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Making Waves Film Festival  is run by a group of passionate volunteers and has always tried to extend the cinema experience.  Making Waves Film Festival,  in its current form, began in 2013, though it had an earlier genesis back in 2005 when the festival was known as Portsmouth Film Festival and then Portsmouth Screen, as part of a wider UK Film Council initiative. 


Previous festival highlights include a screening of a short documentary we commissioned about the making of The Who’s Tommy (1975) which was shot in and around Portsmouth with many local people as extras. This documentary was shown before a screening of Tommy and followed by a live performance of a Who tribute band. Staged in the Kings Theatre, this screening was also attended by none other than director Ken Russell himself. 



Other highlights include the screening of the legendary British film Dinner for One (1963) which is shown every Christmas in Germany, followed by a live performance of the sketch at Eastney Cellars in 2013. In 2014, the iconic Das Boot (1981) was screened onboard the only surviving WW2 submarine at the Submarine Museum in Gosport, and Cabaret (1972) was screened with live drag burlesque artist Mr Joe Black at the Wedgewood Rooms.  In 2015 Turkish film Canakkale Yolun Sonu (2012)  was screened onboard Gallipoli survivor HMS M33 and Buster Keaton’s The General (1926) was screened with a live original score at the Kings Theatre in 2015. 


Over the years, there have been many examples of  Making Waves Film Festival staging unique and unusual screenings and we aim to continue to surprise whilst celebrating bold cinema.  Alongside our screenings, we run a borderless short film competition which attracts entries from across the globe. Our partnership with No6 Cinema means that you may well get to see one of the shortlisted nominated films as an opener for a feature film at No.6. We certainly hope you enjoy watching these films and would love to hear from you if you have any feedback for the filmmakers.


In 2022 we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary of the Making Waves Film Festival. We are already planning our screenings and event programme.  Long term, our ambition is to become the South Coast’s premier filmmaking and cinema event. We hope you will want to join us on this journey as we set out to:


  • Celebrate innovative and bold filmmaking that inspires audiences. 
  • Extend and redefine the cinema experience beyond the expected. 
  • Leave no audience behind by making cinema relevant to diverse and marginalised communities.
  • Connect with filmmakers across the globe through our borderless short film competition.
  • Develop emerging creative talent through our industry focused events


We welcome new volunteers! You can get involved to help us run the programme, be an active participant in any of our events, or you can just sit back and enjoy one of our screenings. If you would like to get in touch you can easily find us on social media or you can contact us through our website.


Roy Hanney

Festival Director

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