Another year, another Beeston Film Festival behind us. It’s the second time we had to hold the festival completely online due to the pandemic but the quality of films and our spirit didn’t drop one bit. We had seventeen amazing categories, ranging from genres such as horror to technical ones where we awarded not only acting but the people behind the camera too with B’Oscars for cinematography, sound, etc. Over the course of a week, you were able to attend nineteen incredible screening sessions, all from the comfort of your own home, and enjoy the very best of short films that were submitted to our festival by a vast number of talented filmmakers.

Doing everything online is a very different experience to meeting up in person, sitting in a cinema, a screening room, having popcorn and snacks, maybe grabbing a pint with your friends after the festival. The community and the atmosphere of the Beeston area are crucial for the festival and this year, one again, we had to go without it. Despite all of these challenges, we were able to put on an incredible festival which was enjoyed by many, many people, even though we didn’t screen their ticket at the door. In the time of lockdowns and restrictions, Beeston Film Festival brought the cinema straight into the people’s homes, instead of them venturing out to Beeston.

The spirit of collaboration is the making of the very foundation of Beeston Film Festival. We connect the community, through the people and local business. We bring more people out into Beeston. And after all, we are an international film festival, committed to showing stories from all across the globe, presenting these little slices of different cultures and conventions. You don’t hear just English at Beeston, you hear French, Hindi, Persian, Polish, Italian, Spanish, and just about any other language you can think of. You hear different accents, traditional music, the sounds of cities you’ve never seen before with your own eyes.

On that note, a crucial part of the festival are interns from Nottingham’s universities. I’m one of them as well. Our experience is similar to the visitors of the festival as in preparation for it, we weren’t meeting up in person and building friendships like we had hoped to do so when thinking about our placements before its time came. It was about Zoom calls, emails, and a lot of WhatsApp. Despite that, being a part of Beeston Film Festival is an incredible thing which none of us will ever forget and we’ll be grateful to have been welcomed into the team so easily and with open arms.

The festival wouldn’t be here however, without our amazing festival director John Currie. He’s the glue holding it all together and here’s what he had to say about running Beeston: “To run an independent film festival you have to be a bit bonkers! Yet, year on year the event itself provides the inspiration to do it all over again! Innovations, from the Preview Programme to the new Pride category to opening our first Merch shop, demonstrate how we constantly learn, take risks, evolve and create a more diverse, exciting event to celebrate film and celebrate filmmakers.”
And that’s a wrap on another great year! Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to don our best cinema-going outfits and venture into Beeston for an old fashion film festival screening.

Written by Sara Jakubcova