It was always my aim to remain within the film industry after graduation. “It’s all happening in London. You want a job in film, London’s is the place to be.” Now if I had a pound for every time this was said to me, I might have been able to afford to live in London! But truth be told, moving to London never really crossed my mind. I don’t buy into the fact that you must be in London to have a good job. It’s easy to get caught up in people telling you how important it is to work in the “big city” but I couldn’t disagree more. There is a wealth of talent right across the country that all too often gets overlooked. Don’t get me wrong, London works for many people, but just not me. I’m a big advocate of taking some of the focus off London so that other amazing cities across the UK, such as Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds etc. can flourish and develop. It’s this desire to stand out from the crowd that drew me to Aesthetica.Here was this incredible business that produced not only one of the most successful arts and culture publications, Aesthetica magazine, but had its own BAFTA-Recognised film festival, international Art Prize and Creative Writing Award. To top it all off, it was right on my doorstep! Since joining the team last September as Aesthetica’s Marketing Coordinator, it’s been a complete whirlwind. In less than three months I’ve been front and center for the launch of three issues, we’ve opened both the Art Prize and Creative Writing Prize, and hosted the 7th edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival.
I can’t begin to explain how rewarding it is to go to work each day and be surrounded by people with as much passion and excitement for film. The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is one of the world’s leading international short film festivals, celebrating independent film from around the world and it really does pride itself on being an outlet for supporting and championing filmmaking. The festival takes place each November across the city of York, showcasing over 300 films from both established and emerging filmmakers, along with numerous industry masterclasses, guest programmes, premiere screenings and special events. To submit your short this year visit: www.asff.co.uk/submit. Entries close 31 May 2018. Here’s ASFF 2017 trailer.
ASFF alumni have gone on to achieve Oscar and BAFTA success – a testament to Aesthetica’s success in bringing exceptional films to audiences and supporting filmmakers at a crucial time in their career. Most recently, alumnus Francis Less, director of God’s Own Country, has been nominated for Best British Film at this year’s BAFTAs.Aside from its own selection of the best in short film, the fest offers a platform for some of the UK’s leading film organisations and academic institutions, to present their own selection of emerging talents.
I was delighted to discover last year that Lincoln School of Film & Media tutor Chris Hainstock would be joining ASFF to present a Showcase Screening titled, Challenges of Originality. The showcase revealed some excellent work produced by Lincoln students and alumni and addressed the need for universities to keep up updated with industry developments in a fast-changing media landscape. I was in awe of the incredible work being shown and it was evident that Lincoln was still producing incredible visionaries embarking on their filmmaking careers. Bias aside, I can’t recommend ASFF enough to media students and graduates.
The festival offers fantastic networking opportunities where contacts can be made, ideas pitched and new projects born. Delegates from some of the UK’s leading film and media institutions and funding bodies are present throughout the entire festival. Additionally, for the first time the 2018 festival is accepting Feature films and Virtual Reality projects, firming establishing ASFF at the forefront of the festival circuit. I’m incredibly excited to welcome the University of Lincoln School of Film & Media back to ASFF for a second year, where they’ll undoubtedly have another incredibly successful Showcase Screening. I’d love to see film submissions from fellow University of Lincoln alumni and filmmakers wherever they are – as I know first-hand that there is an amazing pool of talent. locally and globally, and it would be great to showcase that at the 8th edition of ASFF, so enter your short before 31st May 2018. The Aesthetica Short Film Festival takes place 7-11 November 2018 across York, UK.