For four days in April, Beeston became the Mecca for short film makers, as the latest Beeston Film Festival took place at the Arc Cinema.
As the cover of the programme guide proclaims, it is ‘The Midlands Biggest International Short Film Festival’. And it certainly was, with over 150 films screened between the 13th & 16th of April, under various genres like comedy, horror and naturally drama.
The festival was of course organised by adopted Beestonian John Currie and Commercial Director Simon Pryce. Who remembers those early days of the upstairs at the old White Lion pub? Not quite a white sheet and a film projector, but the complete opposite now. Films are now shown at a professionally run cinema, making it on par with the Sundance festival, or Cannes, just missing the sunshine and glamour.
The highlight of the festival was of course the awards night. Where the best films, directors and performances were up for award; the ‘B’Oscars’, which once again were designed and created by glass artist Rebecca Joy of Joyful Dragonfly. A name familiar to some, as she used to have a shop in Beeston called BeCass.
Despite the films being short, and not having huge budgets, quite a few well-known actors popped up in roles. These included Mark Gattis, Celia Imrie and NG9’s own Vicky McClure. Unfortunately they didn’t make a guest appearance, but former Dinnerladies actor Andrew Dunn did. He played Tony the canteen manager. For the festival, he took the role of an antiques dealer in the horror Badpenny.
Now in its ninth year, the festival goes from strength to strength, with it now being qualified by the British Independent Film Awards CIC, and is recognised by the British Film Institute. 2024 will be its 10th anniversary, so I wonder what surprises John and his team will have in store for film fans and the people of Beeston?