THE 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival opens in York tomorrow with the invitation to “discover new cinema”.
In its 11th year, the BAFTA-recognised festival takes the form of a hybrid event after being entirely online in Covid-impeded 2020, now combining a live festival in York this week with a longer-running virtual event online.
Cinema screenings and live events, such as masterclasses, are taking place from tomorrow until Sunday, spread across multiple venues, while the digital platform offers live-streamed events from York, a range of virtual masterclasses and On Demand film programmes, available until November 30.
Under the hybrid umbrella, the festival can be attended in three ways: in person, virtually or through a mixture of both, with tickets on sale at asff.co.uk/tickets/.
To view the programme, featuring no fewer than 500 films, head to: issuu.com/aesthetica_magazine/docs/aesthetica-short-film-festival-2021?fr=sNzFhOTQwNTI0MjM.
Here are director Cherie Federico’s Ten To See recommendations for the 2021 Aesthetica Short Film Festival:
1. Daily film programmes: Official Selection
ASFF has six thematic film strands this year, released online and screening in cinemas. Each strand features multiple genres of film, including comedy, drama, documentary, animation and thriller. Short films, feature films and VR (virtual reality) films are available to watch On Demand and in cinemas. For more details, go to: and copy: asff.co.uk/film-programme/.
2. VR Lab and associated panel discussions:
ATTENDEES can experience virtual reality and 360 films at the VR Lab in York or at home with a headset. Festival panels with industry experts offer the chance to learn more about cutting-edge technologies in filmmaking. Go to: asff.co.uk/vr-lab/.
EVERY year, ASFF welcomes industry leaders from assorted disciplines to discuss their craft, offering the opportunity to gain first-hand insights in direction, animation, VFX (visual effects), documentary production and cinematography. This year’s line-up includes speakers from the BBC, Film4, Channel 4 and the Guardian.
From Adaption To Oscar Nomination: Sally Potter OBE, November 5, Yorkshire Museum and live-streamed
LEGENDARY English director Sally Potter’s ground-breaking films have earned her a rightful place in cinema history. Trained as a dancer, Potter moved into film in the 1970s, forging a reputation as a fiercely feminist filmmaker with The Golddiggers, Orlando and The Party.
Her latest non-linear drama, 2020’s The Road Not Taken, demonstrates how she remains a filmmaker of rare vision and imagination. Potter’s discussion with host Mia Bays, of Birds’ Eye View, will span five decades. For more details, visit: asff.co.uk/all-masterclasses/.
4. Masterclass: Industrial Light & Magic: Fantastic Universes, November 5, Yorkshire Museum and live-streamed
AS the visual effects and animation studio for Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic has been responsible for building some of the most memorable and magical worlds in modern cinema. VFX supervisor Julian Foddy, who has worked on blockbusters such as Fast & Furious 9, The Mandalorian and the forthcoming Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, presents a masterclass that will illuminate this fascinating area of post-production.
For more details on Foddy’s compelling insight into the hard work and innovation that it takes to build captivating and convincing universes, head to: asff.co.uk/all-masterclasses/.
5. Masterclass: Striking Portraits: Documentaries That Change The World, Asif Kapadia, November 6, Yorkshire Museum and live-streamed
ACADEMY Award, four-time BAFTA-winning and Grierson Award-garlanded filmmaker Asif Kapadia has worked across both fiction and documentary, with credits such as The Warrior (starring the late, great Irrfan Khan), Senna, Amy and 2019’s Diego Maradona.
In this illustrated masterclass with Jason Wood, Kapadia discusses his extensive career, his influences, his hopes for a more diverse industry and his pioneering work in creating influential portraits of often flawed and troubled icons. More details can be found at: asff.co.uk/all-masterclasses/.
IMPERIAL War Museum presents a programme of archive footage under the title of How The Past Is Presented: Geopolitics in Iraq and the Gulf. More details: asff.co.uk/film-programme/#GuestProgrammes.
7. Guest Programme: 9/11, Twenty Years On
AESTHETICA marks 20 years since the attack on the Twin Towers, New York, with a three-part programme of films examining its impact and aftermath. More details: asff.co.uk/film-programme/#GuestProgrammes.
8. Family Friendly Screenings
AESTHETICSA believes film is for everyone. These family-friendly programmes are designed for four to 12-year-olds, although they touch on emotions and offer layers of meaning for adults and carers alike, featuring animations, comedies and age-appropriate dramas. More details: asff.co.uk/film-programme/#FamilyFriendly
9. Sound Installation, November 5 and 6, Spark:York
EXPERIMENTAL vocalist and sound artist Yifeat Ziv presents a multi-speaker sound piece entitled Amazonian Traces Of Self, based on her experience in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. More details: issuu.com/aesthetica_magazine/docs/aesthetica-short-film-festival-2021?fr=sNzFhOTQwNTI0MjM
10. Industry Marketplace
UNIQUE to ASFF, the Industry Marketplace is a vital meeting space for established and aspiring filmmakers, industry professionals, academics, students and film-lovers. The 2021 event welcomes representatives from film festivals, universities and casting companies as well as strategists, consultants and mentors, in person on November 5 and online until November 30. More details: asff.co.uk/industry-marketplace/.