From Korean eateries to independent food markets, Beeston is a surprise treasure trove of delights. But the best kept secret of all? The small town is home to the biggest international short film festival in the Midlands.
Beeston Film Festival, which went exclusively online this year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, is now in its sixth year. Ranking as one of the Top 100 best-reviewed festivals out of the 8,000+ that take place worldwide, it screened 120 films from 35 countries over five days, with categories ranging from student and horror, to women’s voices and animation. This year, it’s launching the latest category, Pride, in order to showcase talented LGBT+ filmmakers or films about LGBT+ issues.
John Currie, founder of the festival said: “Each year we review the festival to consider which categories have worked and if we can spot trends that warrant a dedicated section. This year we had a number of high quality submissions focused on LGBTQ+ topics. When you see this quality of film being submitted, we have to listen to filmmakers.” He continues, “Nottingham has such a strong Pride festival reflecting the city's inherent diversity and tolerance, I think there will be an appetite and interest from our local audience.”
The next festival in which Pride will be a category is slated for March 2021, but submissions are already open. John explains, “We are hoping to see an abundance of films from around the world, expressing a wealth of experience and insight from communities in different continents. I anticipate a range of emotional responses being provoked, invoked and inspired.”
The festival also offers its own awards, known as a Beeston Oscar (or B’Oscar, if you like), recognising talent in categories like Soundtrack and Design, Best Acting Performance, Best Script and Best Director.
Neda Khanifar is an Iranian producer whose film Hard Shadow was screened at the festival in 2020. “It was great to be involved, and was one of the best experiences I had out of all the festivals I applied to. It also was good because I got B’Oscar nomination for Women’s Voices,” she says.
Submissions for the 2021 Beeston Film Festival are open now, and film submissions for the new Pride category are currently 50% off until the end of July.