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30th May 2018

Star Wars director sends message to Beer Town Film Festival

Jack Hale, Matt Daunt, Nick Jones and Jade Fovargue_Beer Town winners

Nuneaton-born film director, Gareth Edwards recorded a short welcome and well-done message for the finale of Marston’s Beer Town Film Festival held at the weekend.

His message was shown just before his own critically-acclaimed film Star Wars, Rogue One was shown to the outdoor cinema audience in the historic brewery setting at Marston’s Brewery in Burton Upon Trent.

Festival organiser, Elliot Allison, managed to make contact with Gareth a few weeks before to ask for his support. He explained: “We chose Star Wars Rogue One, not only because it is a fantastic film but also because of its British filmmaking credentials; a Midlands-born director with many British actors. We were thrilled when he agreed to support the evening with his video message. He’s in LA at the moment so when it pinged into my inbox at 3am the day before the finale we couldn’t have been more excited. I hope he is an inspiration to our finalists.”

His message went as follows: “Hi, my name is Gareth Edwards and I’m the director of Rogue One, the film you’re about to watch. I would say that it is a real honour that you all turned out to see this movie but I know deep down that your just here for the beer, which is fair enough! But also, I want to add my congratulations to all the winners for Beer Town Film Festival, and if you didn’t win but you’re a runner-up I’d also like to say – don’t blame me, I was not a judge in this competition! And to be honest I think you were robbed, but, hey, I hope you like the movie and if you don’t just drink some more beer, there’s lots of Marston’s beers available.” He added: “May the fermentation be with you!”

Earlier that evening a Nottingham-based filmmaker was awarded the first ever Hop D’Or at the finale of the national film competition organised by Marston’s Brewery. Matt Daunt won the Best Promotional and Music Film category for ‘Blue’ his music video for the Nottingham-based singer/songwriter, Rob Green. He then went on to be chosen as Best Overall Film for the festival as the Directors’ Choice. Other awards were given for best fiction, documentary and animation with special awards for best home grown talent and best young filmmaker.

Marston’s Marketing Manager, Joanne Wyke said: “This is our first year for Beer Town Film Festival and we have been thrilled with the reaction from filmmakers, astounded by the talent and excited to recognise and reward the finalists and winners celebrating craftmanship, creativity and emerging talent. Gareth’s message was the icing on the cake!”

The Beer Town Film Festival competition was launched by Marston’s Brewery to UK filmmakers in September 2017 and closed for entries on 31st March 2018 with 796 entries.

Organisers assembled a star-studded collection of twenty judges (four for each category) including the LA-based screenwriter for ‘Fight Club’, Jim Uhls, UK film and TV actor Steven Hartley, Hollywood visual effects producer Rich Yeomans (from Burton), award-winning filmmaker and writer, Deborah Haywood (also from Burton), Skins photographer, Gavin Watson and David Morris is an award-winning Irish music video and feature documentary filmmaker.

Caption: Jack Hale (winner of the Burton Mail People’s Choice Award), Matt Daunt (winner of the Best Advertising and Promotion film and overall festival winner), Nick Jones (winner of the Best Short Fiction film) and Jade Fovargue (winner of the Best Home Grown film)

To view the winning films and Gareth Edwards’ message click here.

For more information and photographs please contact Lisa Harlow for Beer Town Film Festival at 07917 757860 or email