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Brian Welsh
UK 2019 / 96’
Adam & Evelyn Dafne

Scotland, the summer of 1994. The British government has just introduced a law banning raves—unsanctioned parties featuring music with a characteristic repetitive beat. Instead of dying out, however, the rave scene moves underground, where it explodes into a counterculture. A teenage boy named Spanner will do anything to get into one of these illegal raves, and he takes best friend, Johnno, along with him. For Spanner, it’s an escape from his abusive deadbeat brother; for Johnno, an opportunity to get away from the stifling atmosphere of a home where a cop—his future stepfather—has started laying down the law. This night will be a watershed moment for both of them, a formative experience and a great test of friendship. Welsh intertwines the defiance of his young protagonists with the anarchic rebellion of the generation, blending them together to create a socially minded film—a film that pulsates to an ecstatic rhythm (with a soundtrack featuring The Prodigy, N-Joi, Leftfield, Outlander, Liquid Liquid and Human Resource) and takes viewers back to the incredible atmosphere of the 1990s.

Karolina Kosińska

Brian Welsh

Brian Welsh was born in Scotland in 1981. He graduated from the National Film and Television School. His graduation film, In Our Name, was made with the support of Curzon Artificial Eye. In both his first (about a soldier returning to Newcastle from the Middle East) and subsequent films, Welsh combines social interests with a powerful contemporary narrative.


2009 Kin

2010 In Our Name

2014 Glasgow Girls (TV)

2016 The Rack Pack

2019 Beats

Cast & Crew

director Brian Welsh
screenplay Kieran Hurley, Brian Welsh
cinematography Benjamin Kracun
editing Robin Hill
music JD Twitch (Optimo), Stephen Hindman, Penelope Trappes
cast Cristian Ortega, Lorn MacDonald, Laura Fraser, Martin Donaghy
producer Camilla Bray, Rebecca O'Brien
production Sixteen Films, Rosetta Productions
sales Wild Bunch
language English
colouration colour