Calling film fans of all ages: York’s very own film festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival is back! This incredible, inspiring, world-renowned event returns from 8th to 12th November 2023 at venues across the city. There are over 400 films to choose from, from comedy to drama, animation, documentary and screenings that are ideal for children. What’s more, York residents can save 50% on selected #YorkDays! Ticket holders will be able to access a host of events, workshops to masterclasses, creative labs and more. You can see laugh-out-loud comedies, award-winning dramas, thrillers, animation, family-friendly stories and documentaries. They are also running practical workshops designed for children on filmmaking and gaming. This film festival is for you, and they want you to join in with your friends and family.
There is also a Games Lab, sound installation, exhibitions, parties and events. Each year, ASFF transforms York into a cinematic playground, using our beautiful city to showcase the world’s best film. The festival is BAFTA-Qualifying and is a platform for the very best new directors and films to reach audiences. York is the place where the filmmakers of the future are discovered. As a city, ASFF plays a major role in supporting new talent.
The Best Bits of Aesthetica Short Film Festival for Kids
Kids love films, so why not take them along to one of the family screenings (our kids STILL talk about some of the short films they saw at the festival five years ago) or take them along to a workshop? Here are the highlights of this year’s festival for kids
Three programmes of films that take young people on a journey, with something for everyone from early years up to age 14. Please see the programme notes for details on the age range.
– Determination – Family Friendly 1 – Resilience is a trait that we must develop as young people. In the face of a challenge, we need to learn that if at first, we do not succeed, we must try and try again. It’s important to be able to get right back up again if you are knocked down. The characters in these animations teach us the power of self-belief and show us what it takes to never give up.
– Me, Myself and I – Family Friendly 2 – It’s not easy growing up. There are so many things to learn and the carefreeness of youth is something to be treasured. In this programme, we meet characters who go through hardship by either being different or experiencing loss. Each story is unique and teaches us that in spite of the obstacles that may be in the way, there is always a route around the bend.
– We Are All Unique – Family Friendly 3 – This programme is designed for slightly older children and looks at themes surrounding identity, disability and bullying. Throughout this programme, the central characters are faced with a challenge but with determination and resilience, it’s possible to overcome difficult situations. Connections between people are sometimes strong and other times tested, but it’s the bond of family and friends that can help us to find common ground.
Children’s film-making and gaming workshops
There are some exciting and inspiring children’s workshops on offer at this year’s festival. Find the full selection on the website, but here are some highlights.
– Do You Want to Be a Director? – In this workshop led by Pauline Quirke Academy, children will get the chance to explore a variety of filmmaking roles, from initial storyboarding all the way through to shouting “action” and “cut”! Working as a team, children will learn how to bring their ideas to life using state-of the-art camera equipment, while having fun. The session is a wonderful opportunity to discover new talents supported by professional film and television makers. Inspire a lifelong love of film, and make new friends in a safe and happy environment. For ages 7 to 10. Book tickets here or in person at City Screen from 8th November.
– How to Make a Film: Creative Workshop (11-14yrs) – This workshop will help young people harness their creativity to tell wonderful, original stories, using industry-standard equipment. An excellent introduction to development, pre- production and production techniques, participants will take on roles in front of and behind the camera, working in teams which mirror how professional film sets are run. The session will help them discover their filmmaking abilities in a fun and practical environment, but also skills they can use in life such as: teamwork, communication and problem solving. Ages 11 to 14.
11 and 12 November – 14:00 to 16:00 – Book tickets here or in person at City Screen from 8 November.
– How to Make a Game – Join experienced instructors passionate about gaming and nurturing young talents in a workshop that will teach you how to use Clickteam Fusion 2.5 – a coding language behind brilliant Nintendo Switch games. They’ll guide you through the whole process, providing encouragement along the way. Clickteam Fusion 2.5 is perfect for introducing coding to children, enabling them to create digital stories, games, and animations, while encouraging their creativity and problem-solving abilities. Make new friends and unlock possibilities. Ages 7 to 10.
11 & 12 November – 14:00 to 16:00 – Book tickets here or in person at City Screen from 8 November.
#YorkDays at Aesthetica – How to save 50%
– York Days is for York Residents only and takes place from 8-12 November 2023
– York Residents can receive 50% off a One Day Pass.
– The Pass is valid for one day only. You choose which day.
– You will have access to all screenings, masterclasses, VR Lab, Games Lab and workshops for your chosen day.
– Masterclass, workshop, VR Lab and Games Lab seating is limited and reservations are required in advance. Please visit our Masterclass page to see availability and make reservations.
– Book your Film Festival Passes here or in person at City Screen from 8 – 12 November.
– If booking online, you will need to exchange your receipt for a Festival Pass at the Festival Hub at City Screen from 8 to 12 November 2023.
– You will need your Festival Pass before you can access any screening or masterclass.
– A York Card or proof of York address will be required to collect your Festival Pass.