A Brief History of Portobello Film Festival
1996-2015 timeline Vague 80
By Jonathan Barnett and Tom Vague
The Portobello Film Festival was created in 1996 as a reaction to the moribund state of the British film industry, to provide a forum for new filmmakers and give exposure to movies on different formats.
Many of our previously out-on-a-limb directors have since been recognised by the big fish in the industry. Portobello Film Festival shows tomorrow’s films today.
‘The wild side of Brit Film.’ Metro.
‘The biggest celebration of independent film in Europe.’ Independent.
‘London’s biggest filmic free-for-all.’ Time Out.
‘UK’s biggest independent film competition.’ London Paper.
‘As he takes his acting very seriously Justin Timberlake should check out the emerging talent at the Portobello Film Festival.’ Evening Standard.
‘London’s best loved film festival.’ Creative Week.
‘Europe’s biggest indie film festival.’ Time Out.
‘The wild child of film festivals.’ Film Festival Magazine.
‘Forget the red carpet, Portobello Film Festival is the place to spot bright young things and the edgiest of stars.’ London Town.
1st Portobello Film Festival 1996
Stuff From The Streets in Athlone Gardens at the north end of Portobello Road (on the site of the new Portobello Square development), at the time a local no-go crack dealers park, featuring Guy Ritchie’s debut The Hard Case, Gaz Mayall’s The Great British Spliff, Leo the Last, Performance and little known Nic Roeg erotic short Hotel Paradise. The festival was funded by North Kensington City Challenge (set up to regenerate deprived inner-city area), masterminded by Barney Platts-Mills, cult director of Bronco Bullfrog and Private Road (template for Withnail & I) featuring Bruce Robinson as an actor, and introduced by The Scholar novelist Courttia Newland.
It was decided from the start that the festival would be free and would try to show all films submitted. The film festival emerged from Massive Videos at the Seven Fathers Club, Dalgarno Way, North Kensington. The first Portobello Film and Video Festivals were part of the jazz, world music, comedy, theatre, visual arts, poetry and film Portobello Festival.
In 1996 Trellick Tower was mentioned in Blur’s Best Days track on The Great Escape album and earmarked for listed building status, Notting Hill property prices continued to rise, along with the Carnival attendance to over 2 million, there was a Reclaim the Streets rave protest on the West Cross Route, crack house raids on All Saints Road, the return of Mark Morrison and Howard Marks to Portobello, Crimetime featuring a Sadie Frost/Stephen Baldwin sex scene in the Electric Cinema alley, England lost to Germany in Euro 96 at Wembley, the reformed Sex Pistols in Finsbury Park, the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ single, the Atlanta Olympics and the divorce of Prince Charles and Diana.
2nd Portobello Film Festival 1997
La Haine in Emslie Horniman Park, West 11 and I’ll Never Forget What’s His Name introduced by Michael Winner, the KLF/K Foundation Burn a Million Quid and Gimpo’s 25 Hours on the M25 at Athlone Gardens. Michael Winner gave an amusing and self-effacing talk in which he recalled the producer of West 11 turning down Julie Christie for a role in the film. KLF set up in a side tent with a fridge full of beers and a sofa and watched the whole 25 Hours on the M25 in real time over the weekend.
As New Labour came to power and Princess Diana died, the Spice Girls were in the area in Spiceworld and Bill Murray in The Man Who Knew Too Little, there was the Dub Pistols’ Westway track and the Westway BBC World Service radio soap, Jay Z on Portobello Green and the opposition leader William Hague in a baseball cap at the Carnival, the Warwick Castle drive-by shooting, Electric Cinema squat raves, Madonna in the area and Portobello thrift shop chic.
3rd Portobello Film Festival 1998
A week long now, we turned Subterannia (now Mode) into a 3 screen multiplex, showing Don Letts’ Dub Cartel, United Visual Artists, Shane Meadows shorts, Mutoid Waste Company, Blue Note with Goldie from Hoxton and Oz Hutchins’ Portobello film Respect, with predictable sound overspill issues. The Independent declared ‘Forget Cannes, Portobello is the place for cinematic schmooze.’ There were Massive Video Cafés at the Venture Centre, Subterania and the Tabernacle.
This was the year of All Saints, the group named after the local frontline road, and the Notting Hill Bookshop Project film shoot, Gwyneth Paltrow appeared at the Mangrove in Sliding Doors and the area featured in various other rom-com films, there was Peter Mandelson’s Notting Hill house controversy, Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy restaurant and Notting Hill Arts Club at Notting Hill Gate, the reopening of the Tabernacle Carnival Arts Centre in Powis Square, Gazza, Chris Evans and Damon Albarn in the old Portobello Star pub.
4th Portobello Film Festival 1999
First year with megascreen on Portobello Green, showing Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, attended by Guy Ritchie, and City of Lost Children, the BBC Video Diaries film with local kids, NFTS and Slam City Skates screenings at Belgo Zuid on Ladbroke Grove, and the UK premiere of Pups with Burt Reynolds, about a couple of kids who rob a bank, at Subterania. This was the beginning of the digital era, up to this point all films were being screened from VHS and filmed on either VHS or Super 8 film.
As Notting Hill the movie came out to local commercial cleansing criticism, Trellick Tower became a symbol of Cool Britannia in a Blackthorn cider ad and had gas leak evacuation, Kensal also hosted Destiny’s Child and Damon Albarn at the Carnival, Gorillaz, Norman Jay and Jade Jagger, there was Stella McCartney’s Portobello chic, All Saints clothes company v All Saints group legal action, Robbie Williams and Paula Yates in the area, Subterania licensing controversy, Don Letts’ Westway to the World Clash film and From Here to Eternity Westway sign sleeve, anti-capitalist City riot, solar eclipse, Tracey Emin’s bed, the London Eye, Millennium Dome and the Ladbroke Grove train disaster.
5th Portobello Film Festival 2000
Cover poster design by Mark Jackson. 3 day megascreen and cinema big top extravaganza at Emslie Horniman park on Kensal Road, featuring Julien Temple’s The Filth and the Fury, Joe Rush’s cyber robots’ circus tent and Pam Hogg's Accelerator, attended by Courtney Love, another Subterania season including Dancehall Queen, introduced by Don Letts, and Apple Final Cut masterclass at John Brown Screen West on Bramley Road, as Digital entered the arena.
In these days the top prize was the Golden Boot, a golden baby Dr Martens boot supplied by our favourite sponsors. Dr Martens also secured us a spot at the British Pavilion in Cannes, which they sponsored for the next 3 years. It helped that Cannes has been twinned with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea since 1969. We were also doing weekly Video Cafes throughout the year at the Beat Bar (now the Mau Mau) on Portobello and other local venues.
The 21st century began with Hollyweird W11 graffiti by the Notting Hill blue door on Westbourne Park Road, Gorillaz’ Trellick video and All Saints’ Pure Shores on The Beach soundtrack, Carnival murders and Hyde Park route extension proposals, the local death of Paula Yates, Santana and Portobello 2000 internet radio station at the Tabernacle, My Village Portowebbo website, Madonna house-hunting in the area, Bill Clinton in the Portobello Gold, Westway fuel protest, Dot-com bubble, May day anti-City riot, Ken Livingstone elected Mayor, Tate Modern opening, Euro 2000 aggro, first series of Big Brother, Sydney Olympics and Madonna/Guy Ritchie marriage.
6th Portobello Film Festival 2001
Brochure cover design by Neville Brody. Indie films at Chilled Eskimo in Kensal including Roger Pomphrey's Life Death and Damien Hirst, Jenny Runacre talk about Pasolini, Antonioni and Cassavetes at John Brown Screen West, 3 shows at the Electric including Buena Vista Social Club for over 60s, X Men, manga, O Brother Where Art Thou and world premiere special Portobello edit of One Giant Leap on the Emslie Horniman megascreen. During O Brother a man attacked the megascreen because he thought the Klu Klux Klan spoof was racist. Palm Pictures’ One Giant Leap was edited over the road in Canalot Studios. We were bothered for some years by people trying to use our name and claiming to be Portobello Film Festival who had nothing to do with it, so Time Out’s Tony Elliott kindly pointed us in the direction of his solicitors to copyright the name for us.
In 2001 an urban space oddity Gorillaz were in Westbourne Studios, the Electric Cinema reopened after a revamp, Trellick Tower appeared in Revelation, along with Heathcote Williams, the Elgin in Mike Bassett England Manager, and Portobello Green in the Paddington Green TV series and Mini Mars attack advert, pub gentrification continued, All Saints split, Tavistock Gardens and the Mau Mau Bar opened, Robbie Williams was in Portobello Tesco’s, another anti-capitalist demo and Labour election victory, David Cameron became an MP and Duncan Smith took over as Tory leader, The Office series began, 9/11 and US invasion of Afghanistan, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and foot and mouth crisis.
7th Portobello Film Festival 2002
Cover by Third Planet. The beginning of the Westbourne Studios years with Franc Roddam introducing Quadrophenia and multimedia mash up in the Courtyard with Mutoid Waste Company, Red Dog and BowieArt. Anita Pallenberg talked about Performance at the Tabernacle in Powis Square, with DJs Pam Hogg and Gaz Mayall. We had Black Hawk Down, Monsters Inc, the Pogues, Gorillaz and Damon Albarn’s Mali Music on the Emslie megascreen and over 300 new indie movies. This was also the beginning of our 4-year partnership with the mighty Third Planet designers, who had the likes of Banksy working with them (on the Greenpeace account).
As Bend It Like Beckham and Lava featured local scenes, Stella McCartney turned Golborne Road into Stella Street, the Warwick Castle former Portobello Pirate TV office was censored to the Castle, the Roughler magazine was re-launched, there was the Meanwhile Gardens internet soap, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gillian Anderson in the area, Claire Holder ousted in Carnival committee coup, Norman Jay awarded an MBE, Peter Gabriel’s Notting Hill house controversy, Barry Adamson’s King of Nothing Hill album, and Joe Strummer’s last local gig at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green.
8th Portobello Film Festival 2003
3 new films by John Malkovich and Bella Freud, featured in Heat magazine, modern art from Rotterdam MOMA, an opera singer from the Italian Cultural Institute, more BowieArt and Wall of Sound at Westbourne Studios, Joe Strummer films with Jason Mayall, Bikini Bandits and Pinkypoos with Angelica Campion-Armstrong at the Elgin, Spiderman, Matrix Reloaded, Scooby Doo, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter on the Emslie megascreen. With over 500 indie films now, the festival had to expand to 3 weeks to show them all. The PFF office was now Unit 11 ACAVA 54 Blechynden Street. In attendance at the opening were Anita Pallenberg, Elizabeth Jagger, Shaznay Lewis, Jasmine Guinness, Nick Rhodes, Emilia Fox and Skin.
Banksy’s Che Guevara monkeys ordained the Portobello railway bridge, Subterania became Neighbourhood under the administration of Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl, Amy Winehouse appeared at the Carnival, Keira Knightley in St Luke’s Mews in Love Actually, Gillian Anderson of X Files lived opposite Tesco’s on Portobello, Holly Valance and Sienna Miller were also in the area, Agent Provocateur Knickers to Notting Hill campaign, Sharleen Spiteri’s Carnival Girl video, Damon Albarn Democrazy at Neighbourhood, the Essential Clash album, Killing Joke reformed and Mick Jagger was knighted.
9th Portobello Film Festival 2004
Cover by Third Planet. Metrodome showcase including Donnie Darko and The Corporation, films by Graham Linehan, Rick Elgood, Shane Meadows and Whitehouse Pictures (Keane and the Charlatans) with Q&As at Westbourne Studios, more indie films at the Elgin, Paradise and Westway sports bar, funky weekend with Skate Slam and Cinema Big Top at Meanwhile Gardens with Mike Figgis, Matrix Revolutions, Troy and The Return of the King.
PFF was called ‘the Cannes of London’ in the Londoner and featured in the Telegraph ‘Long live the short’ article.
The Notting Hill Tory set emerged as the area hit a pop celebrity low point with Will Young on Ladbroke Grove, Robbie Williams and Annie Lennox house refurbishments, the launch of the Grove estate agents magazine and the gentrification of Hawkwind’s Hall of the Mountain Grill café on Portobello, Gordon Ramsey appeared with a cow on Portobello Green, the Clash London Calling 25th CD was released, Ken Livingstone was re-elected mayor, Princess Diana fountain was unveiled, Otis Ferry pro-hunting Commons invasion, Euro 2004, Athens Olympics and Indian Ocean tsunami.
10th Portobello Film Festival 2005
Cover by Jamie Hewlett of Gorillaz and Tank Girl. Thomas Vinterberg introducing Dear Wendy premiere, calling Portobello “the best film festival in the world”, Chris Cunningham our most successful show ever, not even advertised but queues round the block, Fun Da Mental Bollywood selection, Black Eye films, humour from Bobby Joseph, music video maestros Hammer & Tongs, Spike Jones, Barney Platts-Mills’ Private Road, and art by Les Freres Ripoulin including Stephane Troiscarres and Mutoid Waste Company, all at Westbourne Studios sponsored by the Arts Council, X Men 2, The Incredibles, Gorillaz and VJ Convention on the Emslie megascreen, including last year’s winners The Plague Collective Vision and Chris Cunningham’s Windowlicker Aphex Twin film. Julian Marley was at the festival launch at the Inn on the Green.
In PFF’s 10th birthday year there was the continuing rise of the Notting Hill Tories led by David Cameron and George Osborne, Woody Allen and Scarlet Johansson in the area in Match Point and Scoop filmed on Golborne at the time of the local failed suicide-bomber arrests, Live8 organised by Bob Geldof and Richard Curtis on Portobello, Mick Jones’ BAD2 at the Inn on the Green at the time of the Kate Moss Babyshambles sessions, the Portobello Tesco’s Disco bar, Dr Who revival, Charles and Camilla royal wedding, Blair was re-elected, Live 8, anti-G8 Edinburgh riots, London tube and bus suicide-bombings, Jean-Charles de Menezes shooting, Cameron became Tory leader, pub all-day opening began, George Best died and the Guinness Park Royal brewery closed.
11th Portobello Film Festival 2006
Counter Culture cover by Ralph Steadman, notes by Tom Vague and map by Mark Jackson, featuring Gaz Mayall, Alabama 3, Rob Newman, Ken Campbell and Nik Turner’s Space Ritual at the Inn on the Green, London Free School reunion curated by the Boyle Family at Westbourne Studios, Cinema Big Top on Portobello Green with Glastonbury, Garfield and Bob Marley films, art from Freres Ripoulin, Joe Rush, John Hopkins, Gordon McHarg, Charlie Phillips, Alex Martinez and Addictive TV. The festival opened with Bella Freud’s Portobello market vintage fashion show at Westbourne Studios, featuring Iris Palmer, Erin O’Connor, Nick Cave and Jools Holland’s kids. The Westbourne pub hosted Hoppy’s counter-culture photography exhibition.
This was the year of Kidulthood, Menhaj Huda and Noel Clarke’s film depicting North Kensington’s gritty urban underbelly, and Rachel Johnson’s Notting Hell novel about the ‘haves and have yachts.’ On the 40th anniversary of the start of hippy counter culture and the London Free School Fayre/Carnival, there was Lily Allen’s LDN video on Portobello, Hawkwind Space Rituals and the Spanish Civil War 70th mural under the Westway, Paul Simonon and Damon Albarn’s The Good, the Bad and the Queen at the Tabernacle, and Julien Temple’s The Future is Unwritten Joe Strummer film shoot on Stable Way, the Da Vinci Code plagiarism case, Helen Mirren as The Queen and Daniel Craig’s Bond debut in Casino Royale.
