Life in Hartlepool to feature in short film on Channel 4

Scenes from Maxy Bianco's Pig The Dog film
Scenes from Maxy Bianco's Pig The Dog film

LIFE in Hartlepool will feature in a short film being broadcast on mainstream TV.

Hartlepool man Maxy Neil Bianco has written, directed and co-produced a short drama called Pig The Dog, which will be shown in the early hours of Friday on Channel 4.

It is the latest production from the 37-year-old, whose film about Hartlepool’s notorious ‘Can House’ in Raby Road gained notoriety online and during screenings in London last year.

Pig The Dog follows a typical day in the lives of the two main characters, Dell, “a raggy lad from the wrong side of the tracks”, and his dog, Pig, a Staffordshire bull terrier with a special talent.

Their exploits were filmed largely around the grasslands around Hartlepool Power Station, RSPB Saltholme and in the Seaton Lane area.

Seaton Lane is where up-and-coming actor Chance Marshall, 19, who plays Dell, grew up.

The former Manor College of Technology and Middlesbrough College student was brought up by his grandmother, Iris Marshall, and is now studying a contemporary performance practice at York St John University.

Maxy wrote the part especially for Chance, who got involved in the project as the pair know each other from when Chance worked at Maxy’s family-run Bianco’s deli, at Hartlepool Marina.

Maxy, from the Park Road area, is one of 10 North-East film-makers seeing their creations given a national audience as part of Channel 4’s Random Acts, a series of four-minute films.

It came about thanks to a partnership between regional arts organisations including Northern Film and Media and Gateshead’s BALTIC gallery and Channel 4.

The film was shot last summer and saw Maxy and his crew pulling people from the town’s streets to take part.

It also saw a set being built in a house in Seaton Lane.

Maxy, who is married to Claire and dad to Max, 11, and Nina, nine, said: “It’s nice to get something on telly so soon as I’ve only really been making films for a couple of years.

“People from Hartlepool will know the character Dell, from living in Hartlepool.

“It’s the first film produced in Hartlepool for broadcast, and I know other Hartlepool creators and directors involved in the film, including Mark Hand who scored it, and Michael Smith, the co-producer and co-editor.

“It was a thrill to do it.”

The film was exhibited at the Baltic last month and Maxy says he was overwhelmed by feedback.

Chance said: “This is definitely something for me to be proud of, having broadcasting credits for Channel 4.

“A lot of people work within the industry all their lives and still don’t achieve that.”

Maxy has also created a four-part series called Another England, which explores Hartlepool.

Pig The Dog will be shown on Channel 4 at 12.45am on Friday, but will be available to view on Channel 4’s Random Acts website and Maxy’s web page at