Pleased to Meet You

Platonic, romantic, familial: there are numerous types of relationships that we form over a lifetime. Pleased To Meet You is the fourth strand of films at ASFF 2021.

At Aesthetica, our programmes are curated into six daily strands that offer a wide-ranging view of how film has the power to ignite, transform and change the world. Curation at Aesthetica is centred around powerful storytelling, compelling narratives and ideas.

Across seven reels and three features, Strand 4 explores interpersonal connections, the contexts with which they are formed and how they ultimately define us. But how do we define our associations? At what point does an acquaintance become something more? And how has the digital age altered the ways we make and cut ties, irrevocably?

For comedy lovers, Pleased to Meet You features two reels. The Rocky Road of Romance looks at how the true course of love never ran smooth, in films like Joshua Thornton-Allan’s provocatively titled Fuck the Honeymoon, and Seeds of Love, made during lockdown with a three-person cast and crew. Dark Laughs, meanwhile, highlights exactly why comedy is the best way into the heart of darkness, with a series of shorts about keyboard warriors, dog walkers and even a prolific West End star.

ASFF has always been dedicated to showcasing films for younger viewers, and in the Family Friendly reel, Just the Two of Us, a quartet of delightful films explore the bonds of family and friendship. A truly international selection – from Croatia, Australia, Iceland, and France – the message is clear: these shorts are about finding common ground, support, and our wider sense of humanity.

The dramatic genre is also strongly represented with three distinct reels, each containing six films. In Play Nice, these dysfunctional family dramas, like Blue Corridor 15 and Peninsula, explore tensions and connections in everyday life. With shorts from South Africa, Italy, France, Coming to Grips with the World looks at why we want to belong, why we sometimes need to escape, and how feeling irrelevant is a lonely space. To Feel Again, meanwhile, has one mission in mind: to let audiences open their emotions through the portal of storytelling.

Two narrative features are also included in Pleased to Meet You. Directed by Jakob Zapf, A Handful of Water is a film from Germany that pits together two people from very different generations: the 85-year-old Konrad, a recent widower, and 12-year-old Theba, who seeks to avoid deportation. Iranian film Botox marks the feature debut of Kaveh Mazaheri, after making several shorts and documentaries, and tells the story of two sisters who lie about the disappearance of their brother by telling everyone he has fled to Germany.

In venue, strands will be screened across a variety of days, whilst, virtually, strands will be released daily and accrue throughout the course of the live festival week.

The 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival runs in-person from 2-7 November and online from 2-30 November. Tickets start from £25. Discover our pass options here.