Visual Innovation

Hailing from renowned institutions such as Sheffield Doc/Fest, BFI London Film Festival and Aesthetica Magazine, those involved in curating the 2017 Official Selection have harnessed their diverse industry skills and experience to create a unique programme that reflects the unprecedented potential and visual innovation of independent film.

Abbe Robinson: Filmmaker

Abbe is a multi-award winning filmmaker. She has worked as an assistant director for over 15 years and has been commissioned twice as a Writer/Director by the UK Film Council and Screen Yorkshire. Her short film Private Life played at over 150 film festivals worldwide, winning 21 awards and her recent film La Ragazza e la Gondola is currently on the festival circuit. Abbe has been a programmer for numerous festivals.

Alex Tobin: Artist and Programmer

Alex is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates elements of experimental animation, programming, performance and music. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art and in Kyoto, and has exhibited and performed at venues across Scotland including CCA, DCA, Tramway and Summerhall. He has been programing for Aesthetica for several years and is a committee member of Dundee-based arts collective Yuck ’n Yum.

Cherie Federico: Editor, Aesthetica Magazine

Cherie is the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine and the Director of the BAFTA-recognised Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF). Originally from New York, Cherie moved to the UK in 2002 to study for her Masters degree and founded Aesthetica, which she has developed into an international brand distributed in 525 stores in the UK and exported to 20 countries. Interested in visual culture, setting up ASFF has been a career highlight.

Dale Donley: Production Director, Aesthetica

Dale is the Production Director and co-founder of Aesthetica Magazine and Aesthetica Short Film Festival. He spent his early career working as an artist and then moved into graphic design. He is passionate about film and animation in particular. He loves to see animators pushing the boundaries of their craft to create something entirely new. He believes in strong aesthetics and powerful narratives that create a unique experience for the audience.

Emma Parker: Marketing and Events Programmer

Emma is passionate about film festivals and documentary. She spent 2016 and 2017 as interim Marketing Manager at City Screen Picturehouse in York. Prior to working at Picturehouse Emma was Assistant Producer at DocHouse, the UK’s first cinema dedicated to documentary. Emma has produced events at The Great Yorkshire Fringe in collaboration with Cinem@, and worked as Venue Manager at Sheffield Doc/Fest. She is currently overseeing Marketing and Sponsorship for Picturehouse Pop-Up.

Jess Loveland: Development Executive

Jess is a programmer and development executive currently working with Dublin-based production company Blinder Films across their feature and television slate. Jess previously worked for Creative England and the BFI NETWORK finding and developing new and emerging filmmaking talent and supporting filmmakers through the development and production of short and feature films.

Rob Speranza: Producer and Director

Rob is a producer, director and line producer from New York whose feature film credits include Arthur and Merlin, Entity, Inbred and Small Creatures (nominated for Best Film at EIFF 2013) alongside 15 short films. He has enjoyed screenings and awards at hundreds of festivals globally and has won over 60 awards for his work. Rob holds an MA and a PhD in film studies from the University of Sheffield.

Sophie Brown: Programmer Adviser and Writer

Sophie is a programmer adviser for BFI London Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest. She has written for publications including Dazed and Confused, Sight & Sound and Aesthetica, and coordinates for Scalarama, a nationwide celebration of cinema. She also curates Bijou Electric Empire Forever, a film strand focusing on lost treasures, underground voices, alienated perspectives and rebels in cinema.

ASFF runs 8-12 November, various venues around York. To find out more or to book your tickets:

Join the Conversation: @ASFFest

1. The Full Moon in Gemini, from the Fashion strand in the 2017 Official Selection.