Set in 1994 Scotland, Beats is a universal story of friendship, rebellion, and the irresistible power of gathering youth.
Beats is a 2019 British drama film directed by Brian Welsh. It is based upon a play of the same name by Kieran Hurley, who adapted the screenplay with Welsh. Steven Soderbergh acts as an executive producer of the film. Beats stars Lorn Macdonald, Cristian Ortega, Laura Fraser, and Brian Ferguson.
- Starring : Lorn Macdonald / Cristian Ortega
- Genre : Comedy / Crime / Drama / Music
- Country : United Kingdom
- Language : English
- Director : Brian Welsh
- Production : Rosetta Productions
- Distributor : Altitude Film Entertainment / Altitude Film Distribution / September Film / Music Box Films
Beats release date
- January 26, 2019 : USA (Slamdance Film Festival)
- March 3, 2019 : UK (Glasgow Film Festival)
- May 17, 2019 : UK
- May 17, 2019 : Ireland
- August 9, 2019 : Switzerland (Zürich)
- September 30, 2019 : Germany (Hamburg Film Festival)
- February 19, 2020 : Australia
- June 26, 2020 : USA
- Lorn Macdonald as Spanner
- Cristian Ortega as Johnno
- Laura Fraser as Alison
- Brian Ferguson as Robert
- Ross Mann as D-Man
- Amy Manson as Cat
- Rachel Jackson as Wendy
- Neil Leiper as Fido
- Kevin Mains as Les
- Stephen McCole as Sergeant Ian Black
- Josh Whitelaw as Gary
- Ryan Fletcher as PC Billy Moncreif
- Patrick McAlindon as Connor
- Martin Donaghy as Colin
- Gemma McElhinney as Laura
“Best mates Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) share a deep bond. Now on the cusp of adulthood, life is destined to take them in different directions – Johnno’s family are moving him to a new town and a better life, leaving Spanner behind to face a precarious future. In pursuit of adventure and escape the boys head out on one last night together to an illegal rave before parting ways indefinitely.” – Altitude Films
The film is set against the backdrop of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which banned outdoor rave parties across the whole of the United Kingdom. Johnno and Spanner are going to a rave for the first, and perhaps last time together.
Around 2015, Brian Welsh turned down Steven Soderbergh’s proposal for a new project. But while Welsh turned that down, he showed Soderberg his Beats script, who then joined as an executive producer on the film.
Beats had its international debut at the 2019 International Film Festival Rotterdam and was released on May 17 2019 in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It was released on digital and on DVD in the US on June 26, 2020.
Welsh’s Beats had already bagged 5 wins and 9 nominations from several festivals and award giving bodies.
Lorn Macdonald, who played the role of Spanner, won Best Actor for Film at the BAFTA Awards, Scotland in 2019. Beats also won Best Cinematography and Best Sound at the British Independent Film Awards (2019) and the International Student Jury Award at the Film by the Sea International Film Festival (2019). Beats director Brian Welsh won the Torino Film Festival 2019 Behind the Camera Award.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Beats holds an approval rating of 98% based on 44 reviews.
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