The Raft of the Medusa, Richard Heslop & Simon Armitage, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival

The 5th anniversary edition of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival is nearly here! This year, ASFF celebrates the festival and its history of supporting independent short film from around the world with a dynamic Special Screening programme. The section sees previous winners and Guest Country filmmakers reflect upon their diverse practices, alongside a special showing of Richard Heslop and playwright Simon Armitage’s collaborative filmic work, The Raft of the Medusa.

Set in the near future, after months of continuous rain, Bella (Catherine Cusack) and Jude (Amaka Okafor) are marooned on their farm, and their supplies are getting low. At the time of his death, film director and writer Derek Jarman had been working on an idea to make a film based on Theodore Gericault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa.

Produced by Cast Iron Radio and FLAMIN, and supported by Arts Council England and BBC Radio Drama, this new creation marks the 21st anniversary of Jarman’s death, and fuses together Armitage’s play for radio with Heslop’s visuals, who worked as cinematographer with Jarman. The piece is complimented by music from another of Jarman’s collaborators, Simon Fisher Turner.

Read our interview with Heslop

For tickets and more information, visit

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1. Still The Raft of the Medusa.