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Submit Your Film .

Submit your work to one of the UK’s largest film festivals. We’re a BAFTA and BIFA-Qualifying festival, meaning every short film that screens with us may be eligible to receive a BAFTA and BIFI nomination in the British Short Film categories.

Our Curation

Aesthetica's curation is centred around powerful storytelling, compelling narratives and ideas. We programme the festival into six overarching strands which thematically reflect the current state-of-play, from the climate crisis and shifting geo-politics to personal relationships and technological innovation. Our curatorial team includes 16 programmers who have worked for some of the world’s largest film festivals and organisations.

What We’re Looking For

Great film is transformative. We are looking for bold stories that are told differently. We focus on the topics that are the most meaningful, pressing and present in our world and welcome a diversity of subject matter and styles. We accept shorts across multiple genres: Animation, Artists’ Film, Comedy, Dance, Drama, Experimental, Fashion, Music Video and Thriller, as well as features, VR, 360 and immersive projects.

Why Submit?

Filmmakers that have screened at Aesthetica have gone on to receive further success and career recognition, winning BAFTAs and Oscars, as well as further awards at the likes of Sundance, SXSW and more. Our alumni have also been commissioned by the likes of Film 4, BBC, StudioCanal, Goldfinch and Channel 4. Beyond success stories, we offer prestigious awards as well as cash prizes in each category.

The Official Selection .

Each year, we accept roughly 300 films into our Official Selection, chosen from thousands of entries worldwide. Each of the selected films is in competition to win numerous awards, chosen by an esteemed jury of industry professionals. Year on year, the Official Selection becomes a testbed for new ideas, offering reflection on the future of film, and featuring the next biggest names in independent cinema.

Submission Information .

  • 1 December 2023 | Entries Open
  • 31 May 2024 | Regular Submission Deadline
  • 9 June 2024 | Late Submission Deadline
  • September 2024 | Official Selection announced
  • 6 – 10 November 2024 | Live Festival taking place in York, UK
  • 6 – 30 November 2024 | Digital Festival
  • 10 November 2024 | Festival winners announced at the Awards Ceremony
  • Regular Submissions | 1 December – 31 May 2024
    Shorts £27 | Features £43 | 360, VR & Immersive £39
  • Late Submissions | 1 – 7 June 2024
    Shorts £39 | Features £55 | 360, VR & Immersive £49
  • Short films should have a maximum running time of 35 minutes.
  • Feature films are considered to have a runtime of 35 minutes or over.
  • For 360 films, please ensure that your work is compatible with Oculus Go headsets. Please provide a downloadable link to your project as an mp4 file
  • For VR and Immersive experiences, please provide a link to a fully build of the project. Please also include a setup reader and full technical requirements. The festival does not supply any additional equipment beyond headsets and VR laptops.
  • All films in languages other than English must have burnt in subtitles.
  • There is no premiere requirement. We will accept submissions of films that have previously screened elsewhere, including at other festivals.
  • There is no required completion date for screening, but films completed in the past 2 years are preferred.
  • Only submissions through Filmfreeway will be considered.
  • Your entry form must include your name, address, telephone number and email so that we can contact you.
  • Your film must not be in breach of any copyright, including music or sound used in your film.
  • The link to your video included in your submission form must not expire.
  • Aesthetica is unable to grant waiver requests.
  • Aesthetica does not cover screening fees.
  • Submissions are final and subject to a no refund policy.
  • All submissions are watched in their entirety and given the full attention of our team of programmers. The date of submission has no reflection on our selection decisions.
  • View our FAQ page for more information.
  • ASFF is one of the UK’s leading and most expansive film events, recognised by the BFI as a festival of national significance and being both BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying for short film. The festival celebrates the work of outstanding filmmakers through its coveted awards. All films which are selected for the Official Selection will screen in competition and will be eligible for our Best in Category awards which are decided by a jury of industry experts and practitioners. In addition to the Best in Category awards, we present a number of special awards which offer project support, services as well as a combined total of £5000 in cash prizes.

Best in Category Awards:

  • Best Advertising Film (Short)
  • Best Animation Film (Short)
  • Best Artists’ Film (Short)
  • Best Comedy Film (Short)
  • Best Dance Film (Short)
  • Best Documentary Film (Short)
  • Best Drama Film (Short)
  • Best Experimental Film (Short)
  • Best Game
  • Best Music Video (Short)
  • Best Thriller Film (Short)
  • Best VR, Immersive & 360 Project (Short)
  • Best Narrative Feature Film
  • Best Documentary Feature Film

Special Awards:

  • Best Cinematography – all selected films eligible
  • Best Director – all selected films eligible
  • Best Editing – all selected films eligible
  • Best Screenplay – all selected films eligible
  • Best of Festival – all selected films eligible

All winners receive editorial on Aesthetica’s online channels.

Submissions are open to the following categories:


  • Advertising Film
  • Animation
  • Artists’ Film
  • Comedy
  • Dance
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Experimental
  • Fashion Film
  • Music Video
  • Thriller
  • All short films should be 30 minutes or under.

VR & Immersive

  • VR & Immersive Experiences (Under 30 Minutes – Must be suitable for Oculus Rift or HTC systems)
  • 360 Video (Under 30 Minutes – Must be suitable for Oculus Go headsets)


  • Narrative Feature Film (60 – 120 Minutes)
  • Documentary Feature Film (60 – 120 Minutes)
  • We do not cover licensing or screening fees for selected projects.
  • The 2024 festival will be a hybrid event, with selected films available online via our closed platform from 6-30 November
  • Access to this is international and as standard, we will not geoblock content. If you are selected to screen and require geoblocking, you must inform the team.
  • All films in the English language are provided with a correctly formatted subtitle file (.srt) to ensure that all content is accessible.
  • We will use stills, trailers and excerpts for promotion, including the festival trailer, filmmaker interviews and social media.