The Beeston film festival is set to return this March for its seventh year to celebrate and showcase international short films in the heart of Beeston.
Festival organiser, John Currie, deliberately associated the festival with Beeston, to give something back to his community, a community of strong artists and performers:
“When we started there was not a Nottingham Film Festival at the time, and we could not call ourselves that. So, we deliberately said ‘we are going to be the Beeston Festival’, this is what we wanted”.
The Festival, which is the biggest international Top 100 Best Reviewed short-film festival, will see a wide range of short-movies competing for the BOscar, the Oscar of Beeston.
The programme, which will run from Monday 22 to Sunday 28 March, will be online for the second time this year and will present over 150 films from over 80 different countries at 3 local venues:
“It is going to be a totally jam-packed international program with movies from Africa, America, France, all around Europe, China and Australia,” said John.
The festival will also host famous actors, such as local famous BAFTA-winning actress, Vicki McClure, Dame Maureen Lipman and Helen Lederer among new and emerging talents.
A wide range of genre will be presented, going from Horror, Comedy, Drama to Women’s Voices and Pride. Selections were accurately made by a team drawn from the local community of film enthusiasts:
“This year we had over 650 entries to the festival. So, our local team of film lovers have been reviewing them and going through the selection process. This means we had to watch all the films carefully and respectfully to make the right choices” added John.
Helping with the festival organisation are also 10 NTU interns working full and part-time behind the scenes. An opportunity for them to really get involved in the organisation.
“They are great. They are really helpful and really help enable us to do things that we haven’t done before. The interns will be very much involved in creating a preview program. So just before the festival starts”.
The preview of the program will include interviews with the directors of the films which have been shortlisted for the best and festival awards.
Like last year, the festival will go ahead totally online, and John and his team have had to find new ways to engage people in a covid-safe environment:
“Last year we utilised Facebook Live. But, over the past few years there has been a real growth in new platforms so that is why our social media manager Francesca has been working to explore the opportunity of expanding into TikTok, which is taking over the world”.
Excitement and hopes are also high for the opening of the Arc Cinema, which is scheduled to open its doors in the centre of Beeston this summer. The brand-new cinema, which will offer digital
laser projectors, immersive surround sounds and luxury seats, other than a café/bar area, is set to bring new opportunities and changes for Beeston and its Film Festival, to create a real festival atmosphere in the town:
“I am really excited about it, especially because I have spoken with Arc, and they are actually excited about getting involved with the festival but also having short film nights during the year, to give filmmakers additional screenings. When the cinema will open up, we will look into having regular monthly screenings where we can share some of the back catalogue of films that have been submitted earlier because… Let’s have a break from Netflix!”.
Talking about the future of the festival and for the Beeston community, John has really high hopes:
“Once we get the next in-person festival out of the way our inspiration is to move from one week to two weeks of screening. And we will start introducing feature films as well. We really want to move into a space where we have a longer festival. So, I am very excited about the future”.
Tickets are available to purchase here. Costs range from £10 pounds plus booking fee for the whole festival to £2.50 for individual sessions.