Probably the best free film festival in the world

  • Portobello Film Festival 2017
    Thursday 31 August to Sunday 17 September
    Admission Free


  • The 22nd Portobello Film Festival bursts into action on Thursday 31 August with an astonishing programme of short films from London, the UK and around the world. Unique, unconventional and unparalleled are just three words beginning with ‘u’ that aptly describe the annual Portobello Film Festival.

    No other international film festival comes anywhere near providing the showcase for new films offered by the Portobello Film Festival. This is the event that film industry insiders searching for new talent know they can’t miss.

    Venues include the legendarily louche Pop Up Cinema at Acklam Village (where the Westway crosses Portobello Road), The Muse Gallery at 269 Portobello Road, and Tavistock Square, just off Portobello Road.

    Over 500 brand new indie movies that you won’t see anywhere else will be screened including international films from Holland, Spain and Russia. Highlights include Ken Russell’s The Boyfriend introduced by his daughter Vicky, Ian Sinclair’s London Overground, and the cult hit Common People.

    In the wake of North Kensington’s awful tragedy at Grenfell Tower, less than 100 metres from the Portobello Film Festival office, the Festival will also present movies by local people. These films deal with the disaster and its aftermath, offering a platform for local poets, rappers, DJs and musicians.

    Portobello Film Festival, in association with archivist Tom Vague, will also be creating an exhibition of panels on Portobello Road itself remembering the area’s eccentric cinematic history.

  • As always, all events and screenings are free
    Portobello Film Festival on Facebook

    For more information, email Ken Macdonald at

    Portobello Film Festival – 31 August to 17 September

    The 22nd Portobello Film Festival starts on Thursday August 31st and runs until Saturday 16th September. This year, the festival turns to its spiritual home at the pop-up cinema under the Westway in Acklam Village, just by the junction of Portobello Road and Cambridge Gardens.

    As always, the festival organisers are inviting volunteers to help with the running the event.

    Jonathan Barnet, the festival’s director, says, “The Portobello Film Festival offers a variety of work experience opportunities to volunteers including administration, event management and helping to run our social media presence. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!”

    The full programme of some 600 films will be available in August at

    If you’d like to volunteer, send an email to

    If any local filmmakers have films they have made relating to the tragedy at Grenfell Towers we would love to show them. The entry form is here.

    Networking Event for Film Makers and Choreographers: Monday 3 April, London

    Big Dance, Channel 4 and the British Council are delighted to host this networking evening to facilitate partnerships for Big Dance Shorts India as part of UK/India 2017, led by the British Council and the Indian High Commission.

    This exciting and high-profile platform for UK and Indian filmmakers and choreographers is commissioned by Big Dance, Channel 4, the British Council and is supported by People Dancing and the Mayor of London.

    If you’re thinking of applying, have questions about the programme or are interested in meeting potential partners, join us at Rich Mix.

    Monday 3 April 2017
    6.30pm – 8.30pm
    Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

    We’ll be screening some previous Big Dance Shorts and hearing from previous applicants and representatives of British Council, Random Acts/Channel 4 and Big Dance. You’ll have time to meet others who are interested in making an application and seeking partners.

    This event is free to attend, but places are limited and must be booked in advance.

    For more information on Big Dance Shorts India, including guidance notes and an application form, visit the Big Dance Website.

    Book your place for the networking event now

    Portobello Film Festival 2017

    The 22nd Portobello Film Festival runs from Thursday 31st August to Sunday 17th September and this year it’s returning to its spiritual home, the Pop Up cinema under the Westway, just off Portobello Road.

    The Festival is now taking entries from film makers, and it’s completely free. Full details and the application form are here.

    East End Film Festival 2016 starts June 23rd

    Founded in 2000, the East End Film Festival is one of the UK’s largest film festivals and the 2016 Festival starts on Thursday June 23rd. The Festival is an annual multi-platform extravaganza with a diverse programme of international premieres, industry masterclasses, free pop-up screenings and immersive live events.

    The EEFF’s mission is to discover, support, and exhibit pioneering work by global and local independent filmmakers, and to introduce viewers to innovative and challenging cinematic experiences.

    Committed to the work of first and second time directors, the annual EEFF showcases more than fifty feature film screenings, several short film programmes, and a variety of cross-arts events and industry activities across the festival.

    The EEFF’s established awards system includes: Best Feature (reserved for first and second time directors); Best Documentary; Best UK Short Film; and the EEFF Short Film Audience Award.


    The Portobello Film Festival 2016 wants your films!


    Dates for the 2016 Portobello Film Festival – the 21st edition of this entirely free extravaganza – have been confirmed as Thursday September 1st to Friday 16th September.

    The Festival is now accepting entries, which are free. The deadline for entries is Wednesday June 1st 2016. For a printable entry form, click here. The entry form plus a copy of your film on DVD must be sent to Portobello Film Festival, ACAVA, 54 Blechynden Street, London W10 6RJ.

    Earls Court Film Festival 2016: Four £1,500 grants available

    Following on from the success of the Earl’s Court Short Film Festival in November 2015, four grants of £1,500 for short film makers and screen writers will be available in 2016. Grants will be paid at the end of March 2016. Filming should happen in the spring and summer 2016 to be ready for screening by the beginning of November 2016.

    earls courtThe only requirement is that you shoot a large part of the short film in Earls Court, using the streets and squares as backgrounds to your storyline. Also, it would be great if you would consider using part of the redevelopment in Earls Court as a background and Brompton Cemetery too.

    The shorts will be screened in Earl’s Court in early November 2016 and in Covent Garden at a date to be agreed in 2016.

    The short films can be a thriller, documentary or love story although the Film Festival is open to all your ideas. The short film must be filmed in Earls Court in the main but other locations can be used too. Please note that Earls Court has a colourful, diverse and vibrant history which you can tune into.

    Send a CV and project outline/script by FRIDAY 4TH MARCH 2016 to Sean Duffy and Caroline Tod at .

    The Film Festival can assist with:
    • Office space in Earls Court which can be used on filming dates
    • Audition and rehearsal space
    • Support with locations
    • Venue and audience in both Earls Court and Covent Garden

    New £1 million BFI Diversity Fund

    Diversity is a core part of the work that the BFI does and the BFI Diversity Fund is designed to reach out to a wider audience. The new BFI Diversity Standards apply to all applications made for Lottery funding at the Film Fund, and also apply to the BFI Diversity Fund.

    The Diversity Fund focuses on specific groups that are currently under-represented within the film industry. We would like to fund film projects or activities that focus on under-representation in the following areas:

    Sexual orientation
    Low socio-economic status
    Activity outside of London

    BFIdiversityThe Fund exists to meet the BFI’s core aim of recognising and acknowledging the value and quality of difference. It will support people and projects that are highly likely to have an impact on the diversity of the British film industry; these can be one-off, short-term or time-limited, or take place over a longer period of time.

    The BFI Diversity Fund closes in March 2017. There are no deadlines for applications to this Fund.

    The minimum amount an applicant can apply for is £1,000. The maximum amount for an individual is £10,000. For an organisation, the maximum amount is £30,000. The total amount available for the fund is £1 million.

    For more information about the Diversity Fund and how to make applications, visit the BFI website.

    Residential course for young film makers

    NFTSThe National Film and Television School (NFTS) is looking for filmmakers and film fans aged 16 to 19 to join its BFI Film Academy Craft Residential.

    If you’re aged 16-19 and you are committed to working in the film industry, then this is the opportunity for you. NFTS is looking for 66 of the nation’s most promising young filmmakers to take part in a two-week film academy project in which you will work with top industry professionals to make short films.

