Saintfield filmmaker wins awards at Portugal Film Festival

Saintfield filmmaker wins awards at Portugal Film Festival

12 June 2019

A SAINTFIELD writer and director received yet more international acclaim at the Portugal International Film Festival last month. 

Gavin Irvine scooped two trophies at the star-studded gala in Porto for Best Short Screenplay for his latest film, Lunch, and the Rising Star Award for his debut music video, Rattling My Chains.

The London-based filmmaker, who now hopes to turn his award-winning short screenplay into a feature length film, described the venue as breathtaking. 

He said: “We were having cocktails at sunset by the river Douro before the ceremony began with Jose Claudio Silva and his wife, Eliene, the organisers of the festival. 

“They are real film fanatics and the standard of entries was sky high this year again – so I feel deeply honoured that they have presented me with these amazing awards and I will treasure them forever.”

The screenplay was also a semi-finalist at the New Forest Film Festival which was hosted and judged by TV and radio film critic Mark Kermode.

Gavin is no stranger to the industry’s red carpet events, having won the Audience Award at the Making Waves Film Festival in Portsmouth, in 2018, Best Short Film Award at the Germany International Film Festival and Brazil International Film Festival.

He also received the Special Jury Award at the Canada Independent Film Festival for his comedy, 2:40 to London, which also secured him the Best Director and Best Short awards at the Portugal International Film Festival in 2017. 

Gavin received news just last weekend this comedy has been selected as a finalist at the Brighton Rocks Film Festival. 

Gavin, who fell into filming making over 16 years ago and within two years was winning awards, explained that 2:40 to London will be screened next month and is up for Best Comedy Award.

Before learning his craft at the International Film School in Wales, where he was mentored by Ken Russell and Peter Greenaway, Gavin was a musician, photographer and artist. 

He has shared the stage with Muse and other celebrated acts and gone on to compose the music for several of his films. 

He added: “In 2013 I was the recipient of the prestigious Northern Ireland Writers Development Award from NI Screen for his debut comedy feature screenplay, Spinners and was nominated twice for Europe’s largest short film prize, the D M Davies Award, at the Cardiff Film Festival, and received two IFSW Ken Russell Best Screenplay Awards, a commendation for Best Film from The Royal Television Society, Bristol and Wales, and collected the Visual Impact Award and a commendation for Best Sound at the Fresh Film Festival.”

Gavin re-released his award-winning graduation film, Sebastian, in 2017 after it screened in a double bill with the rock opera, Tommy, which was directed by Ken Russell. 

Sebastian is now playing at various European film festivals. It won the Spotlight Award at the Elevation Indie Film Festival, in Dublin, received a Best National Film nomination and was part of the Belfast Comedy Festival. 

Never one to rest on his laurels, Gavin has just completed The Real Mario Grey, a tragicomedy short that he was commissioned to write, direct and compose the music for by BBC Wales, Sgrin and the UK Film Council.