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News release - Issued by Aesthetica

The BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016 Opens Next Week – Championing Independent Cinema

The BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) 2016 will open its doors next week to filmmakers, audiences, and industry professionals, brought together in celebration of independent film, and in championing and supporting emerging and established practitioners.


The sixth edition of the festival presents the largest programme to date with 400 films, offering festival-goers an unprecedented opportunity to explore the diversity of short film in genres such as drama, animation, documentary, fashion, experimental, comedy, thriller and music video. The Official Selection unites artists from across the world, showcasing filmmaking talent from a total of 40 countries worldwide.

Audiences can shape their festival experience according to their own preferences, choosing from Single Screening Tickets to catch a short snippet of what’s on offer to a full Four Day Unlimited Pass – permitting access to all screenings including Special Showcases from the UK’s leading cultural institutions including Creative England, London College of Fashion, Plymouth College of Art, Northern Ireland Screen, University of York and more.

Committed to bringing unique and timely films to audiences, ASFF 2016 also presents a special screening of Battle of the Somme to mark the film’s Centenary, in partnership with The Imperial War Museum, London. The film presented a pivotal moment in World War One history to audiences across Britain in 1916, and will be shown at York Army Museum every day of the festival.


ASFF is a festival of discovery, not only inviting its attendees to experience something new in short film from its innovative Official Selection filmmakers, but also encouraging them to explore the city of York. There are 18 distinct venues comprising medieval halls, contemporary art spaces and purpose-built theatres – all within walking distance from each other inside the historic City Walls.


Spanning Friday and Saturday is a series of industry-led masterclasses with representatives from influential film organisations such as the BBC, Industrial Light & Magic (Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Spectre), Sonorouspost (Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, Luther and Sherlock) and BAFTA Winning animators The Brothers McLeod (DreamWorks, Tate and Disney). These talks present a rare opportunity for attendees to hear directly from some of today’s top film world professionals – gaining unique insight, tips and advice and learning about best practice in a number of areas applicable to both film and television.

From directing to cinematography, festival strategies and funding, to production design and film criticism, there is a subject area for everyone. These talks will help those working in film to keep up-to-date with current trends in the sector, and will also appeal to audiences with an interest in film enabling them to enhance their understanding of the processes and practices used across the industry.

Industry Networking

For those looking to expand their contacts list, ASFF is the perfect place. Networking Sessions run throughout Friday to Sunday, providing a relaxed and informal setting for festival-goers to book a slot and speak directly with key industry figures to learn about current opportunities, promote their films and network with future collaborations in mind. Organisations in attendance include London Film Academy, HOME, Revolution Software and Northern Film and Media.

Meet the Film Festivals is a major industry event at ASFF and has this year expanded into an all-new Marketplace, taking the shape of a tradeshow whereby attendees can interact with over 20 representatives behind some of the top film festivals in the UK and internationally. Delegates include directors and programmers from Edinburgh International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Encounters, British Urban Film Festival, Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Kinofilm Festival and more.

Another noteworthy opportunity is the brand-new UK Screen Agency Drinks Reception. In this exclusive event, ASFF brings together representatives and filmmakers from Creative England, Creative Scotland, Northern Ireland Screen and Ffilm Cymru Wales ¬– uniting all four agencies under one roof. These pioneering organisations collectively fund, connect, mentor, advocate and collaborate at all levels of the industry, from individuals and small independents to large internationals, creating the right conditions for success.

Audience Choice

Continuing its aim to broaden audience choice and engage with all types of film fans, ASFF’s Family Friendly Screenings return this year to delight younger audiences with a carefully curated selection of heart-warming and visually stunning films. Expanding this even further, ASFF has launched Cinema Bambino – a place for lovers of film to bring their babies along to dedicated screenings.

Cherie Federico, Festival Director says: “ASFF offers something for everyone to enjoy with such an array of filmic styles across the 400 shorts in the programme. I am particularly excited about this year’s festival because there are so many new events taking place, such as the Showcase Screenings exhibiting fresh talent, the festivals Marketplace uniting filmmakers with programmers and the Screen Agency networking opportunity.”

With so much going on festival attendees may not get to see all the films that they want to. The Videotheque at York Explore Library, just over the road from the Festival Hub, counters this by providing an opportunity to browse and watch the full catalogue of short films in the programme at leisure on a computer.

Passes and Tickets

Screening Passes can be booked online at or by calling 01904 629 137.

All Events are ticketed and places must be booked in advance of the event. For Events Tickets visit or call 01904 629 137.

There are concessions available for Students, Seniors and children (14 & under). There are also Family Passes available.

Passes and Tickets can also be bought from 2 November (14:00 – 17:00) to 6 November, (09:00 – 17:00) from The Festival Hub, Visit York, 1 Museum St, York, YO1 7DT.



Notes to Editors

1. ASFF 2016 is the festival’s sixth edition, running 3 to 6 November in York.
2. The Festival Hub is at Visit York, 1 Museum Street, and a further 17 venues are used for screenings and events. See all venues:
3. New events for 2016: Meet the Film Festivals Market Place, UK Screen Agency Drinks Reception, Showcase Screenings, Cinema Bambino, London College of Fashion Drinks Reception, Morning Coffee at McGee’s, 2015 Winners Showcase and Battle of the Somme screening. See all events:
4. There are over 25 industry-led masterclasses. See all talk descriptions: and all speakers:
5. The Official Selection features UK premieres and previously screened films by emerging and established practitioners from across the world. It includes 400 films from 40 countries.
6. All films in the Official Selection are in competition for the following awards: Festival Winner, Best of Category, People’s Choice and Best Screenplay from the Northern Film School at Leeds Becket University. See all awards:
7. ASFF is presented by Aesthetica Magazine. Intelligent, beautiful and informative, Aesthetica is one of the leading publications for art, design and photography. The bi-monthly publication highlights some of the most important artists at work today, both established and emerging, through detailed features and stunning imagery. Each edition includes in-depth coverage of new exhibitions and artists, photography, film and performance. and @AestheticaMag
8. ASFF 2016 partners and sponsors include: Aesthetica, York St John University, BFI, City of York Council, Leeds Beckett University, Northern Film School, 1331, Grand Central, Creative England, Make It York, University of the Arts London, Visit York, York Means Business, York Museums Trust, York Theatre Royal, York Conferences, The National Centre for Early Music, City Screen Picturehouse York, Bootham School, Reel Cinema, St Peter’s School York, Vertigo Restaurant, Belfrey Hall, Friargate Theatre, Riding Lights, According to McGee, Best Western Plus, York Explore Library, Barley Hall, York Army Museum, The Imperial War Museum London, Virgin Trains, House of Trembling Madness, Marriot York, Safestay, Holiday Inn, Park Inn, Brandy Brown’s Little Cinema, Mosaic Events, Firefly, Shooting People, Yorkshire Soap Company, York Cocoa House, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Middlesex University, NAHEMI, Northern Ireland Screen, Plymouth College of Art, University of York, Norwich University of the Arts. See all partners: