THE eighth Aesthetica Short Film Festival opens on November 7, spread across 15 locations in York.

Here, festival director Cherie Federico gives a guide to the festival, picking a Top Ten To See and Do at this BAFTA-Qualifying festival.

1. Dip into 12 genres of BAFTA-Qualifying short films

Granted BAFTA status, every film screening in the festival is eligible to receive an award from the British Academy and is in competition for various prizes from the ASFF jury. With more than 300 films from 45 countries, there’s plenty to choose from for all tastes and ages. Featured genres will be Advertising; Animation; Artists' films' Comedy; Dance; Documentary; Drama; Experimental; Family Friendly; Fashion; Music Video and Thriller.

2. Immerse yourself in Virtual Reality

This year, ASFF invites film lovers to consider the ever-increasing possibilities of filmmaking, launching a Screen School VR Lab in partnership with London College of Communication. Explore immersive experiences with 360-degree films; follow a free-diver into the depths of the ocean and embark on a 30-minute journey round the Milky Way, all in York Theatre Royal’s Keregan Room.

3. Commemorate 100 years since The Great War

To this day, the legacy of the First World War can still be felt. The events of 1914-1918 have reshaped and redefined our world, as a turning point for technology, morality and social responsibility.

A collection of silent shorts from the Imperial War Museum’s vast archive shows the scale and impact of a globalised war. ASFF looks to the importance of history as a mechanism for both documentary and narrative film.

4. Engage with stories from around the world

ASFF invites audiences to learn something new. Presented by the Scottish Documentary Institute, and in collaboration with the British Council and Bidayyat – a non-profit organisation supporting audio-visual documentation of the region – female Syrian filmmakers share their experiences of being a refugee in neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

5. Experience the best in feature film

For the first time in the festival’s eight-year run, ASFF has welcomed feature films into the competition. Spanning global politics and life-affirming stories, the projects hail from filmmakers whose credits include the BBC; Sky Arts; The Barbican, London; Tate Modern; The New York Times; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Cannes Film Festival and Edinburgh International Festival.

6. Bring your baby to Cinema Bambino

"Having young children shouldn’t be a barrier to enjoying film, or to fully enjoying the atmosphere of ASFF," says mum-of-young-daughter Cherie. Cinema Bambino, a screening programme specifically for parents and carers with young babies and toddlers in tow, offers a welcoming and relaxed environment. With a selection from multiple genres, park the buggy and experience the best in new cinema.

7. Opening night: Director’s pick

Here is your chance to view the films that launched ASFF 2018; the Opening Night screening at City Screen, York, covers a range of genres and filmic styles, selected by director Cherie Federico. This is a great introduction for ASFF first-timers, as well as an opportunity for festival veterans to ease themselves into a full five days of screenings and events – a brilliant chance to see the breadth of films on offer.

8. Be part of a cinematic experiment

The MOMENT is an interactive film that collects attention data from the viewer and turns it into a real-time narrative. Each time the film is watched, the rhythms of the viewer’s brain creates a new story based on attention spans and interest. In total there are 18 billion possible directions the film can follow. Based in a converted caravan outside Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens.

9. Discover the next generation of talent

ASFF welcomes a dynamic array of organisations from across Britain to deliver a series of unique Showcase Screenings, providing audiences with an opportunity to view works from some of the best and brightest emerging filmmakers – those taking their first steps into the industry. Panel discussions follow each of the screenings, with topics including Women in Film and Which Story Do I Tell?

10.Hear from award-winning filmmakers

Among masterclasses with household names including BBC, Film 4, British Vogue and Dazed, the festival invites world-renowned editors, producers and writers. In the 2018 programme, Mick Audsley and Matt Greenhalgh are in attendance to discuss their time working on the likes of Murder on the Orient Express, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Nowhere Boy.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Inspired By Ideas, runs from November 7 to 11 in York. The full programme and ticket details can be found at