    You will also have master classes with top auteur and commercial filmmakers and learn a craft specialism, such as directing or sound. The academy is open to those who enrol in one of the regional film academies and to others who have the necessary talent and enthusiasm.

    The residential will take place from Monday 28th March to Friday 8th April 2016 at the NFTS in Beaconsfield and at Lane End Conference Centre in High Wycombe. There will also be a weekend residential of activities on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2016 at the same venues, so if you want to take part you must be available on all those dates.

    Candidates for Screenwriting have an earlier application deadline, because they will be writing the scripts for the short films and will additionally attend a weekend course at the NFTS on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December 2015.

    The craft residential costs £99 and you will have to pay your own travel expenses. Bursaries to cover costs will be available on application to invited applicants who cannot afford the fee and/or travel costs.

    To apply for this one-off opportunity you should:
    – Be between the ages of 16 and 19 on the first day of the academy programme.
    – Be a UK resident and able to commit to the programme for its duration
    – Have a passion or talent for filmmaking
    – Have evidence of this talent in scripts, treatments or online material, such as videos which you have made or to which you have contributed.
    – Be free on the relevant dates.
    – Be committed to a career in the film industry
    – Have someone who knows your work and is prepared to write a supporting reference (e.g. a teacher, industry professional or leader of one of the network film academies)

    For full details about the residential course and how to apply, visit the NFTS website.


    600 superb cinematic treats at the Portobello Film Festival

    PFF3Ladies and gentlemen: a selection of 600 superb cinematic treats await your delighted delectation at this year’s 20th Portobello Film Festival AND – it’s all free!

    Some highlights at the Pop Up Cinema, 3 Acklam Road, W10 5TY (junction of Portobello Road and Cambridge Gardens), programmes from 6.30.

    The Devils – Uncut
    Friday 4th September
    The Portobello Film Festival 2015 will start with its customary controversy by screening a seldom seen uncensored version of Ken Russell’s masterpiece The Devils with Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave. Russell’s daughter Vicky and Georgina Hale, who acted in the film, will introduce the screening.

    Getting It Straight in Notting Hill Gate
    Directed by Joe Gannon (1970, 26 minutes)
    Friday 4th September
    A film from 1960s psychedelic Portobello featuring Pink Floyd, the Mangrove restaurant on All Saints Road and Caroline Coon of Release. Director Joe Gannon went on to have a highly successful TV career in the USA.

    More Hot For No 5
    A film by Barlby Road Primary School children and digital:works (2015, 40 minutes)
    Saturday 5th September
    History of Notting Dale and around featuring Joe Rush, Frestonia, and John Christie. The film was made by Year 5 pupils from Barlby Primary School with support from community group digital:works. The oral history of a unique inner city neighbourhood in the voices of the people who lived the story.

    The Mask You Live In
    Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom (2015, 97 minutes)
    Thursday 10th September
    Society’s narrow definition of what it means to be a man is having a host of unintended consequences, ranging from substance abuse to violence to rape. Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom has said “We as a society are failing our boys and I wanted to delve into the concept of how do we create a culture that doesn’t leave them so lonely, isolated and in pain?”

    Peter Green – Man of the World
    Directed by Steve Graham (90 minutes)
    Friday 11th September
    Carlos Santana, Mick Fleetwood, John Mayall, Noel Gallagher, Fleetwood Mac members Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer all appear in this documentary about the extraordinary Peter Green. His three short years leading Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac saw the band established as one of the biggest-selling groups of the 1960s until mental illness blighted his life.

    And not forgetting…
    A basketful of new independent films from London at the Pop Up. PLUS films from France, Belgium, Spain Romania, The USA, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Iraq, Israel, Ireland, Austria at the Video Cafe in the Muse Gallery, 269 Portobello Road, W11 1LR.

    Editors’ notes
    The Portobello Film Festival launched in 1996 as a reaction to the
    moribund state of the British film industry, to provide an outlet for new
    filmmakers. 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.’


    For more information, email Ken Macdonald at