FILMMAKER Benjamin Cleary won the Best Of Fest Prize at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York for the second time in three years.

His 2015 film Stutterer went on to receive the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film at the 88th Academy Awards. This time he teamed up with TJ O’Grady for Wave - the story of a man who wakes from a coma speaking an unrecognisable language, baffling linguistic experts around the globe.

“It was supposed to take a weekend to make. It took two years,” producer Rebecca Bourke told Sunday night’s audience at the awards ceremony at the National Centre for Early Music as she accepted the prize on behalf of Cleary, who was in America, working on his first feature film.

The Best Of Fest was one of two prizes to be awarded to Wave, which also was judged Best Drama, adding to wins for Best Drama and Best Cinematography at this year’s Galway Film Festival.

Wave was among three films to be honoured with two prizes. Chris Overton’s The Silent Child took home the Youth Award, emerging victorious from votes by 400 11-to-14-year-olds in York, and also received The People’s Choice prize. The film told the story of a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl, Libby, who lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication, and the filmmaker’s wish is for sign language to be taught in schools.

Baptist Penetticobra’s For Real Tho was selected by the Northern Film School panel for the Screenwriting Award and also won the Artists’ Film prize. Luca Finotti’s WeBelieveInThePowerOfLove took the Advertising prize; Chris Sheppard’s Johnno’s Dead, Animation; Finnish director Teemu Niukkanen’s F****** Bunnies, Comedy, and Andrew Margetson’s Lil Buck With Icons Of Modern Art, Dance.

Sam Peeters’s Belgian film about the spread of right-wing populism, Homeland, was judged Best Documentary; Noemi Varga’s The Happiest Barrack was the Experimental prize winner; That Jam’s The Sleeping Field won the Fashion award; Savvas Stavrou’s Sirens for Metaxas, Best Music Video, and Ian Hunt Duffy’s Irish short, Gridlock, Best Thriller.

Award ceremony host Greg McGee praised the filmmakers for their “gorgeous nuggets of muscular narrative”, and Aesthetica director Cherie Federico said this year's festival - which showed more than 300 films in 18 venues - was "five days of pure joy".