Finally, after three long years, the Beeston Film Festival is back in person and better than ever! I would like to start off by saying a much-awaited welcome, we are so incredibly happy to have you back. With your help, alongside that of our terrific team and film-makers, Beeston Film Festival continues to grow, and we will forever be immensely grateful for that.

Now then, I think there’s been enough of that, let’s talk films. Our brilliant festival launches with a colossal opening night, featuring some of the best short films from the entire selection. There is something here for everyone, and I personally cannot wait to tell you what we have in store for the fantastic first ninety minutes of Beeston Film Festival.

It all starts off with psychological drama: When She Was Good, following a young girl who discovers that Santa isn’t real, leaving her upset and disoriented. Directed by London film-maker Margarita Milne, When She Was Good is nominated for two B’Oscars; in the drama and performance categories, sure to be an excellent start to the festival.

Next up is Tinned Pears, directed by award-winning Libby Burke Wilde. This touching short story follows a young family living in food poverty. A truly impactful watch.

Around the halfway mark is Roy, featuring BAFTA award winner David Bradley. Created by the filmmaking partnership of Tom Berkeley and Ross White, Roy tells the heart-warming tale of how a man living in solitude discovers an unlikely companionship when he needs it most. Roy is nominated for a B’Oscar in performance, and is my personal favourite of the night, you won’t want to miss it.

The fourth film is Irish horror Bainne, featuring Will Poulter and directed by his Midsommar co-star, Jack Reynor. Our own festival director, John Currie, describes Poulter’s performance here as a “gritty, humble yet compelling” one, portraying a stoic farmhand in the last year of The Great Famine in Ireland who encounters a ghostly figure who steals his milk, leading him on a journey of faith. Bainne is up for a total of four B’Oscars, including Best in Festival.

Our penultimate film of the night is a dark, revenge thriller exploring the moral and religious intricacies surrounding the concept of revenge and redemption. Hollow showcases brilliant performances from Laura Bayston, Karl Collins and Kris Hitchen, alongside the award-winning direction of Bristolian Paul Holbrook. Hollow is nominated for two B’Oscars, including Best Drama and Best Performance, you are sure to see why.

Last, but certainly not least is French animation, The Soloists. This powerful and imaginative short work of art shows us in a small village ruled by ridiculous and arbitrary laws, where three singing sisters and their dog rehearse for the Annual Autumn Festival, when an unexpected event disrupts their plans. The Soloists may take home two of our prestigious B’Oscars, including Best in Festival and Best Animation, a dazzling end to an infinitely immersive opening night.

Friday is just the beginning of a bountiful weekend, packed full of memorable movies with experiences to last a lifetime.

– Kieran Storey