World of cinema arrives in York – here are the highlights

Russell Tovey stars in a hunt for a mole in eight minute thriller The King Is Dead
7 Nov 2013 @ 8.08 am
| News
Russell Tovey stars in a hunt for a mole in eight minute thriller The King Is Dead
Russell Tovey stars in a hunt for a mole in eight minute thriller The King Is Dead

Filmmakers from Japan and Los Angeles will join visitors from Film4, the British Film Institute and the Raindance Film Festival to launch York’s international film festival on Thursday (November 7).

The opening event of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival takes place at the City Screen and includes a viewing of Charles Dance and Jenny Agutter in Stephen Johnson’s The Mapmaker.

And between Friday, November 8 and Sunday, November 10, visitors can watch 300 short movies, from comedies to thrillers to documentaries, in 15 of York’s most amazing buildings.

You can Meet The Filmmakers on Saturday (November 9) at Yorkshire Museum. And there are a range of workshops and discussions dotted around the city.

For a full lowdown, read the Mix guide to… The Aesthetica Film Festival, and check out our cinema listings.

And here are some of the highlights of this year’s short film fest.

Dynamic drama & dox

Out Of Darkness explores the haunting of a conscience by lost souls that won’t let go. Told by nine different voices, it stars Tom Hiddleston and Riz Ahmed.

By contrast winner of the Bath Film Festival’s 2012 IMDb Script To Screen competition, Pussy Cat is a film about sex, marriage and a cat.

The many documentaries range from the hard-hitting – E-Wasteland presents portrait of Ghana’s unregulated e-waste recycling trade – to the quirky, like German short Beige examining the clandestine dress code for German retirees exists. Will we all wear beige one day?

Cracking comedy

Black comedy This Way Out sees an oddball manager and her hapless assistant given ten days to increase client numbers at their assisted suicide centre or face closure by the Euthanasia Licensing Board.

In German film Alles Super! (Everything’s Super!) an unemployed man with relationship problems finds himself in a mess. Refusing to give up, he resolves to become a superhero and save the world, whether it wants to be saved or not.

And if you like your short films super short, and with a local connection, try all two minutes and 20 seconds of The Plotters: In a secret lair, Guy Fawkes and his group of fellow conspirators begin to lose the plot when they struggle to remember what they are doing at the big event.

Family fare

Cartoon capers include The Honey Plot, featuring a bear with a stolen beehive. When he tries to flee the country a mob of angry beekeepers set off in hot pursuit.

Live action family-friendly films include The Great Tuck Shop Robbery, a daring heist where the young robbers get more than they bargained for.

Marvellous music

There’s an amazing amount of creativity you can pack into a three minute-plus music video, whether it is for Canadian trio Half Moon Run, German band Bees Village or British underground beat makers Punkture Sluts.

Speedy thrillers

Being Human star Russell Tovey is in Richard Higson’s film The King Is Dead, shortlisted for Best Thriller at the LimeLight Film Awards 2013. There’s a mole in the organisation, and Lionel doesn’t like moles. He has gathered his right-hand men together to find out who has a loose tongue, whatever it takes.

Mystery is at the heart of French movie The Whole Picture: in Paris, three radically different people who appear to have nothing in common meet unexpectedly. Is there more here than first meets the eye?

Grown up animation

Cartoons aren’t just for kids. The five minute animated film Writers’ Block, set in a prison for criminally poor writers, follows a gang of cons who get hold of the script to their own lives and attempt to re-write their escape.

This year’s BAFTA winner for Short Animation, The Making of Longbird, is screened as part of the BAFTA evening at Yorkshire Museum (Friday, 6.45pm-8pm).

Or try award-winning stop motion saga Head Over Heels: Walter and Madge have grown apart – he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling.