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York International Film Festival Looks for Entries

York Film Festival 040314

7:11am 4th March 2014

Now an established and dynamic player on the UK film festival circuit, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is an annual celebration of short film from across the world. Championing and supporting short filmmaking, the 2013 festival screened 300 films from 36 countries across 15 iconic locations spanning York’s historic and contemporary spaces. Industry professionals, filmmakers and diverse audiences travelled to York from Japan, Los Angeles, Kuwait, Israel, Canada, Norway, Sweden, France and Belgium amongst other places to experience memorable short film.

A great ambassador for film culture in the North of England, the festival ran last year from 7 – 10 November and welcomed 16,500 admissions, over a 60% increase on 2012, bringing £223,000 to the city’s economy (based on Visit York’s calculations of £32.95 per day visitor and £80.36 per overnight visitor). It is an extraordinary contribution to the region’s cultural offer as well as to local businesses, which saw huge surges in numbers. ASFF’s appeal extends beyond the film industry it represents to communities across the UK. The festival welcomed 55 educational groups, comprising 1,500 students who attended due to the festival’s strong educational focus and enjoyed the diversity of Aesthetica’s bold programming.

Katie Campbell from BAFTA commended the festival for “another brilliant year” and Hussain Currimbhoy, Programmer at Sheffield Doc/Fest, was forthcoming in his admiration for the festival’s “excellent audience and great vibe.” Barry Ryan Producer at Warp Films, creators of pioneering British cinema including Four Lions, This is England and Dead Man’s Shoe, presented a masterclass to a packed audience of 600 people at York Theatre Royal and was overwhelmed by the turnout, saying: “It was amazing to see the festival so busy.”

Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York, was proud to be involved with the festival: “ASFF is a fantastic event that raises the bar for York’s international art and culture profile. We were delighted to welcome visitors from across the UK and overseas. The festival is now one of the top three in the UK bringing important economic benefits for the whole city and has the potential to grow and grow. We very much look forward to ASFF 2014.”

ASFF 2014 is now open for entries, inviting submissions from emerging and established filmmakers driving the genre of short film forward through inspirational and innovative works. The categories for entry include advertising, animation, artists’ film, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental, fashion, music video and thriller. Films with a maximum duration of 30 minutes are eligible. Films selected for the festival qualify for awards nominations such as Best of Fest, People’s Choice and Category Awards.

New for the festival’s fourth edition are the categories: advertising and fashion. With these now part of the spectrum of genres, ASFF 2014 is a unique platform for new kinds of short film, and an opportunity to explore genres that are currently inventing and defining themselves. ASFF is looking for filmmakers pushing the boundaries of their medium; from experimental methods to narrative approaches, and from an investigation into contentious issues in society today, to a more formal approach to the mechanisms of moving image-making.

The new strands in Fashion and Advertising expand upon last year’s film event. Fashion films in ASFF 2013 included Four-Tell(2013); a collaborative project by department store Selfridges and filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson. The new category in Advertising gives recognition to the artistic output of agencies and filmmakers, insipired by adverts that have gone viral and prompted global dialogue, such as John Lewis’ Christmas Advert for 2013, The Bear and the Hare, which is now a symbol of the British festive season. To explore different routes that filmmakers take in their career, there will be a fantastic opportunity to experience a masterclass in what makes a good advert and how filmmakers are developing this genre.

As a leading cultural event in the UK, ASFF promotes and develops the next generation of creative filmmaking talent. After showcasing at ASFF, successful films will tour venues that have previously included The Hepworth Wakefield, Underwire Festival, London, and Bath Film Festival. Screenings across the festival weekend has helped launch the careers of previous finalists. These have included Peter Middleton and James Spinney, directors of experimental documentary Notes on Blindness (2013), which later premiered overseas at Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Karim Ouaret won Best Thriller with his debut short Lapsus (2012) gaining new recognition after a successful career directing music videos and commercials. Anna Mantzaris and Eirik Grønmo Bjørnsen’s animation But Milk is Important (2012) won over festival-goers, taking home the People’s Choice Award, and continued to win further awards at KORT KinoKino Short Film Festival, Norway, and Animated Dreams Festival, Estonia.

A source of inspiration in the global film community, ASFF provides countless opportunities for creative interaction. During the festival, the city of York becomes a meeting point for representatives from leading film organisations with panel discussions and masterclasses from BAFTA, Channel 4, Film 4, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Raindance, Film London and more. Submitted films reach a wide and varied audience, build links within international film networks, and are seen by the biggest personalities working in the industry today.

Festival Director, Cherie Federico highlights:

“Last year, ASFF received a record number of entries and the standard of films was exceptionally high, which made it such an exciting event to programme. We’re thrilled to announce two new categories for entry this year that will increase opportunities for filmmakers and provide a platform to showcase new, inspirational works. Taking place across the historic city of York, and in a range of contemporary gallery spaces in the locality, ASFF 2014 offers a dynamic cinematic experience. The unique venues and the quality of films draw in industry professionals across the four days; it is a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers to get their work seen by the right people who are looking to spot the latest talent.”

For full submission guidelines and details on awards and prizes visit www.asff..co.uk/submit.

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