Award-winning filmmaker to make Portsmouth return for film festival

Filmmaker Gavin Irvine holds the best director and best short film awards he won at Portugal International Film Festival in September
Filmmaker Gavin Irvine holds the best director and best short film awards he won at Portugal International Film Festival in September

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AN AWARD-WINNING filmmaker is gearing up to return to the city where his career began.

Storyteller Gavin Irvine will screen his film Sebastian at the Making Waves Film Festival at the Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea on Monday.

A short comedy drama, it tells the tale of a parrot in medieval France – famed for its ability to sing sacred hymns – which gets sent to the Pope.

The film garnered the acclaim of the late Ken Russell in 2005, when the directing giant presented Mr Irvine with a best screenplay award.

Now, Sebastian is just days away from screening in the heart of Southsea – where Mr Irvine first pursued his career in film as a fine art student in the 1980s.

Speaking ahead of his return, the Irish-born filmmaker said: ‘Portsmouth is my second home and I cannot wait to return. I moved to the city from Belfast as a young boy – coming from grey skies, bombs and bullets to blue skies, sea and sun was fantastic.’

As he prepares to embark on Portsmouth once more, Mr Irvine says he owes his long-time city supporters a great debt, after his short film 2:40 to London won best director and best short film awards at the Portugal International Film Festival in September.

He said: ‘To take two awards was just fantastic – the standard of films in the competition was through the roof.

‘I owe many of my friends in Portsmouth a big thank you. Without their support and investment 2:40 to London would have never been made.’

To watch Sebastian, head to the Making Waves Film Festival at the Wedgewoods Rooms, at 7pm on Monday, November 27.

Tickets are £4 and the event will include the presentation of awards for the best local, national and international short film.

Audience members will also get the chance to vote for their favourite production.