The Aesthetica Film Festival Opens

The eighth edition of the BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival (ASFF) returns for a spectacular five-day programme, running 7-11 November across 15 venues in York. Presenting films from 45 countries, the festival champions a diversity of new voices whilst introducing audiences to the best in independent cinema.

Dynamic screenings from 12 short film genres – including Comedy, Drama, Documentary and Family Friendly, are accompanied by Guest Programmes from all over the world, including a commemoration of the WWI from Imperial War Museum’s archives, as well as a showcase of female Syrian filmmakers with the Scottish Documentary Institute and BAFTA-winning animations from previous ASFF award-winner Chris Shepherd.

The festival pushes the boundaries of new technologies, in the 2018 edition offering audiences the chance to experience Virtual Reality and 360 filmmaking. The Screen School VR Lab, in partnership with London College of Communication, includes a series of immersive experiences, whilst THE MOMENT – a brain-controlled film is situated outside Yorkshire Museum – an installation with 18 billion possible stories.

For the first time in the festival’s eight-year run, ASFF also welcomes feature films into the competition. Spanning global politics and life-affirming stories, the projects hail from filmmakers whose credits include the BBC, Sky Arts, The Barbican, Tate Modern, The New York Times, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Cannes Film Festival and Edinburgh International Festival.

Alongside film screenings, a carefully curated programme of 30 masterclasses transform the city into a hive of activity and cultural engagement. Speakers from leading organisations are in attendance at York St John University, Yorkshire Museum and York Theatre Royal to discuss the inner-working of contemporary cinema, including Film 4, BBC, i-D, Vice, British Vogue and Aardman Animation. Also in attendance are award-winning filmmakers and producers including Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Matt Greenhalgh (Control and Nowhere Boy) and Mark Cousins (The Eyes of Orson Wells and Stockholm, My Love), who discuss their expansive careers.

Considering the next generation of talent, the festival also hosts showcase screenings with leading film schools, with panel topics includingThe A-Z of Making A Standout Short and Which Story Do I Tell. Meanwhile, filmmakers whose credits include Cannes, Sundance and Channel 4 Random Acts pitch projects to financiers from StudioCanal, Curzon, Dogwoof across the five days – celebrating the evolution of film from concept to production.

Tickets are available from the Film Festival Hub at York Theatre Royal, 7-11 November.

1. ASFF Trailer 2018.