Film Festival Report
1st – 21st August 2003
The biggest free film festival in the world by films shown and numbers
Portobello Film Festival presents every film submitted: an open platform
for new filmmakers and their audience. This year over 700 films were
screened at 31 separate events from the digital megascreen in Emslie
Horniman’s Park to the Westway Sports Bar Video Café, from
hot Westbourne Studios to the legendary Elgin pub on Ladbroke Grove.
Entry to all events was free.
Two weeks of evening themes, crafted from open entry contributions to
our website - advertised on radio, in Time Out and BFI publications
- and interesting work sourced by the Festival team itself, featured
Multimedia, John Malkovich, Italian Shorts, New Features, Music Videos,
Contemporary Iranian Film, Local (London) Directors, Dutch Movies, Documentaries,
Funky Fast Shorts, Bring Your Own, Extreme Sports, Joe Strummer, Black
Humour, Turkish Films, Film Council Films, and Family Features on the
The Festival presented a kids interactive day in association with Third
Especially popular throughout were the Funky Fast Short programmes-independent
shorts hot off the edit suite, the bread and butter of the Portobello
Film Festival, with new ideas and attitudes, fresh, removed from the
The Italian Cultural Institute hosted a wonderful evening with films,
directors and an opera singer. BowieArt premiered their latest work.
Dutch filmmakers from Mama Rotterdam brought over their work.
Cabaret act Pinkypoos were a big crowd puller, as was the amazing Documentary
day featuring films on subjects as diverse as 80s nightclub Kinky Gerlinky,
middle aged swimming pool skaters in California, the origin of the song
The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Rastafarianism, and deaths in Police Cells.
Apple Europe and Connections presented a Final Cut Pro Demonstration.
Local record label Wall Of Sound hosted a question and answer session
with top video directors. And on the Joe Strummer Tribute night at The
Elgin a member of the audience brought along some Super 8 footage of
Joe playing on that very stage with the 101ers in 1975!
Many films were attended and introduced by the Directors and crew. As
usual a Party atmosphere prevailed throughout with special events at
The Cobden Club, The Elgin, Westbourne Studios and The Electric Cinema.
Full houses were the order of the day with twice as many people as usual
attending the two week run up at the local venues leading to Emslie
Over three days in the Park (15-17 August) the biggest Megascreen at
Portobello, in it’s eight year history, played Family Films all
day from Spider Man to Scooby Doo, from Treasure Planet to The Matrix
Shrek to Lord Of The Rings to a large park that was full every afternoon
and evening, with food and drink from local caterers, and a chillout
tent courtesy of Revelation Gogo Broadcasting bringing a taste of Glastonbury
to Portobello featuring independent work from local and international
Also featured on the Megascreen were classic and contemporary films
from Cartoon Network and latest Digital Shorts from the Film Council
New Cinema Fund/Short Circuit.
The Gala Award Ceremony was held on Thursday 21 August at The Electric
Cinema, 191 Portobello Road.
The winning entries sponsored by JVC, Apple Europe, and Seriously Vodka
BEST FILM JVC DIGITAL CAMERA AWARD Shooting Blanks (Liam Gavin)/ Cupid
as an alcoholic/ 10 mins
FINAL CUT EXPRESS SPECIAL AWARD Aqua Gym (Simon Green) /Dizzy underwater
ballet/ 5 mins
BEST ANIMATION Extension 21 (Lizzie Oxby)/Delerious mix of live footage
and animation based on telephone frustration/ 10 mins
BEST SCREENPLAY Ned Walking (Gurchetan Singh)/ Mocumentary about a dead
man/ 15 mins
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY Big Hair (Alex Reuben)/ Supermodel secret agents philosophise
on fate/ 5 mins
BEST MULTIMEDIA Parellines (Anthony Gross)/ Clips from Rocky 1 and 2,
the same sequences in each film/ 5 mins
SPECIAL INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment (Cliff Homow
& Midge Devitt)/ Mad scientist fuses Abba and The Ramones/ 5 mins
MOST POPULAR FILM The Pinkypoos Experience (Angelica Campion & Marcus
Dadorm)/ Movie spoofs from local cabaret queens/ 5 mins
BEST MUSIC FILM Resistencia (Tom Feiling)/ Hip Hop Street Life in Columbia/
BEST DOCUMENTARY A Lions Tale (Francois Verster)/ The story of The Lion
Sleeps Tonight, a South African Buena Vista Social Club/5 min
SPECIAL MENTION Coming Through (Oliver Mallah)/A walk up Portobello
Road with some very strange things happening along the way/ 10 mins
SPECIAL MENTION Daylight Robbery (Tom Balogh)/Trailer for definitive
West Londoners behaving very badly feature/ 10 mins
Many many thanks as usual to our partners, supporters, sponsors and
funders without whom such a large Festival would not be possible: Arts
Council, Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea, Campden Charities, Film
London, the Film Council New Cinema Fund, Digital Outdoor, Time Out,
JVC, Westbourne Studios, Workspace Group, The Electric/Soho House, The
Cobden Club, The Elgin, Westway Sports Bar, The Station Tavern, Cafeteria,
Connections Hammersmith, Apple Europe, Third Planet International, Golbourne
United, LBC, Italian Cultural Institute, BowieArt, Seriously Vodka,
ACAVA, Cartoon Network, Filmbank, Wall Of Sound, Bella Freud, Third
Place/Playstation 2, Bayram Fazli, Mama Rotterdam, Don Letts, Smash,
Black Eye Magazine, and all the volunteers whose hard work and dedication
turned a programme into a reality.
Portobello Film Festival will stream a selection of short films from
this years Festival on our website with a prize going to most popular
Watch out for a Winter season of Family Films starting on 2 November
at The Venture Centre, Wornington Road, London W10, every week at 3pm,
entry Free, featuring Ice Age, The Grinch, Toy Story 2, Lilo and Stich,
The Castle Of Cagliostro and Bugsy Malone.
The weekly Video Cafes will start soon with themed evenings, bring your
own strands and talks from top TV and Filmmakers.
Emslie Hornimans Park/
Westbourne Studios: 13 X100=1300
Elgin: 6X 100=600
Cobden Launch: 150
Westway Sports Bar: 5X50=250
Electric Awards: 80
Time Out, The Guardian Guide, The Times Knowledge, The Independent Information,
The Observer, Kensington Times, SX Magazine, LBC-Angela Rippon &
Steve Allen, London Live-The Danny Baker Show, Metro, and a feature
on BBC TV News, plus numerous websites.
Jonathan Barnett 1 October 2003