charles Cecil (Revolution Games), Craig McNeil (Beggars Group), Deborah Parker (Cinema For All), Jaime Estrada-Torres (Independent Editor), Julian Foddy (Industrial Light & Magic), Oliver Treasure-Smith (Curzon Cinemas), Richard Knight (Screen Yorkshire), Rebecca Mark-Lawson (Tyke Films), Anna Mc Donald (London Film Academy)

Networking Session 5

Saturday 10 November
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Alice Ramsay (BFI Network), Jennie Larney (Oban Phoenix Cinema), Myles McLeod (The Brothers McLeod), Neil Smith (Film York)

Networking Session 6

Saturday 10 November
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Alice Whittemore (Ffilm Cymru Wales), Dan Thomas (They Eat Culture), Glen Gathard (Pinewood Studio Group), Imogen Dodds (Gulbenkian), Ruth Heritage (They Eat Culture)

Networking Session 7

Sunday 11 November
York Theatre Royal

Representatives in attendance:
Andrew Moore (University of Leeds), Charlotte Ashcroft (Film Hub Scotland), John Grieve (Manchester Film Weekender), Monika Rodriguez (Scalarama)

Networking Hosts

Abigail Standish

Sector Development Officer
Cinema For All

Abi joined the Cinema For All team in October 2015 as Marketing and Events Coordinator after volunteering for just over a year. Currently, she is Sector Development Officer, focusing on training and coaching programmes and building their Booking Scheme.

Alice Ramsey

BFI Network Talent Executive
Film Hub North

Alice works as a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive at Film Hub North, working with emerging writers, directors and producers across the North of England. She previously worked at Creative England as Development and Production Executive.

Alice Whittemore

Ffilm Cymru Wales
BFI Welsh Network Manager

Alice recently joined Ffilm Cymru Wales as BFI Welsh Network Manager, having spent six years in London working primarily in film exhibition and talent development. Prior to Ffilm Cymru, Alice was part of the Production team at Film London.

Aman Sharma


Aman is a Film Producer / Distributor and founder of Modyst, the next film distribution and streaming platform that allows independent filmmakers to reach a wider global audience. He is also a Board member of The Independent Film Academy.

Andy Moore

Lecturer and Programmer
University of Leeds

Andy is a visiting lecturer at the University of Leeds and a film programmer with 10 years’ experience working in film exhibition. He has programmed screenings and events for Leeds International Film Festival and the Harvard Film Archive.

Anna MacDonald

London Film Academy

Anna keeps the wheels at LFA turning, ensuring that the Academy remains inspiring and cutting edge. Anna deals with the Academy’s day-to-day running, business development or the distribution of films made by students and graduates. She has produced hundreds of motion pictures.

Anson Hartford

Banyak Films

Anson has made films since childhood; whether fiction or documentary the stories they tell always reveal the extraordinary in our everyday lives, and deliver central messages that challenge humanity’s wider preconceptions.

Charles Cecil

Revolution Software

Charles Cecil has more than 30 years’ experience in video games. He is the founder of Revolution Software, one of the world’s leading game companies and has an interest in the narrative and aesthetic aspects of interactive entertainment.

Chris Shepherd

Independent Filmmaker

Chris Shepherd is a multi-award-winning director, writer and producer. From his award winning directorial debut for Channel 4 in 1997 with The Broken Jaw, Chris has worked on many renowned TV Shows and commercials including Nathan Barley.

Colin Pons

Joint Managing Trustee
Studio of the North

Colin has worked as a producer and mentor in the UK film and TV industry for over 30 years, often with first time directors and producers. Colin has produced and executive produced a wide-ranging slate of independent short and feature projects.

Craig McNeil

Director of Creative Projects
Beggars Group

Craig is Director of Creative Projects at the Beggars Group of Labels. He joined Beggars in 1995 and has worked with artists including Adele, Dizzee Rascal, Jack White, British Sea Power, Interpol, Stornoway, Glass Animals, Daughter and The xx.

Deborah Parker

Chief Executive
Cinema For All

Deborah joined Cinema For All, the national organisation supporting and developing community cinema, in 2012. Since then she’s raised over a million pounds to fund Cinema For All’s work building community through film.

Gayle Woodruffe

Production Service Manager
Northern Film + Media

Gayle has worked with Northern Film + Media as its Production Service Manager since it’s inception in October 2002. She is responsible for promoting the region to film and TV production companies encouraging them to film in the North East. 

Glen Gathard

Pinewood Studios Group
Head of Creative Audio

Glen Gathard, Head of Creative Audio, Pinewood Studios Group is a multi-award nominated sound editor, foley mixer and sound designer. Glen has lately been an ADR recordist and foley mixer on films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Edge of Tomorrow.

Ian Fenton

Creative Director of Learning
Tyneside Cinema

Ian Fenton is the Creative Director of Learning and Participation at Tyneside Cinema, where he leads on work with new talent. He recently produced 72 short films for Channel 4’s Random Acts strand and the documentary feature The Dream Palace.

Imogen Dodds

Marketing and Programming Intern

Imogen Dodds is in her final year of Film Studies at the University of Kent, and has just completed a marketing and programming internship at the Gulbenkian. She is also a member of the Young FAN Programmers Anim18 team and Gulbenkian Uncovered. 

