Winners Announced: Aesthetica Short Film Festival Awards Ceremony 2015

The last night of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) saw filmmakers and filmgoers alike making their way to the beautiful and historic National Centre For Early Music to find out who has won each category.

After a jam-packed four days of films, networking, panels, masterclasses and sessions, Aesthetica Short Film Festival celebrated its 5th anniversary with a grand finale by announcing the category winners including Best of Fest and People’ Choice. It was an emotional evening, with approximately 200 guests waiting to find out the winning films from each genre.

Petros Silvestros was awarded Best Thriller and overall Festival Winner, chosen for the incredibly gripping A Confession. The fantastic Acoustic Kitty by Jennifer Sheridan won the hearts of the ASFF public and took home the People’s Choice Award and the York Youth Award, an initiative to introduce young people to independent cinema in collaboration with Joseph Rowntree Foundation, went to Sam Johnson for the laugh out loud comedy Billy the Kid.

Strands such as fashion, advertising and dance showcase the breadth of choice and filmic styles at ASFF. The Fashion Strand attracted a startling number of high quality entries and the competition was fierce with films by top brands such as Ted Baker, Selfridges and River Island.

London-based Creative Agency, White Lodge received the Best Fashion Award for Pinch Me for Ted Baker while advertising was won by Simon Emmerson, Andy Russell, Tim Spence and Phil Robson for The Experimenter. A tactile and vibrant celebration of substance, The Experimenter is a film which is made from the very products it advertises. It’s visually stimulating and a beautifully enticing film.

The winner of Best Experimental was Drifters, an invitation by director Anu Valia to explore a portrait of a lonely actress. It’s a haunting film that stays with the viewer long after it has ended. The Best Dance award went to Tom Rowland for his study of human motion on film, Primitive. Somewhere Down the Line by Julien Regnard took home the Animation Award. A warm and illustrative animation, it depicts a single lifetime, but as seen over the course of one single continuous journey.

Best Artists’ Film was awarded to the award-winning artist, Shezad Dawood for Towards the Possible Film co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation, while Dominque Rocher won the Best Music Video for the song Daughters by We Were Evergreen.

A poignant, hopeful and visually memorable film Across Still Water by Ruth Grimberg won Best Documentary, while the heartfelt, painful and highly affecting Stutterer by Benjamin Cleary won Best Drama. The Best Comedy was awarded to Tommaso Pitta for How I Didn’t Become a Piano Player for its nostalgic look at a young boy who is hopeless at everything, but he’s persistent. Eventually he finds a new hobby to fail at.

Celebrating its 5th Anniversary, BAFTA Qualifying ASFF is a leader of for film culture across the UK. ASFF is quickly becoming one of the leading British film festivals, cementing its position by bringing together filmmakers, industry and audiences.

ASFF is a festival for discovery, it’s an event which encourages its attendees to try something new, step out of their comfort zones and experience new cinema.

Meet the Film Festivals event took place in the stunning surrounds of Middletons Hotel and brought together programmers from Dublin Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Castellinaria in Switzerland, ECU in Paris and more leading to new collaborations and providing an opportunity for filmmakers to meet those behind some of the world’s most acclaimed film festivals.

ASFF’s very first Videotheque delighted festival-goers with an opportunity to experience the entire programme in one location. Held within the recently refurbished Explore York, this new festival resource invited ASFF pass holders to delve into the Official Selection catalogue plus special line-ups.

With special premieres and programmes from Creative England’s iShorts, and guest country screenings from Cuba, Brazil and China, the festival brought together different cultures and experiences whilst promoting and celebrating the art of short filmmaking.

The fifth edition of ASFF welcomed thousands of visitors to the city including a diverse mix of industry professionals, young families, film fans, students, tourists and more, some travelling from as far afield as Brazil, USA, Canada and Australia.

ASFF 2016 will open for entries in December 2015.

1. Petros Silvestros, A Confession (UKFF/ Irresistible Films).