12 movies you mustn’t miss at York’s festival of short films

TV star Maxine Peake storms it as part of York's Aesthetica Film Festival
5 Nov 2015 @ 5.10 pm
| Entertainment
Aesthetica Short Film Festival

Various venues

Nov 5-8

single ticket £5; day pass £15; full festival £30


It’s time to crank up the industrial-sized popcorn-maker if you want to munch along with the 300 or so mini movies on offer at the fifth annual Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

There’s a packed programme of screenings, masterclasses and panel discussions at 15 York venues over four days.

Among the many highlights are Eleanor, starring Golden Globe-winning actress Ruth Wilson (The Affair), thriller Strange Weather, starring Maxine Peake (Shameless) and blood-splattered black comedy Dark_Net, starring Johnny Vegas (of getting drunk and being funny fame).

To find out where and when each of these is on (times and venues vary), consult the full programme (PDF).

Family friendly

The Present by German film-maker Jacob Frey, based on a comic by Fabio Coala, tells the story of Jake, who spends most of his time playing videogames until his
mum decides to give him a present, which makes it impossible for him to focus on the screen.


Bed Time Story by UK director Joe Dearman is a nightmarish fairytale made real for a young boy by everyday objects, including stop-motion animation of fruit. Please note this film does not count as one of your five-a-day.

Music video

He, She, Me is an original film made by Selfridge’s resident film director (who knew?) Kathryn Ferguson and Alex Turvey of a track by Neneh Cherry and Devonte Hynes.

Artists’ film

Sweet & Right by UK director Edward Hicks of RADA Films is a hard-hitting short examining the effects of war on returning soldiers and their families which was inspired by Owen Sheers’ Pink Mist and WW1 poetry.


Mama Agatha, directed by Fadi Hindash in the Netherlands, tells the uplifting story of a Ghanaian community mother teaching a group of migrant women how to ride bicycles through the streets of Amsterdam.


The Substitute, a joint UK-Canada-Iceland production by Nathan Hughes-Berry, shows a young teacher losing control of her class as she realises the boys have a sinister power over the girls.


Put Down, a film by Rick Limentani of UK-based Parlon Film Company, brings us John, a socially awkward man in a downward spiral of debt. Not a lot of laughs, you might think, but then a lucky accident propels him into a new career as a blackmarket pet exterminator. Yay!


Eva Colmers’ Canadian production 2.57K shows millions of sand grains leaping into motion at a magic frequency of 2,750 Hz. Then humans emerge and, rather inevitably, conflict arises.


Wonders Never Cease, created for the Ted Baker brand by Crowns & Owls, is a visually sumptuous tale of professional rivalry turning to romance as fate intervenes to bring a stylish couple together in unlikely circumstances.


Alpine Vision launched its new video game Gran Turismo 6 with this Fabrice Coton film, Inspirations, which takes its own inspiration from the vibrancy of cartoons, painting and 3D graphics.


The Sand Storm is a ‘secret film’ shot by Jason Wishnow that looks at what happens when communication lines dissolve and a water smuggler navigates a dystopian city on the brink of collapse. This lyrical “lo-fi sci-fi” short stars, among others, artist Ai Weiwei (no, really).


TV star Maxine Peake flexes her not inconsiderable acting muscles in Strange Weather , a Loose Change Films production by Tom Shrapnel, that explores what happens when two people witness a mysterious natural phenomenon that reawakens their senses and draws their fractured lives together.