On Friday the 7th November I attended Aesthetica Short Film Festival as part of an organised university trip with the Film Studies department. Although Edge Hill arranged our travel, bought our tickets and booked us on masterclasses university trips differ greatly from school and college trips, in that we are a lot more independent and left to our own devices. We were told when to meet up to get the coach and when the coach would be leaving, but other than we were free to spend our time how we wished, and if we weren’t back in time the coach would leave without us.
ASSF takes place yearly in York and is held at many different venues. There are multiple screenings of short films over the few days, as well as opportunities to meet people within the film industry. Between screenings we explored York, looked around vintage shops and found a quaint little café that served vegetarian and vegan meals.
We were booked into a masterclass entitled ‘The Role of Film Criticism’ run by Anna Smith, a highly regarded film critic. Although I don’t wish to be a film critic I found her talk incredibly interesting and entertaining and the way that she analysed aspects of films will definitely be useful within my own work in Film Studies. Anna was really passionate and broke up her talk with anecdotes and her own opinions. At the end she answered quite a few questions and I made notes on advice that she had given.
After the masterclass we attended an hour long screening of six comedy short films. I loved a couple of the films, but wasn’t too fond of others, but as somebody who’s interested in film it was helpful to watch a variety of different examples from the comedy genre.
As we left the screening the heavens opened and we waited inside a café until it was time to leave. Overall, I’m really glad that I went on the trip; York was a great place to visit and I know that I will use the things that I learnt in my academic writing.