Isabelle Croissant

Programme Manager

Isabelle works at HOME, Manchester’s new international multi-arts venue. She programmes and produces events that aim to showcase and develop creative talents and forge connections between practitioners across a variety of creative sectors.

Jaime Estrada-Torres

Film Editor

Having worked with the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Jaime is a Freelance Editor and Avid film products specialist and consultant. He was the head of editing at the London Film School until 2017 when he returned to freelance editing.

Joanna Roy

Signal Film & Media

Joanna produces the ambitious digital arts programme strand at Signal Film & Media, a charity which provides specialist creative film and digital media access. She also lectures at Manchester School of Art and works as a freelance Graphic Designer.

Johan Skre

Cinema & Co.

Johan has always been involved in art and visual expression. He is partner, cinema technician and manager at Cinema & Co.; a small independent cinema, live venue and art space in Swansea. He has a background in photography.

John Grieve

Manchester Film Weekender

For over 20 years, John has been involved with Manchester & Salford Film Society. In 2015, he formed Manchester Film Weekender, and, in future, he will be involved in programming a season of six films for Altrincham little theatre.

Jonny Tull

Freelance Consultant

I was a member of the senior management team at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Tyneside Cinema. Over my 22-year career at the Tyneside I was lead for both marketing and programme, helping drive the biggest year-on-year audience increases in its history.

Julian Foddy

VFX Supervisor
Industrial Light & Magic

Julian Foddy is VFX Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic – a visual effects and animation studio founded in 1975 by George Lucas. Julian’s personal credits include blockbusters Avengers, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ready Player One.

Lauren Dark

Commissioning Executive
Film 4

Lauren Dark is a Commissioning Executive at Film4, focusing on new talent. Prior to her current role, she worked as an Independent Producer with Stray Bear Productions and in development and production at Ken Loach’s Sixteen Films.

Luke Toyne

Executive Producer
Maker Projects

Luke’s first credit as producer was the first music promo to be shot in HD – the Sneaker Pimps’ “Sick” in 2001. Since then he has specialised in branded content and TV commercials for the likes of Saatchi & Saatchi, M&C Saatchi, Sky and ITV.

Maria Caruana Galizia

Founder & Producer
Candle & Bell

Maria is an award-winning producer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2013 she founded Candle & Bell Limited, a production company dedicated to working with filmmakers from the North East. In 2017, it was named in Creative England 50.

Megan Evans

Creative Director
Deer Shed Festival

Megan Evans is the Creative Director for Deer Shed Festival, a music, arts and science family festival based in North Yorkshire. Megan has extensive experience in the outdoor festival sector, as well as other areas of the arts, such as live TV events and film.

Monica Rodriguez

Co-founder & Director
Big Adventure Cinema

Monica a co-founder and director of Big Adventure Cinema, a project supported by BFI North West Film Hub aiming to create a new community cinema in Liverpool. Since 2016, she has also coordinated the Liverpool branch of Scalarama.

Neil Smith

Film York
Managing Partner

I studied Film at St John’s University before entering the teaching profession. I am now Head of Film Studies at York College and we proudly have 100% success rate. I am also Managing Partner of

Nicci Topping

Nicci Topping Casting

Nicci has been a professional casting director for almost 20 years across film, TV, commercials and music promos for global brands such as Nike. Her feature film work includes work on several features, including the award winning Northern Soul.

Oliver Treasure-Smith

General Assistant
Curzon Cinema & Arts

Oliver Treasure- Smith is a General Assistant at Curzon Cinema & Arts with a focus on marketing and programming assistance. Oliver’s been working at the Curzon in Clevedon for over two years now and covers a large area of duties.

Phoebe Roberts


Phoebe looks after The Artangel Collection, a body of moving image works commissioned by Artangel over the last 25 years. Phoebe collaborates with Tate and with curatorial colleagues across the UK to exhibit these works in new contexts.

Rebecca Mark-Lawson

Tyke Films

Rebecca has a passion for nurturing new voices and is currently developing a slate of independent fiction and documentary feature films. She has executive produced award winning short films for Film4, BFI and BBC Films.

Richard Knight

Head of Production
Screen Yorkshire

For many years Richard worked in the film industry as a freelance location manager, sourcing the locations for films such as the BAFTA award-winning This is England. In recent years he has been Head of Production at Screen Yorkshire.

Rupert Jones-Lee

Support Programme Manager
Film & Television Charity

Rupert is Support Programme Manager at the Film & Television Charity where he runs the Going Places travel fund and is currently devising a programme of new forms of dynamic support aimed at current screen industry professionals.

Ruth Heritage

Creative Director
They Eat Culture

Ruth set up cultural producers They Eat Culture in 2009, working with emerging and established local and international creative practitioners and communities. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and has directed several documentaries.

Sadhbh Murphy

Network Ireland Television

Network Ireland Television is an independent distribution company of general TV programming and quality short film content, representing fils such as Chris Overton’s Oscar Winning Short, The Silent Child and Benjamin Cleary & TJ O’Grady Peytons, Wave.

Sile Culley

Sales Executive
Altitude Film

Síle settled in the UK after attending the National Film and Television School. She joined Altitude’s Theatrical Sales team in 2017 where she’s worked on the Academy Award-nominated The Florida Project, Loving Vincent and Loveless.