Portsmouth man navigates bomb scare before 'dream comes true' as his Monty Python-esque film scoops best short film at the France International Film Festival

A PORTSMOUTH man saw a ‘dream come true’ when his Monty Python-esque film scooped Best Short film at the France International Film Festival.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 4:55 am

Gavin Irvine was celebrating his win in Paris despite navigating a bomb scare on the Eurostar to the city.

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But once at the Grand Rex Cinema, it was all smiles as the filmmaker’s satirical comedy, Daddy's Note, picked up the award after seeing off strong competition.

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Gavin Irvine after his film Daddy's Note won Best Short film at the France International Film Festival

‘The awards ceremony was a tense affair, as even though you've been nominated, and that is indeed no mean achievement in itself, you want to win. And to win in Paris is a dream come true,’ Gavin said.

Gavin described the budget film ‘shot on the hoof in London’ as ‘embodying the punk ethos’.

He said: ‘It has an underlying political message, and it's held together with safety pins - so to speak. If it were a punk single it would be “Anarchy in the UK” released by the Sex Pistols in 1977 - a time of depression and great upheaval for the British Isles - not unlike now.

‘So the film is very relevant and I think that is why it is doing so well. I deliberately wanted the film to be loud, brash and snarling - to be relentless - to be in your face with little time to breathe... punk.

‘For me the film is a satirical critique of modern day British morality - not unlike a Hogarth painting. It deliberately depicts brutal caricatures that are continuously painted across our daily tabloid press.

‘The film lampoons the ruling class and highlights the hyprocisy at the very heart of government and considers the normalization of sex, drugs and violence within our society and how this has a direct affect on the next generation.’

The film was praised by those working in the industry.

Brian Malholland, festival director of Film Devour Short Film Festival in Belfast, said: ‘Funny film. Got a real Python feel to it. Hilariously paced with a terrifically comedic cast.'

Denis Halligan, CEO @Jobing Actor, in Belfast, said: 'A comedic tour de force from a wonderfully twisted genius. Fawlty Towers meets The New Statesman with a healthy twist of Python.’

Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards said in its review: 'Daddy's Note is comedy genius.'

On the back of the win Gavin has been invited by Damian Toal, senior lecturer in the School of Film, Media and Communication at the University of Portsmouth, to show his work and lecture, as well as be the honorary guest at the awards show in June next year.

‘Damian was my lecturer when I studied at the university and I owe him a debt of gratitude for steering me in the right direction. If it wasn't for Damian and the university I wouldn't be where I am today as a filmmaker - and I'm deeply thankful and sincere about that,’ he said.

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