Marston’s Launch Beertown Film Festival


11 October 2017

Marston’s Brewery has announced the launch of the first film festival in Burton Upon Trent in Staffordshire backed by Burton’s own homegrown talent: Hollywood special effects producer, Rich Yeomans and film maker and award-winning screen writer, Deborah Haywood.

Working in partnership on the film festival with Burton and South Derbyshire College, Marston’s Brewery are celebrating their 180-year association with Burton upon Trent by creating an annual event that will draw interest in the town and celebrate its own local talent and craftsmanship.

Locally born film makers Rich Yeomans and Deborah Haywood will act as patrons and judges for the festival with other judges for each of the categories being drawn from a range of film makers, animators, photographers and experts in their judging categories.

The Beertown Film Festival will call for entries from UK film makers of 16 years of age and over across four different film categories from now until 31st March 2018. The categories are Best Fiction Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Advertising or Promotional Film and Best Animated. 

The judges will award a fifth prize for the best film made by ‘home-grown’ talent from across all of the categories whereby the entrant must be from an area within a 20-mile radius of Burton Upon Trent, taking in local surrounding towns such as Derby, Ashbourne, Stafford, Tamworth and Ashby. 

There will also be a People’s Choice award that will be chosen by Burton Mail readers selected in an online poll. Winners in each of these six categories will win a cash prize of £500.

Finally, the judges will award an overall Beertown Festival Winner selected from the finalists in each category – the ‘Hop D’Or’ - who will collect £1,000 in prize money as well as the honour.

Judging will take place during April and May 2018 and the Beertown Film Festival will culminate in a major outdoor cinema, beer and food festival to be held at Marston’s Brewery in Burton upon Trent on Saturday 26th May 2018. Audiences will be able to see clips of the finalists’ films and hear the winners being announced before enjoying a feature film in the surroundings of the famous Victorian brewery.

Rich Yeomans, who made his name in visual effects in the Harry Potter film franchise said: "I am honoured and excited to have been asked to be a part of this film festival, and look forward to seeing the entries and talent that Burton has to offer.”

Deborah Haywood, whose film Pin Cushion was chosen to open the Venice Critics’ Week this summer was keen to inspire women film makers to enter and said: “I think it's important that girls feel they can succeed in the industry, too. It's very male and we need more women involved and more women's stories.  Plus, if I can do it, anyone can. My Mum still lives in Swadlincote and that's where we filmed Pin Cushion.”

“It's a great area to make films because everyone is so friendly and accommodating.” 

Jo Wyke, Marketing Manager from Marston’s said: “We hope that film makers respond to our competition from all corners of the UK, whether they are already in film making or are enthusiastic amateurs looking for some recognition. A home-grown talented film maker has the chance to win up to £2,500 in prize money – as well as the recognition for their skills.”

Chris Beech from Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “We’re excited to be supporting Marston’s with the launch of their Beertown Film Festival, which will provide a platform for films and creativity in the local area. Our creative students will have the opportunity to enter the competition, allowing them to showcase their work on a national stage. We’re proud to support the local community and work with local organisations to develop and nurture the creative scene in Burton, while giving our students access to real industry experiences for success in their future careers.”

Contact Details

Contact Details


Burton and South Derbyshire College
Tel: 01283 494400

Town Centre Campus


Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

Construction Academy


Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB