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11th June 2019

Marston’s Beer Town Film Festival 2019 announces Hop D’Or winner

Marston’s award-winning Beer Town Film Festival 2019, announced the winners of its short film competition on Saturday.

The festival’s Best Overall Film was awarded to Daniel McKee for his short fiction film, if you never answered x”. Daniel won the Hop D’Or trophy and £1,000 cash prize.

Now in its second year, the Marston’s sponsored filmmaking competition ran from October 2018 to February 2019 and attracted 739 entries from entrants from all over the UK. Entrants made short films for six different categories, representing 86 hours, 24 minutes and 18 seconds of viewing time.

McKee is a 27-year old London-based filmmaker from Worcester who studied filmmaking Arts University Bournemouth and usually makes short animated films. The film examines the heart-rending narrative of a missing person through the responses and notifications on a mobile phone. He said: “This is my first fiction film and it is amazing to win an award, let alone the entire competition. Already the judges in my category have gone on to share the film and given it a new lease of life and I am definitely spending the prize money on my next film.”

Marston’s Marketing Manager, Jo Wyke said: “The standard of entries this year was much higher making it an extremely difficult job for the judges but I think we have an incredible set of category winners. I would also like to say a huge congratulations to Daniel McKee for his gripping and highly original film that fully deserved the Best Overall Film accolade.”

“This year’s winner’s event has been the culmination of a year’s work alongside a festival week that has featured screenings for 56 films over five different venues; Burton’s first ever PechaKucha (Chit Chat) event at Burton and South Derbyshire College about film and creativity; feature film screenings by two local filmmakers, Shane Meadows and Deborah Haywood; an online vote by 1700 people; and an outdoor screening of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the historic Victorian brewery at Marston’s.”

Over 150 people attended the outdoor screening of the Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” at Marston’s Brewery on Saturday night where the audience enjoyed a beer festival featuring the new Horninglow Street beer, street food and a screening of Daniel McKee’s winning film.

The other category winners were:

  • The Documentary Short category was won by Bristol-based filmmaker, Diana Taylor for “Masha and Dasha, Two Hearts in One” about two Russian Siamese twins that had been used for human experiments and institutionalised all their lives.
  • The Best Animated Short category was awarded to George Warren, an animator from London, for Uki about a lonely Inuit who struggles to survive after an oil tanker leaks oil off the coast of Alaska, killing all the wildlife in the area.
  • The Music Video category was won by London-based Blindeye Films for Adam French’s “Wanna Be Here following three young nomads who find themselves in a self-destructive relationship with each other.
  • The Home-Grown category, sponsored by Burton and South Derbyshire College, was won by local filmmaker, Mitch Brown from Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire with his friends Kieran Edwards and Connor O’Brien (for their film “Hooligan”, a micro-short mockumentary following Gavin “The Weapon” Wallis, a lifetime Milton FC fan preparing himself for derby day and the biggest fight of his life.
  • This year also saw entries for a new category called Mobile 61 sponsored by Marston’s 61 Deep that challenged entrants to come up with a 61 second film shot entirely on a mobile phone for ‘have-a-go’ filmmakers. The winner of Mobile 61 was “Skywatcher” about an alien invasion by Emeson Nwolie, a London-based actor, singer-songwriter and director who shot and edited his film entirely on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
  • The People’s Choice Award, in partnership with the Burton Mail, where local people were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite finalist was won by another local filmmaker, Shaun Adey from Shellbrook in Ashby for his Mobile 61 entry, “Vichai had a dream” about Leicester City’s chairman who died tragically in a helicopter crash in 2018.
  • Finally, there was a special Director’s Choice, Young Filmmaker Award sponsored by Vital Marketing for Devon-based filmmaker, Ollie Gardner for his film Sunday Night Drinkers Clubwith his two friends Jake Harvey and Jake Crossley. Based on a true story, four childhood friends are thrown into turmoil when one is diagnosed with a severe form of cancer and it took 5 months to choreograph the scenes in which there is no dialogue throughout. The competition for Beer Town Film Festival 2020 will launch in the Autumn.


For more information contact Lisa Harlow on 07917 757860 or Vital Marketing on 01926 338811