In association with AVA Festival, we are proud to present the Closing Night of the 19th Belfast Film Festival, Beats. A universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth. Set to a soundtrack as eclectic and electrifying as the rave scene it gave birth to, Beats is a story for our time.

1994, a small town in central Scotland. Best mates Johnno and Spanner, despite being total opposites, have 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. But this summer is going to be different for them, and for the country. The explosion of the free party scene and the largest counter- cultural youth movement in recent history is happening across the UK.

Filmed in black and white, Beats finds real poignancy in the bond between these two innocents as they enter a wonderland of rebellion and romance. A heady solidarity is forged in the sweaty bodies, casual encounters and carefree exuberance of youth gathered in the pursuit of a good time.

Produced by Ken Loach’s Sixteen Films and Steven Soderbergh attached as executive producer.


While director Brian Welsh's earlier work, particularly in our name, had a kinship with the empathetic naturalism of Ken Loach, the crackling anarchy and wryly observed youth culture of Beats, which was executive produced by Steven Sodenbergh, feels closer in tone to the work of Shane Meadows