Lancaster video production company win first award for Manchester Pride film

McGill Productions won their first short film award at the Beeston Film Festival, one of the leading international short film festivals in the UK.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:04 pm
Shane Ogley and Harry McGill.
Shane Ogley and Harry McGill.

The BFI supported festival, which has been running for seven years, receives submissions from filmmakers across the world, with winners going on to receive the coveted B’Oscar (Beeston Oscar).

The piece by McGill Productions, ‘Manchester Pride Parade: The Movie’, won the ‘Pride’ category at the festival.

It was also nominated for best script, best director and best film by the Beeston jury.

The win is the first for the company, making their debut short documentary an award-winning production.

The film was a collaboration with Manchester Pride, marking the third year the company and LGBTQ+ charity had worked together.

Due to the pandemic and restrictions on festivals last summer, Manchester Pride was not able to host its annual Manchester Pride Festival over the August bank holiday, opting instead to host a virtual event - Alternative Manchester Pride Festival.

The film played in lieu of the in-person parade, a centre-piece of the Manchester Pride Festival that draws thousands of people to the streets of Manchester.

The team at McGill Productions.

Shane Ogley, co-founder and managing director at McGill Productions, and producer of the film, said: “The way the idea for the piece came together was magical.

“It all came from a conversation I had with some guys at the event in 2018.

"I’d been speaking with two men who retold their experiences growing up gay in the 80s and 90s.

"To hear how they had been shamed, bullied, attacked and disowned was awful.

A still from the film.

"They had been through so much over the decades, but through fighting with others in the community, they could now celebrate and be open with their love.

"You hear about these stories in the media, but to hear it in person, it makes that pain human.”

Traces of this story can be found in the company’s 2018 Aftermovie for the festival, which touches on similar themes to the short doc.

“The 2018 video is like an early, condensed version of the 2020 short documentary. The 2020 film explores a lot of the same stuff but in more depth. When we pitched the idea for the short doc last year, we used the 2018 video as a kind of starting point.”

“We wanted the new piece to be educational and show younger generations just how much those who came before them have fought. Without that fighting and banding together, there would be no pride as we know it today.”

The idea for the short doc was pitched to Manchester Pride in early summer and delivered a number of weeks later.

The film takes viewers on a journey over the last 50 years, exploring the challenges the LGBTQ+ community faced –and continues to face– touching on hope and optimism for the future.

It highlights the importance of fighting together for equality and love. The film ends with the message of marching for peace, the theme for 2020's parade.

Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said: “2020 was a very strange year both for us and the LGBTQ+ people that we exist to support.

"It was so important to me and my team that we delivered an LGBTQ+ celebration that we could all be proud of and finding a way to bring alive our world famous Manchester Pride Parade was vital to our Alternative Manchester Pride Festival.

“Manchester Pride is part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people.

"Our parade is both a celebration and a protest and with this film we wanted to recognise this and celebrate how far we have come.

"McGill productions absolutely nailed the brief and we were so happy with the end result. It deserves to win many more awards and we hope that it does.”

The win at Beeston is the first award for the piece, which narrowly missing out on an award at Manchester Film Festival the previous week.

Harry McGill, director of the film, said: "We are really honoured to have won this award. I think this piece was special for a lot of people and it’s amazing to see it receive such fantastic recognition. I think this is the first win of many to come for the company. The future is really exciting!”

You can watch the film here.