A group of innovative Filmmaking students and graduates will present their work at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF).

ASFF is a BAFTA-recognised international film festival which celebrates independent filmmaking, taking place each year in York.

At this year’s Festival, recent Manchester School of Art BA Filmmaking graduates and a current student will put on a Showcase Screening – an hour long exhibition of short films before a sell-out cinema audience.

The ‘Breaking the Rules: Filmmaking Beyond Boundaries’ screening demonstrates that film is a constantly evolving art form that continues to challenge convention and champion innovation.

Filmmakers will display bold new work that responds to the emergence of new technologies and digital platforms, escaping traditional standards and finding unique, fresh perspectives.

Manchester School of Art’s ‘Breaking the Rules: Filmmaking Beyond Boundaries’ Showcase Screening takes place on Friday, November 9 (12:45-1:45pm) at the Everyman in York.

David Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Filmmaking, said: "This is a fantastic platform for Manchester School of Art Filmmaking students to showcase the unique edge this course gives its graduates, upon entering the film industry.

"Filmmaking at Manchester Metropolitan University is both creative and technical, bold and diverse, exciting and stylish. A place where students are given the freedom to find their voice as filmmakers to create bold, challenging and original work. It's going to be a fabulous spectacle.”

Student films

Third-year Filmmaking student Victoria Dahl is presenting her film ‘Are you happy there’. A short documentary on memory and loss, the film is inspired by a conversation following a death in the family. Victoria rediscovered her library of “found sound” – recorded daily conversations – from seven years ago on the day her grandfather died. Along with his super 8 footage from 1960s and 70s Sweden, she created a body of work to process her memories of what happened many years ago.

She said: “To be part of the showcase is exciting and a fantastic opportunity to present my film to the broader public and industry professionals. The standard at ASFF is phenomenal, so I feel truly honoured that my work will get a chance to be screened alongside so many great films.

“On the Filmmaking course, we get great freedom and opportunity to experiment to find our voice, style, and method of choice. The showcase is undoubtedly a testament to how diverse the films being produced at the School of Art are.”

Dominic Old graduated from the Filmmaking course in 2018. His film ‘Working Man’ is a tense, neo-noir thriller set in 1960s Manchester, exploring the themes of repression, identity and masculinity.

Working Man is inspired by the noir films of the 1950s and 60s, as well as classic suspense films from filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock. The film pays tribute to this style, featuring the use of shadow and high contrast lighting to heighten the mood of the piece, resulting in strong, stylised visuals.

He said: “The quality of the films is due to the quality of resources the course provides, whether that’s the tutors, the access to equipment or just meeting other filmmakers through the course. I think that knowing the university wants the best people to be selected for their courses means you’ll have a crew of talented people who take working on the film as seriously as you do.”

In 2018, ASFF has invited a range of the UK’s leading universities and film schools to host Showcase Screenings. Each screening is following by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, discussing their craft and inspiration in detail.

Founded in 2011, ASFF showcases over 400 international films from emerging and established filmmakers each across in various venues around York. The Festival also includes industry masterclasses, networking sessions and panel discussions. Films screened at ASFF have gone on to win awards at BAFTA, the Oscars, Sundance and SXSW.

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