Aesthetica Season of Film Heads to York Theatre Royal Next Month

Telling Stories Through Film: A New Season of Cinema at York Theatre Royal

Aesthetica Season of Film

York Theatre Royal Studio

Various dates in April, May, June & July

All tickets £5.

Film is transformative, powerful and resonating. It can change the world in a matter of seconds. York’s very own BAFTA-qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival is teaming up with York Theatre Royal to present a season of independent films, which looks at how the big screen helps us to make sense of the past, present and future.

The films in Aesthetica Season of Film reflect wider national and local events including Earth Day and York Pride as well as complementing some of the shows on stage at the theatre.

“We are delighted to partner with Aesthetica on this season which brings such a diverse range of independent films to our Studio,” said a theatre spokesperson.

“The films range from a night of comedy films when the West End hit Magic Goes Wrong is in the Theatre Royal’s main house to an evening of films exploring the relationship between Humans and Machines when the Studio show Eugene, a comedy which takes a humorous look at what happens when we give technology the power over us, is on.”

Cherie Federico, director of Aesthetica Short Film Festival, said: “Film is immediate. It is here and it is now. We are pleased to be working in partnership with York Theatre Royal to bring independent film programming to beating heart of York’s cultural offer. We hope that residents and visitors alike will be inspired by this bold storytelling, which does so much to join us, as a wider community through human stories that bind us together “

There are eight of film nights in the season during April, May, June and July:

LGBTQ+ Shorts: Defining Gay Cinema. The four films are easy to label as “brutal.” They are, at times, difficult, but stick with them as they unfold into a truly rewarding cinematic experience. The stories deal with the broader themes of mental health and the search for love. Specifically, these projects ask questions about how love can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places. These are not your typical LGBTQ+ short films. In partnership with Iris Prize.

Fragile Existence: Witness to the Climate Crisis. There is no doubt that the climate crisis is moving towards the tipping point. Filmmakers are key witnesses to these changes – documenting and exploring foreboding narrativeThe impact of population growth, globalisation, urbanisation, industrialisation and the exhaustion of natural resources has finally taken its toll. In order to save the world that we love, we must act now and prevent future generations from living with the consequences. This programme of short films looks at mass consumption and the global community. These films provide an outstanding cinematic experience.

Comedy Club: Join us for a Laugh. Comedy offers something for everyone, following unwitting characters through their day-to-day lives as they descend into surreal, unexpected moments of chaos, lunacy and, often, release. These screenings are sure to surprise and connect viewers through universal emotions and shared experiences – the everyday turned absurd. Be surprised by your reactions to our mind-bending, elevated storylines.

Raised Voices: Black British Cinema. We Are Parable is renowned for bringing Black British cinema to new audiences. Their nationwide season Who We Are is a celebration of Black cinema from around the world, and is dedicated to ensuring the work of past, present and emerging Black storytellers is amplified and given every possible platform available. This innovative programme features eight shorts which speak to the lived experience of being a Black or Brown person in the UK. The artists who produced these stories are voices that not only deserve to be heard, but to be raised.

To Be Human: Global Stories. The human condition comprises all of the characteristics and key events that define the essence of human existence, from birth and growth to desire and aspiration, conflict to mortality. This selection of screenings examines what it means to live on such an extraordinary planet, offering global perspectives into who we are and how we live, both alone and together.

Technology, Humans and Machines. Our relationship with – and dependency on – technology grows every day. We are constantly looking to the future, and for the next big thing. Technology connects us, teaches us and assists with our day-to-day lives. We have immense power at our fingertips. In the age of the selfie, immersive technologies and Artificial Intelligence, these films from visionary ASFF alumni consider humanity’s reliance on, and desire for, innovation.

Animation: Imagination & Discovery (for families). This collection of films introduces children to the wonderful world of animation. The range of styles depicts all the fantastic possibilities for this enthralling genre. Stories are highly emotive and cover a range of topics that are relevant in a child’s emotional education, beyond that some of the films are simply good fun. Expect curious characters and eye-catching illusions.

BAFTA & Oscar Winning & Nominated Short Films from Aesthetica Film Festival. Every year, Aesthetica Film Festival screens some of the most engaging films by rising stars from the film industry. Many of these people will go onto become household names in future years. We are delighted to present a selection of films from the festival that have either been nominated or won a BAFTA or and Oscar. Here is your chance to engage with storytelling at its very best.

The screenings timetable

Fri 22 Apr, 7.15pm, Fragile Existence: Witness to the Climate Crisis (link to Earth Day)

Fri 29 Apr, 7.15pm Comedy Club: Join us for a Laugh

Sat 30 Apr, time tbc, Animation: Imagination & Discovery (for families)

Sat 7 May, 7.15pm, To Be Human: Global Stories

Fri 27 May, 7.15pm, Technology, Humans and Machines

Fri 17 June, 7.15pm, LGBTQ+ Shorts: Defining Gay Cinema

Fri 24 June, 7.15pm, Raised Voices: Black British Cinema

Fri 8 July, 7.15pm, BAFTA & Oscar Winning & Nominated Short Films from Aesthetica Film Festival

Visit for full details of the schedule.

All tickets are £5. Box office 01904 623568 |