Preview: Glasgow Film Festival

Conor Macgregor

glasgow film fest

Roll out the red carpet, tighten the bow ties and take your seats. The 9th Annual Glasgow Film Festival is on the horizon, and this year is set to be its biggest festival yet. In a press launch on the 16th of January, co-directors of the festival Alison Gardner & Allan Hunter announced the line up to a packed audience of intrigued journalists from various media outlets.

Films announced at the festival included The Joss Whedon independent feature Much Ado About Nothing, which was famously shot in twelve days at Joss Whedon’s house. The film will be the closing gala at the festival on 25th February in contrast to the opening gala, which will be French comedy Populaire, a film which continues a very unique relationship that the GFT has had with French cinema over the years.

In addition to the main festival, The Glasgow Film Festival announced its line-up for its sub-festivals, one of which is The Glasgow Youth Film Festival. In its 5th run, The Youth Film Festival is setting its goal to be the best that it has ever been. The opening gala this year is the Oscar Nominated Disney film Wreck It Ralph, which is being described as “The Perfect Opening Film for GYFF”. The closing gala will be Michel Gondry’s latest film The We and The I, centred around American high school students on their last day of school. It is already getting critical acclaim, having already been labelled as “A masterpiece”. As well as that, there will be additional films shown at the festival including: First Position, a documentary focused on ballet dancers; Lena, a powerful coming of age drama; two unique anime films in the form of Wolf Children by Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Ghibli’s latest work From Up On Poppy Hill.  The Youth Film Festival also hosts special events and workshops to garner in a younger audience as well as those who are looking to enter into the film world as a film maker themselves. Several workshops will be hosted throughout the festival on several aspects of film making which include a screenwriting workshop, led by two screenwriters from E4 hit shows Skins & Misfits.

Starting on 7th February and running for three days is the Glasgow Short Film Festival, a strand of the festival which showcases new film making talent in Scotland and on the international stage too. Matt Lloyd, the head of the Short Film Festival, talked about the importance of Scottish film making in modern Scotland as well as highlighting the increased production of short films being made in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government has been ever so helpful for their direct support in helping recognise new Scottish film making talent. Even when I’m proofreading our catalogue, I’m still learning of new films being made in Scotland. Over 150 short films have been produced in Scotland in the last year.” – Matt Lloyd

Matt Lloyd went on to describe this year’s festival as “32 pages of sheer brilliance.”

Other strands of this year’s festival include: Glasgow Music & Film Festival, which focuses on film’s relationship with music; Frightfest, a strand containing independent horror films; Kapow@GFF, Mark Millar’s own tribute to superheroes which will feature First Minister Alex Salmond talking about his own geek film with Mark Millar.

The festival’s Hollywood retrospective is dedicated to a Hollywood screen icon James Cagney. With that comes the screening of several of his most classic films including The Public Enemy, The Roaring Twenties and White Heat.

“If you trace your cinematic heritage back from Tarantino, Scarface and The Godfather, all roads lead to James Cagney as the quintessential Hollywood tough guy.” – Allan Hunter

In total, this year’s festival will host fifty-seven UK premieres which include: Stoker with Nicole Kidman; The Place beyond the Pines, the new film from upcoming director Derek Cianfrance with Ryan Gosling; Arbitrage with Richard Gere; The Look Of Love; The Paperboy and Welcome To The Punch with James McAvoy.

The Glasgow Film Festival will begin on 3rd February with The Youth Film Festival and conclude on 24th February.


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