Award-winning films on tour Supporting Aesthetica Short Film Festival through our Ignition Awards

Introducing community audiences to new forms and emerging voices from the cutting edge of independent filmmaking.

Each year, since 2011, Aesthetica Short Film Festival has brought the best of British and international short form moving image to York. For one busy week, the city is transformed into a site of pilgrimage for emerging filmmakers who come to showcase their work and worship at an altar overflowing with small but perfectly formed films spanning fiction, documentary, animation, artists’ moving image, music video and more.

In the lead up to the 2019 edition, the festival tried something a little different: taking the most exciting films from recent years out of York and on the road. The Aesthetica Award-Winning Film Tour visited venues, festivals and film clubs across the North with the aim of introducing local audiences to the big, wide world of short film. Funding from Film Hub North’s Ignition Awards supported the festival to tour the region in the months preceding their main event in November, reaching community groups outside the festival's industry demographic and building grassroots awareness of the renowned short film showcase on the North's doorstep. Tour stops included Deer Shed Festival - a family friendly arts event set in North Yorkshire parkland where the film programme rubs shoulders with music and comedy acts - and The Street, home to Scarborough's newest film organisation, Sea/Film.

The tour line-up was a suitably diverse showcase of the festival in miniature; it featured fact, fiction, flights of fantasy and slices of social realism - all in 30 minutes or less. At one end of the spectrum, titles included the hard-hitting Black Sheep: an Oscar-nominated documentary about a young man's experiences of racism and his strange journey into the heart of hatred. And, at the other, The Wayward Wind: a charming combination of choreography, cinema and music video that absurdly upends the ramblin' man archetype through the simple story of a man taking a slow, unwavering walk through Midwestern farmland with a spurned lover in pursuit.

These films provided audiences with a bold introduction to the festival and a form of filmmaking too often the reserve of specialist or industry-orientated events. The tour lifted the lid on a new world of cinematic creativity for local audiences and restated Aesthetica's position as a champion of short form work in the North. It lays the groundwork for the festival's continued success as a destination not just for filmmakers from far and wide, but for community audiences across the region.

Read more about the tour

Aesthetica Short Film Festival presented the Award-Winning Film Tour with support from our Ignition Awards. For more information on how we can help your next project, visit our Exhibition Funding homepage.