Ginger Beer Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer is a romantic comedy set in the world of ballroom dancing. The central character is Paul, a rather insecure gay teacher at an agricultural college. He gets a hard time from his students – not only because they suspect he is gay but also because they find out he is secretly taking ballroom dancing lessons. His life then takes a major turn for the better when he discovers a gay dance studio run by Linda, a glamorous lesbian dancing teacher. Linda teaches Paul to dance – which he finds he does much better if she leads and he follows! But will he be able to face his students at the college’s Christmas party – with his new boyfriend in tow. The eclectic soundtrack includes a track by Barbara Cook (the legendary New York cabaret singer); a waltz by Khachaturian; a Puccini love duet; and a show-stopping number called
Two Men Dance the Tango sung by Michael Callen, the American pop singer and AIDS activist, and Tom Robinson, the English singer best-known for the original 70s gay anthem, Sing If You’re Glad to be Gay.
The film is shot on standard 16mm film and last 17 minutes.

The romantic comedy, Ginger Beer, is the first production by the independent film company, cheek2cheek productions, which was set up in London in 1998 by Andrew Odgers, Janet Potter and Seamus Rea.  Ginger Beer is a 17 minute short film, shot on 16mm in both colour and black & white, which was produced and edited by Janet and Andrew.  It was also the first film directed by Seamus Rea.



Ginger Beer has been a big hit on the film festival circuit and has picked up no less than three awards. At the BBC British Short Film Festival in 2000, Ginger Beer won the BBC Radio 1 Audience Award for the film which received the most audience votes for the most enjoyable film from amongst the 350 films from all over the world which were shown at the festival.

Ginger Beer also proved a favourite with the audiences at the Verzaubert Film Festival in Germany which screened the film in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Ginger Beer was again voted one of the most popular films in the Festival by audience members.

Earlier, Ginger Beer won an Audience Favourite Award at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival from a field of 260 films shown.

On top of these successes, Ginger Beer has had a full schedule of festival appearances since its sold-out premiere at the National Film Theatre in London as one of the hits of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The film has now been seen at film festivals in the following cities:

Italy: Turin and Milan
Canada: Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal
Russia: St Petersburg
South Africa: Johannesburg and Cape Town
Australia: Sydney
Ireland: Dublin and Cork
Finland: Turku
Belgium: Brussels
Germany: Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Berlin
UK: London, Purbeck and Birmingham
USA: New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Palm Springs, Austin (Texas), St Louis, Seattle and Anchorage, Alaska!
Bloomington, Indiana Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Dallas Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Pride Vision Television
Tucson Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
New Orleans Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Prince George Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Santa Cruz Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Ginger Beer has also joined the mile-high club, as Virgin Airlines acquired the film and showed it on all their routes for three months including the coveted London-New York route



  • Outright winner of The Radio 1 Audience Favourite Award at the BBC Short Film Festival
  • The Palm Springs International Short Film Festival Audience Favourite Award
  • The Verzaubert Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Germany) Audience Favourite Award

Other Recognition

The British Council selected Ginger Beer as one of the films which it would promote overseas in 1999/2000 as an example of film-making in the U.K. and awarded cheek2cheek productions a grant of completion funds towards the costs of producing the final print.

Matthias Strunz, the programmer of the Verzaubert Film Festival, was invited by the Chicago Reeling Film Festival to be a guest programmer and put together a programme of shorts entitled “A Ticket to Hollywood”.  The festival booklet said that the programmer “had searched the world to bring together some of the best narrative short films by a group of directors from whom he believes we will see more and longer works in the future”. Ginger Beer was one of the 8 films selected.

BBC Choice, the BBC’s digital channel, and Virgin Airlines  both wish to acquire Ginger Beer for broadcast and in-flight entertainment and cheek2cheek are currently negotiating the acquisition of the relevant broadcasting licences for the music used on the film soundtrack.


Film Festivals Screenings

The complete list of cities in which Ginger Beer has been screened is as follows:

Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town
Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal


Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Strasbourg, Frankfurt
Cork, Dublin
Milan, Turin, Bologna


St Petersburg

London (G&L Film Festival, BBC Short Film Festival, Raindance Independent Film Festival), Birmingham, Purbeck


New York, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Palm Springs, St Louis, Seattle, Philadelphia

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