The midpoint of Beeston Film Festival is here. Three days behind us, and after today three more days ahead of us. Despite not being able to meet up in person and see our friends, share that special moment with strangers while all looking at the screen in a cinema, the core of the festival hasn’t changed. Being fully online doesn’t prevent us all from enjoying some great films and still experiencing the magic of a film festival.

Thursday brings you two great categories. Weekdays offer two screenings and for this day it’s the second part of our drama selection, followed by one of our most interesting and complex categories - A Better Place.

“Lola wears black” is a definite highlight in the drama category. A Croatian film that presents a much deeper story in a seemingly simple storyline. Following the mundane life of an elderly lady, the film subtly hints at generational differences between people and the impact different political regimes had on the very making of people and their emotional regimes. With beautiful cinematography set against the backdrop of brutalist architecture and the physical remnants of an age gone, it’s not one to miss.

A Better Place is a category of hope, of dreams, of stories that show the best and sometimes the worst of humanity. But persevering in the face of hardship and struggle is what makes the human experience real. This category is meant to give you hope and perhaps a push to try and make the world a better place yourself.

“Better than Neil Armstrong” is an Iranian short film vying for your heart. Seemingly just a story of some kids role-playing as astronauts and trying to land on the Moon, the true extent of it delves much deeper. Its sweetness turns bitter with the runtime but it’s expertly done and scarcely forgettable. Tissues recommended if you’re prone to crying when encountering joyful stories with a heartbreaking twist.

“Only in Toledo” is a super short piece hailing from the US. Based on an internet meme that popularized the phrase, the film doesn’t even need three whole minutes to discredit the outdated notion of the American dream. It’s a story of human perseverance, of resilience and also systematic racism in America. Concise, clear, straight to the point.

“Manchester Pride Parade: The Movie” is better introduced in our longer article about the Pride category, but it had to be mentioned here as well. One of the best we have in the festival as a whole, half of the film is dedicated to showing the often untold history of the legal and social battle that allowed queer people to exist in Britain as freely as they can now. But the other half shows hope, because we know that despite laws, hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community are still a thing so it’s necessary to keep striving towards genuine equality and normalizing same-sex love and diverse gender idenity.

With much to offer, Thursday is another great day for Beeston Film Festival that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Written by Sara Jakubcova