This year, ASFF 2020 invited a wide variety of guest programmers to curate and excite audiences. Grouped under the title ‘Perspectives’, these films offer the chance to experience a breadth of identities, cultures and outlooks:
Indigenous Cinema: Celebrating Sovereignty
Native Spirit Film Festival presents a selection of shorts by First Nations and indigenous filmmakers from Canada, USA, Norway and Aotearoa, as artists reclaim stories, expand traditional definitions and interpret the moving image.
Cinesisters: A Platform for Female Voices
A collective of over 150 female directors making award-winning films and TV, Cinesisters showcases a handful of shorts that have transformed the careers of exceptional female filmmakers.
Tales From Isolation
2020 has forced many people into months of separation from family and friends and put a strain on our physical and mental well-being. Short of the Week’s vivid selection explores themes of isolation and what it truly means to be alone.
Discussions of transgender film are usually dominated by representations of trans people, not those made by trans people. This programme, from the Transgender Media Portal, changes that with films made by trans, Two-Spirit, nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming artists.
Challenging Perspectives: Documenting Modern Britain
Curated by the BFI Doc Society Fund, these short documentary films tackle prominent issues of disability, identity, mental health, class and culture in modern-day Britain.
With Vietnam’s independent film industry still in its infancy, here are five films that celebrate marginalised female voices in traditional Vietnamese music – stories that endanger acts of ‘civil resistance’.
Fresh Perspectives: Making Space for Disability
With less than 5% disabled people working in the UK film industry, getting the work made and seen is a challenge. Oska Bright Film Festival, the world’s leading platform for learning disability films, rectifies that here with a series of unique shorts.
Imperial War Museum presents the Oscar-winning documentary The True Glory which chronicles the events of 1944-1945, from the Allied invasion of Normandy all the way through to the fall of the Third Reich on 8 May 1945.
I Still Can’t Breathe
After the horrifying death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed, these films, curated by Directors Notes and Can We Talk DXB, explore the reality of life as a member of marginalised populations.
The Future of AI: People and Data
What is the future of AI? What do we want from it? Digital Creative Labs, based at the University of York, showcases a selection of films that make us consider to future of artificial intelligence.
Voices from The Arctic: Norway on Screen
Presented by the Norwegian Short Film Festival, these short films share just some of the diverse voices of the country, from life in a Sápmi village, lakes and tundras to a bustling capital in lockdown.
Brazil in the Spotlight: Vibrancy and Creativity
With a diversity of voices and styles, this programme – presented by Curta Kinoforum – encourages viewers to discover more of contemporary Brazilian cinema.
LGBT+ Shorts: Defining Gay Cinema
Rarely seen short films from the Iris Prize Archive, the stories deal with the broader themes of mental health and the search for love.
The Aesthetica Film Festival is On Demand until 30 November. Tickets available here.
1. Still from The Arrival, dir. Annetta Laufer. From the Cinesisters Guest Programme.
2. Still from Njuok?amat (The Tongues), dir. Marja and Ingir Bål Nango.
3. Still from Alice, dir. Laura Scrivano.
4. Still from In Full Bloom, dir. Maegan Houang.
5. Still from Waking Hour, dir. Nava Mau.
6. Still from Zero Zero, dir. Eva-Grace Bor.
7. Still from A Lone Rider, dir. Le Thu Minh, Huynh Kim Khanh Tran, Do Quang DungNguyen Anh Tuan.
8. Still from Radial Dundee, dir. Tamara Searle, Rhian Hinkley.
9. Still from The True Glory, courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.
10. Still from She, dir. Idris Fassisi.
11. Still from Bot, dir. Daniel Hoffmann.
12. Still from Dog Eat Dog, Rikke Gregersen.
13. Still from Unliveable, dir. Matheus Farias, Enock Carvalho.
14. Still from Hurt’s Rescue, dir. Grant Scicluna.