New Wave: The Next Generation of Talent

ASFF is the only UK festival that offers a dedicated strand to graduate filmmakers. This is your chance to meet and see work by visionaries shaping the future of film.

Every New Wave screening is followed by a panel with filmmakers, industry professionals and academics. In these discussions we dig deeper into the craft and artistry of filmmaking and explore the pressing contemporary issues shaping the industry (and the world) today. This year’s events will cover ideas such as connection in a post-pandemic world, the nitty gritty of micro-budget filmmaking, and the challenges of building a more diverse industry. Here we take a closer look at this year’s key topics.

DIY Filmmaking: Taking Artistic Control

The pandemic year saw a resurgence in DIY filmmaking born out of necessity. Alex Crowton’s In Praise of the Garage is a documentary enquiry into the nature of DIY practice: what it is, how it’s done, where it comes from, and why it’s so compelling for producers and audiences alike.

Wednesday 3 November, 16:30

Timeless Narratives: The Producer As Storyteller

Stories are at the heart of a good film and are what drive the industry. But what influence does the film industry have in wider culture? These films offer the chance to explore the way ways in which filmmakers inhabit the mind of the producer to create timeless narratives.

Thursday 4 November, 12:00

Home Movies: A World Opening Up

Overnight, home became the only place we knew, lasting longer than anyone thought it would. Now, as the world reopens, these filmmakers invite you fix your gaze on the horizon once more, on a cinematic journey, spanning Russia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

Thursday 4 November, 15:30

Making Contact: Tales From Isolation

Connection has become increasingly important during the Covid-19 pandemic. The protagonists of these films attempt to connect in different ways: discovering a link with one’s past, trying to tell a parent the truth about one’s identity, reaching out to an audience online when live performance is not possible, and connecting with another person without words.

Friday 5 November, 12:00

Bodies of Change: Alternative Futures

Exploring a wide range of topics – from the alternative futures of bio-production and sustainable energy extraction to the politics and power of female anger – this collection of short films uses the body, and the way it is dressed, as a lens for navigating critical social, cultural, and environmental narratives.

Friday 5 November, 16:00

The Art of Limitation: Creativity Under Constraints

This programme of films, and subsequent panel discussion, will consider the proposition that – rather than stifling creativity – limitations function as positive forces that inspire and facilitate. These films were made under strict Covid-safe protocols and demonstrate the ways in which we can overcome and innovate in challenging times.

Saturday 6 November, 15:30


The full list of organisations: York St John University / Regent’s University / London College of Communication / London College of Fashion / University of Lincoln / University of York.

The 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival runs in-person from 2-7 November and online from 2-30 November. Tickets start from £25. Learn more here.