Following its world premiere in Hamburg in June, animated short film Cosmico had its UK premiere at the 19th Portobello Film Festival on September 2nd, 2014. Director C.J. Lazaretti and producer Hamish Graham attended the event, where the short was nominated for the Best Animation award.
Cosmico screened twice during the 17-day independent film extravangaza: once at the Animation, Sci Fi & Fantasy showcase on September 2nd, then at the Grand Awards Ceremony at the festival's closing night on September 14th. Both screenings were at the famous Portobello Pop Up Cinema on Portobello Road, one of the biggest screens (30 ft!) dedicated to indie movies.
Screening their short film on home ground for the first time, C.J. Lazaretti and Hamish Graham were joined by fellow London-based filmmakers including John Perivolaris of Random Clock Films, Uppili Ragavachari of Concept 139 and Andy Kimpton-Nye of 400 Blows Productions. The latter was also a featured filmmaker in the event: Kimpton-Nye's documentary The Gospel According to St Derek, on which Lazaretti worked as an editor, screened as part of the festival's documentary showcase.
"Few events can rival the indie credentials of the Portobello Film Festival," says Lazaretti. "While so many of its peers in the European circuit struggle with funding cuts and market uncertainties, the PFF remains resolutely free of charge for filmmakers and audiences alike. As the author of a self-funded short, I'm thrilled to have the national premiere of Cosmico at a traditional event that still believes in supporting film talent at the grassroots level."
The Portobello Film Festival also marked the second outing of C.J. Lazaretti's "boozemarks", the tongue-in-cheek bookmark-sized bottle tags that the irreverent filmmaker has devised to publicise his directorial debut. First used during the 30th Hamburg International Short Film Festival, the paper strips have proved a congenial and inexpensive stunt, literally bringing Cosmico to the lips of a selective audience of cinephiles thirsty for inventive films (and bottled beer). Scroll down for photos of the boozemark in action.