Film entries invited for York’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival by May 31 deadline

YORK’S Aesthetica Short Film Festival is open for submissions for its eighth edition, booked into venues across the city from November 7 to 11.

An increasingly dynamic player on the international film festival circuit, the BAFTA-Recognised festival is a platform for innovation and originality, offering new perspectives in the medium of film.

As an important outlet for moving image and digital culture, ASFF invites both emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their work that tell both universal and personal stories.

Looking for practitioners who push the boundaries of film forward, the festival welcomes short films up to 30 minutes in length in such categories as advertising; animation; artists’ film; comedy; dance; documentary; drama; experimental; fashion; music video and thriller.

Adding longer-form stories for the first time, the 2018 festival is accepting narrative and documentary feature film submissions of 60 minutes and over.

Narrative films can exist within the realms of extended stories – comedy, drama, and thriller, for example – while the documentary strand includes features that hold a mirror up to society.

“Bringing forth unique visions of our world, cultures, lives and loves, the inclusion of features is an exciting opportunity for filmmakers to stretch their imaginations to the limit,” says festival director Cherie Federico.

“The decision to include the feature film strand was inspired by previous ASFF alumni, who had their beginnings right here in York. Past ASFF filmmakers have gone on to achieve further success, including wins at the Academy Awards (Benjamin Cleary’s Stutterer in 2016) and the BAFTAs (Daisy Jacobs’ The Bigger Picture in 2015). It’s a unique opportunity to show audiences what happened next, where they are today, and to showcase the incredible work they continue to produce.”

This autumn’s event also will explore game-changing forms of storytelling, opening up submissions up to virtual reality (VR) projects. “The fully immersive experiences simulate reality first hand, transporting audiences into replicated environments they can interact and connect with,” says Cherie.

All films in the Official Selection are in competition to receive a number of awards, including Festival Winner; People’s Choice; the £1,000 Northern Film School Award for Best Screenplay; York Youth Award and Best in Category. Additional prizes include eligibility to enter the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs); multiple screenings at ASFF; inclusion in the ASFF Film Tour and editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine and on Aesthetica’s online channels.

“Newly named as a festival of national significance by the British Film Institute, ASFF is a major hub for the industry, attracting today’s film world practitioners keen to talent spot and meet filmmakers who are creating original and compelling work,” says Cherie. “Festival programmers have previously selected ASFF films to screen at other international festivals, leading to several high-profile collaborations.

“Masterclasses taking place throughout ASFF aim to bring together leaders from across the film sector, offering filmmakers the opportunity to hear directly from those shaping the industry, enabling them to expand their professional network and explore talent development opportunities.”

Last year’s ASFF programme presented more than 300 films from 40 countries worldwide, featuring several UK premieres and attracting more than 24,000 admissions during the five-day festival, with visitors attending from the United States, Australia, Israel and across Europe, as well as Britain.

Film submissions for 2018 are open until May 31. For more information or submission guidelines, visit

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