BLACK Sheep, Ed Perkins’ story of Cornelius Walker and the murder of Damilola Taylor, was the big winner at the eighth Aesthetica Short Film Festival awards ceremony in York.

His film received the Best of Fest, Best Documentary and the Northern Film School Award for Best Screenplay during the presentation of 19 awards at the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, in Sunday’s climax to the five-day festival held at 15 locations around York.

More than 300 films from 45 countries from this year’s official selection for the BAFTA Qualifying ASFF were in competition for awards that recognised outstanding filmmaking talent, in addition to becoming eligible for consideration at the BAFTAs.

Sponsoring a new award, Film Hub North and BFI Network presented Faye Carr-Wilson, director of Venus, with the Film Hub North Filmmaker Award. Screened as part of Northumbria University’s Showcase Screening, this award provides an opportunity to develop a new project with the editorial and professional development support of the BFI Network northern talent executives.

Feature films were added to ASFF’s programme for the first time this year, with the Best Narrative Feature going to Dimitri de Clercq’s You Go To My Head, recounting the story of a woman with amnesia, who, after a mysterious car accident, meets a man claiming to be her husband. Clercq previously won an International Emmy for The Wonderful, Horrible Life Of Leni Riefenstahl.

Best Documentary Feature was awarded to Carol Salter’s Almost Heaven, which explores the life-affirming portrait of a young woman training to be a mortician in one of China’s largest funeral homes. Salter specialises in telling intimate stories from around the world, and in 2011 her short film Unearthing The Pen had won the Aesthetica Shorts DVD competition, launched in conjunction with Aesthetica, the international art magazine published in York.

Celebrating the development of new technologies, Virtual Reality (VR) and Immersive films made their ASFF competition debut, in partnership with London College of Communication, at last week's festival. The Best VR & Immersive Film was awarded to Ingejan Ligthart Schenk and Jamille van Wijngaarden’s Ashes To Ashes, the story of a dysfunctional family burdened with the bizarre final wish of their late grandmother.

For shorts, the Best Drama award was presented to Christopher Haydon’s In Wonderland, the story of a life experienced together, beginning and ending in the same moment. Looking towards the darker side of humanity, Barnaby Blackburn’s Wale was awarded Best Thriller, for its tale of an 18-year-old mechanic, who learned his trade whilst at a young offenders institution.

As one of ASFF’s most popular genres, Alice Seabright’s Sex Ed, the story of a teacher who can’t keep personal problems to himself, took home the award for Best Comedy; Ian Bruce’s hand-painted animation Double Portrait won Best Animation.

Tapping into "brand ethos", Giacomo Boeri and Matteo Grimaldi’s Start the Buzz – Milan Fashion Week was awarded Best Advertising; Best Fashion went to Leone Balduzzi’s C41 Magazine X Adidas Originals Prophere. Celebrating the art of performance, Best Dance was won by Paul McLean’s Dances with Circles; Best Music Video went to I Am Sex, directed by Yuval Haker.

As one of the most visceral strands of the festival, Best Artists’ Film was given to the dual screen video installation from bielecki&bielecka, Author Of Expectations, and Best Experimental was awarded to Jay Bernard’s Something Said, a curious response to the black British archives.

Across the festival run, festival-goers had the chance to nominate their favourite film, awarding the People’s Choice Award to Andrew Muir’s Turning Tide, the story of a young boy thrown into a life-changing situation when faced by a downtrodden German pilot in 1940.

Lastly, the York Youth Award, chosen by students who attended the Youth Engagement Programme, was given to David Moody’s Camlo. The students had watched a series of curated films designed to encourage critical engagement and understanding.

Running from November 7 to 11, the eighth edition of the ASFF welcomed thousands of visitors, including a diverse mix of industry professionals, students, tourists and film enthusiasts, some festival-goers travelling from as far afield as USA, Canada, Germany and Australia.

Entries for the ninth ASFF open on December 1, with the festival returning from November 6 to 10 2019. For more information, visit