Turning a City Into a Cinema: Aesthetica Short Film Festival

ASFF 2013

On the eve of ASFF, we find 300 reasons to descend upon York this week…

Aesthetica Short Film Festival (now entering its third year, and from the art magazine of the same name) returns tomorrow to commandeer venues across York. Its aim, to showcase some of the finest examples of short film from 30 different countries across the globe.

Boasting some 300 films, you can expect drama, comedy, thrillers, documentary, animation, experimental artists’ films, and music video (as well as the newly introduced family orientated programme) to be strongly represented. In short, ASFF – which runs Thursday 7th November until Sunday 10th – caters to film fans of all tastes.

Where the festival really comes into its own though is in its utilisation of city-wide venues – some more obvious than others. Of the festival’s 15 venues, just one – City Screen – is what you’d recognise as a traditional cinema; amongst the rest, Barley Hall is a fully restored medieval house, another, gastro-bar Thirteen Thirty One, boasts reclining cinema seats and table service.

Screenshot from Bees Village: Nobody Knows, 2012. Eva Münnich (Independent), Germany. Music Video Finalist in ASFF 2013

Festival director Cherie Federico said: “I am very excited to bring you this year’s festival, with a truly exceptional line up of films and lively panel discussions to explore the nature of short film. It’s not often you can turn a city into a cinema.”

If York is turned into a cinema, what of its audience, no doubt eager for some traditional post-film conversation? Of course, it wouldn’t be a film festival without copious opportunities to get together with other cineastes to talk movies, and in this respect ASFF doesn’t disappoint; as well as daily networking sessions, scheduled time to meet the filmmakers and industry talks (including panel discussions) will no doubt prove major draws.

Big hitters include Alice Lowe, co-writer and star of the acclaimed black comedy Sightseers, who discusses screenwriting techniques; Film 4’s Development Editor Tom Leggett is on hand with advice on film production; Sheffield Doc/Fest (the UK’s leading festival focusing on documentary) programmer Hussain Currimbhoy takes a look at how the genre is developing and Craig McNeil from Beggars Group (Rough Trade, 4AD, Matador, XL Recordings) talks what makes a good music video.

15 venues, 300 films from 30 countries across eight different genres: with its off-beat use of venues, at first glance perhaps, ASFF is not for cinema purists but there isn’t a better way to get to know a city and what it offers, all with the added bonus of international cutting edge short form film.

Catch ASFF from tomorrow until Sunday 10 November 2013

Posted on 06/11/2013 by thedoublenegative