Beer Town Film Festival, sponsored by Marston’s Brewery in Burton upon Trent, 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.

The Fiction Short category was the most popular again this year attracting over half the entries. Daniel McKee’s “if you never answered x” topped the vote for this category judged by four award-winning filmmakers themselves, Deborah Haywood, Giles Alderson, Dom Lenoir and David Morris alongside renowned TV actor Steven Hartley. McKee is a 27-year old London-based filmmaker from Worcester who studied filmmaking at 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.”

Best Documentary Short category was won by Bristol-based filmmaker, Diana Taylor for “Masha and Dasha, Two Hearts in One”.

Best Animated Short category was awarded to George Warren, an animator from London, for Uki.

Best Music Video category was won by London-based Blindeye Films for Adam French’s “Wanna Be Here.

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”,

Mobile 61 sponsored by Marston’s 61 Deep beer was won “Skywatcher” about an alien invasion by Emeson Nwolie, shot and edited his film entirely on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

The People’s Choice Award, was won by another local filmmaker, Shaun Adey from Shellbrook in Ashby for his Mobile 61 entry, “Vichai had a dream”.

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 Club”.

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