THE Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York is now a BAFTA recognised festival, an unprecedented achievement for a festival in only its fourth year.

"This latest accolade stands testament to the creativity and bold programming of our festival, which has now firmly established itself as a dynamic player on the film festival circuit," says Aesthetica director Cherie Federico.

"BAFTA accreditation is also an outstanding triumph for York as the location of a qualifying festival. Exploring and engaging with the city is a fundamental aspect of ASFF, as the festival moves through medieval halls, gastro-bars, art galleries and cinemas to present a city-wide film adventure, where audiences discover hidden gems around the city and experience memorable short film from around the world."

The festival's BAFTA qualifying status accentuatesYork as a key destination to discover fresh talent, according to Kate McMullen, head of Visit York.

"The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is a fantastic event that raises the bar for York’s international art and culture profile," she says. "We're delighted to welcome visitors from across the UK and overseas.

"The festival brings important economic benefits for the whole city and has the potential to grow and grow. We very much look forward to ASFF 2014 in November.”

Filmmakers selected for ASFF 2014’s Official Selection should benefit significantly from the new publicity generated by the BAFTA boost, as Cherie Federico explains. “Filmmakers competing at BAFTA qualifying festivals, such as ASFF, are exposing their films to a BAFTA committee, who otherwise wouldn’t be in a position to consider their work," she says.

"We're honoured to receive this recognition, which supports our aim to champion outstanding short films and to nurture today’s talented film professionals.”

As ASFF moves into its fourth year for the 2014 festival's run from November 6 to 9, programming is underway to bring audiences a selection of films from across the world in the genres of advertising, animation, artists’ film, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental, fashion, music video and thriller, as well as a family-friendly strand. Screening venues will be located throughout York, "enabling audiences to create their own unique viewing experience".

This year’s masterclass series will present insights into crucial parts of filmmaking such as funding, editing and production, with representatives from BAFTA, the Association of Camera Operators, BlinkInk, Indiegogo, Double Negative, Ridley Scott Associates, Channel 4 and the Beggars Group, among others.

Speakers will include Half Of A Yellow Sun director and screenwriter Biyi Bandele, film critic Anna Smith and fashion filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson, and these masterclasses are open to aspiring filmmakers and those who simply love film.

Several opportunities will be provided for industry networking, along with the chance to meet programmers from across the UK and the world at the Meet The Film Festivals event. Film-makers can receive tips on how to draw attention to their film by representatives fromRaindance, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Bradford Film Festival, British Urban Festival, Cabriolet Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Encounters, London Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Short Shorts and Asia FilmFestival.

Look out for special screenings fromSwitzerland's Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, France's Clermont-Ferrand and Creative England’s iShorts, as well as ASFF’s guest countries for 2014, Japan, Iraq and Lebanon.

A new addition for this year will be the Youth Engagement Day on November 6, which aims to increase young people’s knowledge and understanding of career possibilities within the film sector.

The 2013 festival screened 300 films from 36 countries, among them Britian, Brazil, Japan, Iran, Canada and Kenya. The complete festival programme for 2014, produced by Aesthetica Magazine, will be announced in mid-September.

Festival passes and events tickets are now on sale at; more information can be found on the same website.