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Aesthetica Short Film Festival: Day Three

The middle day of the festival treats us to more exciting and varied short stories, spanning countries and genres.

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Still from OVUM, 2017. Directed by Luciano Blotta, Argentina. Thriller Finalist in ASFF 2018. Image: The Orchard and Random Media

It's day three and we are now halfway through the festival. If you haven't got the chance yet, make sure to pop into any of the 15 venues across York for ASFF; it's undeniable there is an incredible buzz in town because of the film's presence. Today, our team goes to the Showcase Screening from UAL: The A-Z of Making a Stand Out Short.

The A-Z of Making a Stand Out Short showcase screening featured seven short films made by students or graduates of UAL: London College of Communication. It's worth giving a notable mention to a few of those, such as Cacophony, an animation about members of an orchestra band getting ready for a performance. Halfway through the film, the audience understands the brilliance behind it through its astonishing use of sound and impressive camera angles. Paul is Dead is also worth a shout out due its incredibly humorous take on the boundaries between non-fiction and make-believe. It'll undeniably make you reflect on deep issues while cracking a laugh out of you. Finally, Three Hail Marys is a film that explored the texture of a human character rather than a narrative storyline, which will make the audience fall in love and invest in the story nonetheless.

The screenings were followed by a panel discussion from experts in the field and some of the filmmakers in UAL, such as the directors of In Your Skin and Three Hail Marys. The panel discussed their films, their respective areas of expertise and answered any questions the audience had for them. Rosa Beiroa explained that her short film (In Your Skin) was an experimental attempt to show the unconscious choreography of our movements and gestures in everyday life. She wanted to capture feelings and sensations from repetitive intimate moments. Rosa then shared that her film was very much a one-man project, the only other collaborator being the music composer and, if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn't change a thing.

The guests then discussed concepts such as the simplicity that pertains exclusively to short filmmaking, their importance and first steps in budgeting for a short film, and the arbitrary line between making short films and feature films. In terms of managing fundraising money, director of Three Hail Marys Brock Elwick expressed that the constraints put on the project by his producer (due to their limited budget) didn't hinder his creativity at all, in fact it helped him evolve and simplify his idea. He goes on to say about the simplicity of ideas that 'if you can tell a story in two minutes, you can tell it in two hours, but this is not necessarily true the other way around', to paraphrase his words. Meaning that short filmmaking as a form is often underestimated and commonly seen a stepping stone to directing features. However, it is its own medium and has a language of its own, deserving its own spotlight, which is exactly what ASFF is all about.

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