12th Portobello Film Festival 2007
Cover by Oz and IT designer Richard Adams, magic theme with live magicians curated by Richard McDougall, Portobello magical history tour by Tom Vague, Molly Parkin and John Maybury on Boozing with Francis Bacon, art from Inkie, Snug, Ray Jones and Nick Reynolds, comedy from Ted Chippington, music from Dread Broadcasting Corporation Lepke and JC Carroll of the Members, films from Kourtraime, Dawn Westlake, 4 Docs, Stop the War, Halloween, no budget masterclass from Greg Hall, 24 Hour Film Challenge from Oddball Johnnie, the UK premiere of Scoop by Woody Allen, in which he plays a magician on Golborne Road, and the People Show theatre bus.
Hippie Hippie Shake and Adulthood film shoots on Portobello, Paulo Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello novel, Paul McCartney at the Cow as he divorced Heather Mills and George Michael in the area doing community service for stoned driving, El Rio smoke-in protest as the smoking ban came in, Save Meanwhile Gardens and Pepler House independence campaigns, the Banksy artist stencil graffiti on the corner of Portobello and Acklam, Celebrity Big Brother 5 racism controversy, Bank of England interest rates raised, News of the World hacking scandal, House of Lords reform, Wembley stadium reopened, Brown replaced Blair as prime minister, floods, foot and mouth, verge of recession.
13th Portobello Film Festival 2008
Carnival theme cover by Andrew Logan plus the whole history of Alternative Miss World screened into the early hours and British Guide to Showing Off preview, Performance producer Sandy Lieberson at the Tabernacle, Human Rights Watch at Westbourne Grove Church, art from Andrew Logan, Duggie Fields, Jenny Runacre and Charlie Phillips, Stop the War and Punkvert at Inn on the Green, Kelly Osbourne at opening night and in The Town That Boars Me.
The year of Adele and Adulthood – Adele on the XL label on Blenheim Crescent and Noel Clarke’s follow-up to Kidulthood, Michael X in The Bank Job and Mick Jones’ Carbon Silicon at the Inn on the Green, Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things’ Westway songs, Westfield mall opening, Ruth Rendall’s Portobello novel, the demise of the Portobello Star and Cowshed pubs, a Carnival riot on the 50th anniversary of the 1958 race riots, the grabbing of the Olympic torch from Konnie Huq by a Tibet protester on Ladbroke Grove, the theft of David Cameron’s bike on Portobello while he was in Tesco’s, Boris Johnson becoming Mayor, the financial crisis beginning, the Beijing Olympics and Woolworth’s store closures.
14th Portobello Film Festival 2009
Dotmasters cover from Prison Girls film still. The Beat goes on theme curated by the local beats Michael Horovitz and Lee Harris, with rare movies on Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, Youth Film Festival at the Inn on the Green introduced by Dominic West, on the night the last episode of The Wire was shown on TV, art from Dotmasters Leon Seesix, Zeus, Sickboy, Graffiti Research Labs and Boyd Hill, an amusing talk by Hanif Kureishi and screening of My Son the Fanatic, and original member of the 101’ers Alvaro at the Inn on the Green. PFF appeared in a 118 advert.
Acklam Road under the Westway hosted MuTate Britain: One Foot in the Grove and Mick Jones’ Rock’n’Roll Library, also featuring Strummerville studio and Viv Albertine of the Slits, Tabernacle gigs included Lily Allen, Florence + the Machine with Jarvis Cocker, and Take That, there were 50th anniversary commemorations of the killing of Kelso Cochrane and the first Claudia Jones Carnival in Euston, Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the area, JC of the Members’ Golborne Variations, Jade Jagger’s All Saints Road shop, protests against the All Saints chain store takeover of the Westbourne Grove antiques arcade, Elgin revamp and Market Bar pub revival, Barack Obama became US president, Slumdog Millionaire, global financial crisis, recession, bankers’ bonuses, quantitative easing, London G20 summit protests, swine flu, withdrawal from Iraq, MPs expenses, BBC bonuses and the Standard became free.
