Round-Up of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival returned to its beautiful home-town of York on 3 November, turning the historic city into a cinematic treasure trail, inviting visitors from across the globe to explore York and it’s many iconic venues. ASFF hosted the annual 4-day event, packed with an exciting programme of masterclasses, Showcase Screenings, Networking Sessions and a new series of Family-Friendly and baby friendly screenings making the festival suitable for film fans of all ages.

The Showcase Screenings, a feature new to the event this year, welcomed emerging talent from leading cultural institutions across the UK, including London College of Fashion UAL, The Northern Film School, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Creative England’s iShorts programme and many more. Audiences were invited to gain unique insight into the processes behind creating such innovative work through a series of themed panel discussions following the screenings.

Other new events this year included UK Screen Agencies Drinks Reception, which allowed festival attendees to engage with representatives and filmmakers from Northern Ireland Screen, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Creative Scotland and Creative England whilst enjoying the historic and cultural atmosphere of the newly re-opened York Art Gallery.  The Meet the Film Festivals event evolved into a Marketplace, seeing over 20 film festivals in attendance keen to share top tips with filmmakers on getting their work shown by these major cinematic platforms.

This year’s Masterclass events invited a selection of successful film industry professionals to share their knowledge and experiences with the ASFF audience. Industry sessions from actor and writer Alice Lowe and Peaky Blinders Editor, Celia Haining proved ever-popular, gathering great numbers of attendees. The Association of Camera Operators, whose credits include Les Miserables and Sherlock, returned to ASFF to present another largely successful masterclass, Defining the Role of The Camera Operator, a unique session teaching budding filmmakers and film fans the craft of using effective camera techniques.

Attracting more entries than ever this year, ASFF 2016 screened a record number of films throughout the festival, covering a variety of themes – ranging from narratives of love and grief, to documentaries of poverty and immigration. The 11 cinematic genres showcased the work of international filmmakers, working in different styles and of different professional levels – celebrating the diversity of filmmaking and the power of film on its audience.

After an exciting weekend, packed with some of the best films from all over the world, what better way to celebrate than with one big final celebratory event. The closing ceremony gathered an audience of two hundred people, anticipating the results of the festival competition. The overall Festival Winner this year was Fabio Palmieri, awarded for his film Irregulars, also the winner of Best Documentary. Winning over the festival audience with his short drama, Dust and Resin, Stephen Parker was the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award. National and international visitors joined together under one roof to round-up the events of ASFF, an ever-growing event that, year-after-year, unites film-lovers in a fun-filled and social event that honours the world of cinema.

For more information about ASFF 2016, visit

ASFF 2017 will take place 9 – 12 November.

1. ASFF 2016, courtesy of Jim Poyner