As much as we love the brilliant films crafted here in the UK, the Beeston Film Festival is not dedicated only to home-grown talent, as we’re an international film festival. Every year, dozens of shorts from all over the globe are able to be enjoyed and appreciated by the people of Beeston, with many of our prestigious B’Oscars going to these international submissions.

This year’s festival has seen exceptional selections from France, China, Spain, Ukraine, the United States and so many more.

So I say we sit back, grab some popcorn and a new slice of culture to enjoy from the vast, diverse selection available at the festival.

French cinema has produced many beautifully-crafted films for us, including The Soloists, Cold Beds and my personal favourite; My Friend Who Shines in the Night. This fantastic animation is a brilliantly heart-warming tale of a ghost’s journey to the afterlife, aided by their new friend Arthur. This fascinating project with direction led by Gregoire De Bernouis is further assisted by the wonderful voice acting of Edouard Michelon and Maiko Vuillod, along with alluring, original musical pieces by the incredible Arthur Dairaine Andrianaivo – an absolute must-watch.

China has also been a great export of film for the festival with thrilling crime Baptism, the compelling Chinese Fusion and of course Trace of a Butterfly. Trace of a Butterfly is another emotional animation with a unique and beautiful art-style, following a young girl’s relationship with her grandmother and how it helped her through a confusing time of her adolescence. This captivating picture, directed by the evidently passionate Xu Ran, explores ideas of innocence, grief and disillusionment, alongside hope and recovery.

The true beauty of film is the delightful dips into countless cultures we may never have been able to experience otherwise. Seeking out these international stories grants us a whole new perspective, allowing us to explore a world far more different and fascinating than our own. These cultural connections, communities and languages give access to all-new enthralling histories, lifestyles and storytelling. This is what connects us. This is what makes us human. This is what makes the Beeston Film Festival so special.

You’re sure to find a new appreciation or even passion for a different culture’s film production or style during your time with us, and we can’t wait to welcome you here.

– Kieran Storey