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Friday, 15 January 2010

Aesthetica Short Film Competition: A platform for international filmmakers

As the Aesthetica Short Film Competition gains momentum we have begun to receive a number of entrants from various international locations. Films are being submitted from European destinations such as Turkey and Spain, alongside those from further flung destinations including New Zealand, Bangladesh and Canada. Particular interest has been voiced from filmmakers in Italy and Japan, two countries with strong cultural identities and rich histories, resulting in a selection of inspirational and thought-provoking films.

At Aesthetica we have always maintained an interest in international filmmakers, investigating and reviewing a number of films from outside the UK. For those interested in European cinema issue 27’s article Moscow, Belgium: Debut feature film by Christophe Van Rompaey looks into this uplifting feature film which focuses on finding love when you least expect it.

Due to the increased interest from international producers we have received a number of queries regarding differences in language. The competition is open to all and we welcome entrants globally. Films can be submitted in any language, but must be either dubbed into English or provided with English subtitles. The submissions guidelines can be found at the Aesthetica website and further information is given on the FAQs page.

The opportunity for filmmakers presented by the Short Film Competition is fantastic and will undoubtedly allow the winning entry to gain heightened recognition. With showings at several locations, including The National Media Museum (Bradford), Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival (London), Glasgow Film Festival, Kerry Film Festival (Ireland) and on the Aesthetica website, the winning film will be exposed to a keen audience across the UK. This is an excellent opportunity to get your work shown and seen by industry professionals.

The runner-up and finalists will also join the winner to be included in a DVD that will be distributed to Aesthetica readers (with a readership of over 45,000.) For more information on screenings and a list of further prizes, such as a 12month membership to Shooting People, please visit the Aesthetica website.

Kerry Film Festival has recently become a competition partner, allowing the winner to screen their film at their festival, which takes place in Autumn 2010. The festival is held in the beautifully scenic location of Kerry, southern Ireland, which was the location for many films including David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter. The central feature of the festival is their short film competition, which helps young filmmakers gain exposure, with past judges including Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson.

The Aesthetica Short Film Competition is currently accepting entries. The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2010.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Classic Album Covers - Go Write A Letter

Now here's a surprise, I never thought that I would be writing a blog about Royal Mail, but never say never. Great music and great art – Royal Mail launches its 2010 stamps programme with ten iconic album covers from the past four decades. And who better to launch the Classic Album Covers issue than Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who helped design the cover of the band’s 32 million selling fourth album – IV - which features on the stamps, released on 7 January.

I bought that album on tape when I was 12 years old, and I couldn't get enough of Led Zeppelin. I had posters of all the album covers all over my bedroom. Most kids were listening to New Kids on the Block - I guess I was just a bit different!

Speaking about IV, Jimmy Page said: “Almost 40 years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him – that sort of sums up what we wanted to achieve with the album cover, which has remained both anonymous and enigmatic at the same time.”

Classic Album Covers showcases some of the greatest examples of album design, side by side on ten 1st Class stamps. Whether it’s the bent chromed pipe of Mike Oldfield’s seminal 70s masterpiece, Tubular Bells, the astonishing statues of Pink Floyd’s Division Bell, or the racing greyhounds of Blur’s Brit Pop classic, Parklife - the images will be instantly recognisable to millions around the world.

As Classic Album Covers celebrates the work of the album sleeve designer not the music, Royal Mail carried out extensive research of existing lists and polls of ‘Greatest Album Covers’, trawling through thousands of albums in the process. Once the final ten were agreed, it was decided that while an album might be square, the stamps don’t have to be. This resulted in a design showing each album cover with its disc appearing ‘outside’ the stamp.

Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail said: “For decades the album sleeve has been the canvas for some of the most imaginative graphic artists in the world, and this issue celebrates this unique art form and some of its greatest examples.

Now go write some letters, so you can enjoy these pretty cool stamps. I hope I get one in the post soon!

Image Credit:
Jimmy Page, lead guitarist in Led Zeppelin, is pictured with a supersize version of his iconic album ‘IV’ at world renowned record shop Rough Trade West, to celebrate the launch of Royal Mail’s Classic Album Covers Special Stamps. The stamps, which go on sale today, 7 January, feature classic album covers from the last four decades.

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