15th Portobello Film Festival 2010
Cover by John Helmer aka Big Jesus Trashcan. The first at the Portobello Pop Up Cinema under the Westway, opened with the brilliant SSDD by Greg Hall, including breathtaking Conan the Barbarian pub speech, which drew a rapturous round of applause, The Artists Eye in which Performance was introduced by Xavier Blek le Rat, Thoroughly Modern Millie by Andrew Logan, Jodorowski’s Holy Mountain by Dotmasters Leon Seesix and Keaton’s The Boat by Patrick Hughes, Pop Up Cinema painted by Blek, Dotmaster and Solo One, In the Nursery live soundtrack to Dreyer’s Joan of Arc, best art film Ascent into the Maelstrom about artist Paul Fryer, and PFF was mentioned by Lauren Laverne in Grazia.
The Pop Up Cinema on Acklam Road was masterminded by Tim Burke, Barney Platts-Mills and Chris Bailey of WDT, opening with local classics The L-Shaped Room, West 11, Performance, The Harder They Come, Withnail and I, Rice’n’Peas films, and the accompanying Portobello Recollection album rack wall by the Spanish school. As the Notting Hill Tories came to power, Killing Joke released Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove, Wilko Johnson covered the Pink Fairies’ Portobello Shuffle and Blur had another local track, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon joined Gorillaz, Neighbourhood/Subterania became Supperclub, the first Rough Trade shop on Kensington Park Road became Shabby Chic, 7 Days Notting Hill reality show, Cheryl Cole photo shoot on Barlby Road, Iraq war inquiry, Con/LibDem coalition, South Africa World Cup, Ed Miliband became Labour leader, Farage took over UKIP, student tuition fees riots and welfare cuts.
16th Portobello Film Festival 2011
Cover by Pure Evil Charley Uzzell Edwards, including pictures that subsequently appeared on The Apprentice. First year of West London Film Network – London Film Makers Convention at the Pop Up Cinema, featuring JC Carroll and friends playing the Golborne Variations prog rock opera live with film by Simon Godley, John Tiberi’s Sex Pistols Live in Stockholm, free family kids films including Rango and Kung Fu Panda, Maysa Moncao’s Italy Shortlisted, Virgin Media Shorts and Klive Humberstone’s In the Nursery playing live with The Cabinet of Dr Cagliari, an expanded Video Café at Westbourne Studios lasting a week, talks from Courttia Newland and Michael Surrealist Woods with the film he made with Nic Roeg, The Sound of Claudia Schiffer, and People’s Free State of Portobello manifesto by Tom Vague.
At the time of the Save Portobello Market campaign against the super-landlords and the Kidulthood v Notting Hill riots, there was Adam Deacon’s Anuvahood, Adele at the Tabernacle and Beyonce at Rellick under Trellick, the Travel Bookshop became the Notting Hill Bookshop in honour of the film it inspired, the Withnail and I pub on Tavistock Crescent was demolished, the Earl Percy became the Portobello House Hotel, Mark Olden’s Murder in Notting Hill investigation into the 1959 Kelso Cochrane case, Arab spring revolutions, News of the World phone hacking scandal, Libya bombing, MPs expenses, banking crisis, cuts march, William and Kate royal wedding, the death of Amy Winehouse, nationwide riots following the police shooting of Mark Duggan, Occupy St Paul’s protest, recession and Eurozone crisis.
17th Portobello Film Festival 2012
Cover by Xavier Blek le Rat and Pop Up Cinema decorated by Blek with 6 more pieces and a Zorro paste up on the gates, Dotmasters and Ben Eine. Barney Platt-Mills screened his and James Scott’s David Hockney film Maya production from 1967, Greg Hall screened Bruised and gave a masterclass in rehearsing before filming, London films at the Pop Up, World Cinema and art at Westbourne Studios including Nick Reynolds curated by Carrie Reichardt, art at the Muse curated by Fabianski Buttsford, Code FC and Anne Windsor, and art films at Great Western Studios.
