The room upstairs at the White Lion was packed on Sunday 12th March as the winners of the 3rd Beeston Film Festival were announced to a very excited and eager audience.

Thanks must go to Sergio the landlord of  Beeston’s most sociable pub, as it has been the base for the festival, since John Currie and James Hall launched it back in 2015.

After months of planning and preparation, some 90 short length films from across the world have been screened over four days, with the launch taking place at the University of Nottingham’s Sir Clive Granger Building on the Thursday. This first evening saw the inaugural Three Counties Festival Night, which was split into two categories; short films of up to five minutes in length, and long films, which were up to fifteen minutes in duration. Prize money was on offer too, courtesy of the Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund. All the other films were shown at the White Lion.

There were a number of categories that a number of the films were shortlisted for.  Thirteen judges from around the globe had viewed all the films to find the best in each of the areas, such as horror, comedy, script and cinematography.

It just goes to show the amount of talent that there is in the East Midlands. The 2018 festival is going to be bigger and even better.

No cash prizes here, but the winners did receive a wonderfully crafted ceramic award: the B’Oscar, created by Nottingham artist Anna Collette Hunt.

So on to the fifteen winning films and filmmakers:

Best horror film: Woods
Best Animation: Cuerdas
Best Drama: Soldier Bee
Best Documentary: Cecil & Carl
Best Comedy: Braquage Serenade
Best Script: Braquage Serenade
Best Actor: Shauna Macdonald for Soldier Bee
Best Director: Pedro Solis Garcia for Cuerdas
Best Cinematography: Stewart Whelan for Cinephiliac
Best Sound: Cinephiliac
Three Counties Short: Portrait of a Craftsman
Three Counties Long: Cadence
Rising Star: Night Owls
Audience Favourite: The App
Best Film in Festival: Braquage Serenade

A number of Beeston-based shops and companies sponsored the B’Oscar awards. They were:

Art, Culture, Tourism
Artworks
Broadgate Laundry
Charlie Fogg’s
Chimera
Cutting Edge
Happy Daze
L’Oliva
Pamela Sietos Clothing
PN Design
ROK Jewellery
Rye Café & Bar
The Berliner

I caught up with a weary but ecstatic John after the ceremony to find out how the four days went. “It’s been the best one so far”, he replied grinning from ear to ear. “It just goes to show the amount of talent that there is in the East Midlands. The 2018 festival is going to be bigger and even better. The support that the festival has received has been phenomenal. All the students from the university that have helped out have been fantastic.”

I also spoke to James, who was busy packing away the IT equipment, and asked for his thoughts. “It’s been great, but much harder work than helping to organise the Oxjam music event.”

Finally, one face that I recognized in the audience was that of local actor, puppeteer and storyteller Melvyn Rawlinson. I asked Melvyn whether he had been involved in any of the productions. Yes he said, I appeared in the film ‘I Am God and Severely Underqualified.’ This tells the story of a writer struggling with the dreaded writer’s block, and how he gets over it.

John and James will shortly be e-mailing a weblink to those that attended the festival, so they will be able to watch their favourite films again, or catch up with any that they missed. For everyone else, you’ve missed out. Some may make it to a cinema release, or might turn up on YouTube. You never know, there may even be plans to create a ‘Beeston Film Festival’ compilation DVD. Now wouldn’t that be exciting!

CDF