Portobello 2016

A rainy Saturday afternoon could not dampen the spirits of Team MadeByWade, as we enjoyed the hospitality of our friends at the Portobello film festival for a fifth year.A gathering was made at The KPH, spiritual home of the festival after the unfortunate denial of service that locked Jonathan Barnett and Co out of the Pop-Up underneath the Westway. Dominic, coming from the west, had the usual nonsense to contend with on the M4. Always a chore, never a pleasure. But a quorum was soon to be had, as MadeByWade XO and factotum Rob was joined by Doctor D himself, Rohan Dubash. Interviewee for Steel Is Real, he has proved to be a worthy friend and supporter of our ventures. Along with his better half Crystal, we settled in and waited for Mister Director (already sending in text demands for champers) to join us.

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A welcome addition to the proceedings came in the handsome form of Clive Ashenden. Prime movie maker and long time associate to the MBW crew, Clive had cause to celebrate as well. His excellent short film Acceptance has just been accepted (finally someone gets the hint) to the London International Short Film Festival, screening in October. Rob is part of the crew on this, so was happy to crack a beer and toast the success.

Strangely, our film this year, on open film night Bluescreen, was not showing in the documentary strand. No, we were in with the art films. Is this a promotion? Can we call Dom an artist now? (a pro tip; best you don’t.) The good news was that it meant we screened in a gallery space at The Muse, a bit further down Portobello Road. As we arrived, we were delighted to find a Stewy on display. A good omen indeed.

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Look, it us!

A clean white cube with excellent projection and sound, Dom pronounced himself very satisfied with the presentation. I think we came as a welcome relief to some of the oddities on display in the art programme, especially the 20 minute film consisting entirely of closeups of odd corners of the South Bank. More of an installation than something to sit and watch.

Following the screening, we decamped to a local pizza joint, Saporitalia and cheerfully ate ourselves silly. I recommend the Piccante. A wander up to Notting Hill Gate afterwards for Gelato at Gelato Mio, before we good companions went our separate ways.

 

Portobello is not a film festival for everyone. It’s a freewheeling social affair that encourages drop in visits rather than full sit-down grinds through the extended programmes. Frankly, this approach can be fun. You get to check in on interesting looking movies, and bug out if you want a break. It’s friendly, funky and above all, free. A celebration of creativity, with a laid back air. What’s not to like? MadeByWade make a point of screening here, and long may our relationship with Jonathan and Portobello continue.

Now, about that Golden Trellick…

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Dom and Stewy at Portobello

A couple of months ago we talked about a short film that Dom made in partnership with elusive Bristol street artist Stewy. That film was shown at the People’s Museum in Manchester as part of a day in which he re-created one of his works–a stencil portrait of feminist icon Mary Wollstonecroft.

Dom and Stewy’s film was accepted for screening at the Portobello Film Festival, taking place in early September. It was shown in the iconic Pop-Up Cinema underneath the Westway, and presented an opportunity for an art happening that Stewy couldn’t resist.

Stewy’s work is largely based on the notion of site-specific portraiture–that is, celebrating famous people in the areas where they lived and worked. The Westway and Ladbroke Grove is rich in pop culture history, and Stewy chose his subject carefully.

The Pop-Up has hosted graf work by renowned artists like Blek Le Rat, so Stewy was in good company when he and Dom rocked up at the Pop-up, spray-cans and stencils in hand. Under cover of darkness, Stewy got to work.

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The work went quickly (the joy of stencil graf is that all of the prep is done off-site, so you can throw up a piece incredibly quickly) and within ten minutes the Pop-Up had a new resident.

None other than the mighty Ian Dury.

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The documentary was well-received by the usual crowd of West London scenesters. Dom and Stewy made their way back to Bristol with the warm feeling that they’d definitely made an impression.

As a sign of appreciation for Dom’s hard work on the documentary, Stewy presented him with an original work. This is Laurent Fignon, French cycling legend and one of Dom’s heroes. Lovely gesture, don’t you think?

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***BREAKING NEWS***

We’ve heard that Stewy, Woolstonecraft And Graffiti has been nominated for a Documentary Award at the 2015 Portobello Film Festival. This is obviously great news and serves as vindication for the hard work that both Dom and Stewy put into the film. Well done, chaps!

In celebration… let’s ‘ave a little dance, eh?