As Blur released their Under the Westway track, the Inn on the Green was re-launched as Flyover with the Rotten Hill Gang featuring Mick Jones, Rita Ora was at the Carnival Red Bull Music Academy party in Acklam Village farmers market, also frequented by Paul Weller and David Cameron, the Pop Up hosted Julien Temple's Babylondon, Heathcote Williams' Royal Babylon and Mike Leigh, Paloma Faith and Rihanna were in the area, the Portobello/Tavistock square was repaved, as the Wornington Portobello Square development began and Portobello Kensal Crossrail station was proposed, Golborne ward had the joint worse level of deprivation in London, Boris Johnson was re-elected Mayor, the banking scandal continued, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, Stratford Olympics, Mutoid Waste Company Paralympics closing ceremony, BBC Savile sex abuse scandal, Leveson media inquiry and Plebgate.
18th Portobello Film Festival 2013
Pop Modern urban art festival expo at Louise Blouin Gallery in Frestonia supported by Arts Council, with cover artist Sickboy, Dotmasters, Tom Inkie Bingle, Joe Rush, Peter Dunne, Alex Wreckage Wright, Lucy Sparrow, Giles Walker, Zeus, Teddy Baden, Solo One, Fabianski Buttsford, Code FC, Red Dog and Cosmo Sarson. First year of £1,000 prize for best new London film, won by Wade Bayliss’ Birds Fly South, The Promoter with Roberto Pereno, How to Make a Movie on Your Iphone by JC Carroll, Poems from Heathcote Williams, NFTS/BFI Film Academy and Ray Wilkes’ Molly Crows horror film winner, best movie Ryan Claffey’s Sacrifice. West London Film Network website launch with Hollywood W11/10 guide.
This year was the 40th anniversary of Leslie Palmer’s Carnival 73 first proper Caribbean jump-up on Portobello Green (at the time of the first Westway trust director Anthony Perry who worked on the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film), the 50th of the Profumo affair scandal and Notting Hill Housing Trust, and 60th of the 10 Rillington Place trial and execution of the local murderer Christie. As the great local film director Michael Winner died, Julien and Juno Temple were at the Pop Up Cinema and David Beckham hired the Electric for his son’s birthday party, last BBC TV Centre news transmission, Syrian civil war, Thatcher died, UKIP made gains in local elections, Andy Murray won at Wimbledon and energy bills went up.
19th Portobello Film Festival 2014
Cover by Xavier Blek le Rat. Spectacular World Cinema season at Westbourne Studios, more London movies at the Pop Up Cinema, best film Annabel Allison’s Letterbox, new rock’n’roll festival strand at Vince Power’s KPH on Ladbroke Grove with the Rotten Hill Gang and Michael Horovitz, The Journey by RHG featuring Gary McPherson and Hollie Cook made especially for PFF by Kate Thal, about glamorous trip and gig at Strummercamp, Sugar Cane’s Countryman 2: Listen to the Ocean and Danny Garcia’s Looking for Johnny Thunders at the Pop Up. PFF filmmakers Wade Bayliss, Lana McIver and Mark One were on London Live.
A hundred years on from the anti-German Electric Cinema riots, there was the Save the KPH pub campaign, supported by PFF and the likes of Cerys Matthews of Catatonia, Keith Richards video message with the Dirty Strangers at Bay 58 bar in Acklam Village farmers market, Ishmahil Blagrove’s definitive Carnival photo history book, Band Aid 30 on Basing Street, first gay weddings, Brazil World Cup, News of the World hacking trial, Westminster child abuse inquiry, Ukraine war, Ebola, Kate Bush comeback, Islamic State, Scottish referendum and Tower of London World War 1 poppy memorial.