THE 2017 Aesthetica Short Film Festival is still Short but longer, expanding from four days to five for its seventh edition in York.

Running from November 8 to 12 with director Cherie Federico's new mantra of Inspired By Ideas, the festival will add up to 18 Venues, 300 Films, 5 Days.

"In fact there are more than 300 films but there are 300 films in competition, with many more in the guest programmes" says Cherie, the New Yorker who has made York her home ever since studying at York St John University and runs the international art magazine Aesthetica from offices in Toft Green.

The expansion to five days "had to happen", she reveals. "The festival is always well attended and the feedback we get from people in York and from across the UK and those who've come here from very far is that they wished it was longer, so it was time to do that," says Cherie.

"We have more masterclasses, more networking sessions with industry professionals; more opportunities to see films; more showcase screening events; and there's room to grow to introduce accessible screenings and subtitled screenings for deaf people."

Film industry leaders, filmmakers and practitioners will be attending, along with thousands of visitors drawn to York to watch films from more than 40 countries. Such has been the expansion of the event that the festival's official programme now runs to 212 pages, rather than a mere 36 in the first year, taking in such guest programmes as Polish films and the Iris Prize Festival selection of LGBTQ+ films.

"This festival is now beyond 'Short Films' in its impact; it has an impact on the film world full stop, because ASFF is about discovering new talent; these people are the next generation, the filmmakers of the future, so 'Short' is irrelevant; it's all about film-making in general."

The four-day version of ASFF had a £665,000 impact on York's economy last November. "That's how much the city benefits, and so it will be significantly more because of the extra day this year," says Cherie. "The festival's reputation has grown and it won't be long before we have a £1million boost to York's economy. It could be next year that we do that.

"It's been an incredible journey since setting up the first festival. I can't stop thinking about 2011 when we started with the notion of having a film festival in York: how it would work; what it would mean to the city; what its economic impact might be. From something ambitious with scope for expansion, it really has become a heavy hitter"

Audiences can enjoy inspiring works spanning the 12 categories of advertising, animation, artists’ film, comedy, dance, documentary, drama, experimental, fashion, family friendly, music video and thriller. Amid the unfamiliar and the new can also be spotted BAFTA winners Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton, BAFTA-nominee Idris Elba and HBO’s favourite anti-hero Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game Of Thrones, making short work of it on screen.

Every film in the Official Selection will be eligible to take home the award for best film within its genre category. Winners from each one will be nominated for the prestigious ASFF 2017 Festival Winner award with the chance to receive £1,000 in prize money. There will be a chance too to rediscover last year’s Official Selection winners, including 2016’s Festival Winner.

Masterclasses will unite key industry figures located across the UK and beyond, discussing current trends aimed at enhancing the audience’s understanding of the various processes and practices used by many practitioners. Audiences can equip themselves with expert advice from industry professionals, such as writer, performer and director Andi Osho; Anne Edyvean, head of the BBC Writersroom, who will provide an insight into screenwriting, and Nicolas Chaudeurge, an expert in the field of editing.

Representatives from leading film institutions will be in attendance, including George Lucas’s motion picture and visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, the Association of Camera Operators, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the award-winning studio Seed Animation.

Cherie says: “Film fans and filmmakers alike are invited to connect with some of the most creative and influential industry personalities of today. By hosting over 80 industry sessions and special events with established practitioners, ASFF provides an informal setting for festival goers to speak directly to experienced professionals to promote work, expand their contact lists, discuss potential future collaborations or develop their skill set.”

For younger viewers, Family Friendly Screenings will be returning this year for four to 12 year olds and Cinema Bambino will be running for a second year, curated for parents or carers of children aged up to two.

Screening passes and tickets can be booked online at and collected from November 7 at the ASFF Hub, Visit York, in Museum Street, York.