Ian J Cole’s filmathon: The top 10 (OK, 11)

14 Nov 2012 @ 10.31 pm
| Entertainment

The People’s Choice Award at the festival went to The Hollow. But who were Ian’s winners?

After his four-day filmathon, Ian J Cole names his top movies from the Aesthetica festival

Well, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival is over for this year and I’ve managed to see 73 films over the four days (or 75 if you count seeing two films twice) – so was the festival a success? Most definitely!

The organisation was excellent and I found the Aesthetica staff nothing but polite and always ready to help. I’ve come away from this event feeling this is an important serious festival and a joy to attend.

Yes there were niggles about some of the venues and their commitment to showing the films in their best possible environment (particularly Barley Hall and Bar Lane Studios) which is not ASFF’s fault.

I loved the quirkiness of White Stuff’s mini cinema at the back of the upstairs shop with free tea and coffee and the wonderful armchair experience of the 1331 cinema, along with turning the Mansion House into a cinema which should become an overspill for the City Screen – do it Lord Mayor and you’ll get my vote!

I was amazed at the high production value of all of the films and although I didn’t like everything I’m sure that all of the films were made by people who are passionate about film.

I thought it would be good to share my top ten (really 11) films with you and as you’d expect a lot of my five star films make my favourites list. So, in reverse order…


10. Come On

Vittoria Colonna’s film (day 2) was the best music video shown at ASFF


9. Welcome To Leathermill

A fantastic horror flick (day 3)


8. Every Good Boy Does Fine

By Dan Smyth (day 2)


7. Life And Stuff

By Kumar Satkunarasa (day 3)


6. Sunny Boy

By Jane Gull (day 2)


5. Abuelas and The Strategy of Madam Breto

I couldn’t separate Afarin Eghbal’s film Abuelas about an old woman in Buenos Aires awaiting the birth of her grandchild (day 2) and The Strategy of Madam Breto, with her fantastic rat catching contraption (bay 4)


4. Long Distance Information

A very funny film by Douglas Hart (day 1)


Third place – Dylan’s Room

A superb film by Layke Anderson (day 1)


Runner up – Bertie Crisp



The winner – The Sugar Bowl

My favourite film of the festival is the brilliant documentary The Sugar Bowl  from the opening night (day 1).

I wasn’t able to go the ASFF awards ceremony on Sunday night but I did ask ASFF to forward the complete list of award winners on to me and here they are:

  • Festival winner: Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, The Sugar Bowl
  • People’s Choice Award: Rob Sorrenti, Hollow
  • Best Drama: Layke Anderson, Dylan’s Room
  • Best Comedy: Mark Davenport, Photoshopping
  • Best Documentary: Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson, The Sugar Bowl
  • Best Music Video: Ashley Dean, Let It Go
  • Best Animation: Mark Nelson, “>The Jockstrap Raiders
  • Best Experimental Film: Anna Valdez-Hanks and Anna Blandford, To The Sea
  • Best Art Film: Joanna Tam, Reduction Study (Ping Pong)
  • Best Thriller: Martin Bargiel, Augenblicke

I didn’t see the People’s Choice, Hollow, but I shall try and track it down. And The Sugar Bowl is an amazing film. While I enjoyed Photoshopping I’m not convinced it was the best comedy of the festival but Dylan’s Room does deserve best drama.

So thank you Aesthetica for bringing to York a superbly well organised event and see you again next year.