The Glasgow Film Festival have launched their 2016 slate and announced an amazing programme of events. Welcoming premieres, stars, event-cinema and classic films back on the big screen, the GFF16 has grown into a major film festival contender. This years event takes place February 17-28 across Glasgow.
The exciting, innovative, audience-focused festival is packed with UK, European and World premieres, and the festival’s trademark pop-up cinema events make new use of some of the city’s most unusual venues. As previously announced, GFF16, supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland, Creative Scotland and BFI, will open with the UK Premiere of Hail, Caesar! by Ethan & Joel Coen, and close with the UK Premiere of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Oscar-nominated Anomalisa. With 308 separate events and screenings and 174 films, this is one of the largest programmes the festival has fielded.
GFF is delighted to welcome a number of very special guests, including Richard Gere, supporting the UK premiere of his new film Time Out Of Mind, in which he plays a homeless man, possibly suffering from mental illness, adrift in New York. Natalie Dormer, best known for Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, walks the red carpet for the UK premiere of The Forest; director Ben Wheatley will also be in attendance for the Scottish premiere of High-Rise, the high-profile adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian novel starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. Veteran arthouse director Peter Greenaway and über-stuntman Vic Armstrong will also be taking part in In-Person events discussing their careers. Further guest announcements will be made closer to the festival.
Other major UK premieres this year include Demolition, the new film from Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, Louder Than Bombs, the Cannes Palme d’Or nominee directed by Joachim Trier and starring Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg, Sing Street, the new Dublin-set musical by Once writer/director John Carney, the brilliant, Oscar-nominated Mustang, Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s labour-of-love Miles Davis film, and the new Disney animation Zootropolis, created by the minds behind Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled.
The programme of high-profile new films also includes Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, Norway’s Oscar entry, action-thriller The Wave, Miguel Gomes’ utterly majestic trilogy Arabian Nights, multi-award-winning indie James White, Truth, Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett’s tense take on the 60 Minutes George W Bush scandal, and Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s blistering follow-up to Blue Ruin, starring Sir Patrick Stewart playing against type as the leader of a neo-Nazi group. GFF is also thrilled to host the world premiere of Hamish, a documentary about Scottish poet, songwriter and intellectual Hamish Henderson.
Glasgow Film Festival is renowned for its special events and ‘total film’ experiences, where classic films are reinterpreted in unique and iconic settings, and this year’s programme brings a number of films celebrating significant anniversaries to life off the screen in some legendary Glasgow venues – in fact, it’s possible to have a different film experience in a different, iconic venue every night of the festival.
While the all-action screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Silence of the Lambs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum sold out within days of being announced in December, the festival still has some aces up its sleeve, with a different and unusual experience possible every single night of the festival. Teen romantics of all ages might like to recreate the vibrant mid-nineties glamour of the Capulet masked ball from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (complete with fishtank and cocktails served in poison vials) in city-centre mansion house Trades Hall; wannabe newshounds can celebrate the fortieth anniversary of biting media satire Network in BBC Scotland’s hub at Pacific Quay, after hours. Thelma & Louise is 25 years old this year, and in celebration of those gals GFF invites you to travel to Glasgow’s own Deep South for a pre-screening line-dancing session at the Grand Ole Opry, Europe’s largest Country & Western Saloon. Or why not abandon all control and be hustled aboard the GFF prison bus, where you’ll be handed a regulation orange jumpsuit, handcuffed, and taken to a top-secret location for a very special screening of Con Air…?
The festival programme had been finalised well before the sad news of David Bowie’s death had been announced; by coincidence festival-goers have a number of chances to pay their respects to the man for whom the Sound & Vision programme strand was named. D A Pennebaker’s concert film of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (regularly named as one of the best live music films ever made) screens late night on Saturday 20 February, preceded by the documentary short Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under, which follows the Thin White Duke in the early 1980s. GFF will also be using the Glasgow Planetarium for the first time, as you shoot out to space for a fortieth anniversary screening of The Man Who Fell To Earth (Tue 23 Feb), preceded by a guided tour through the galaxy and experimental Argentinean short film Contraluz, which was designed specially for the Planetarium’s 360° screen. A fittingly beautiful, outlandish and out-of-this-world salute to Bowie’s definitive film role as visiting alien Thomas Jerome Newton.
Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said:
‘The 2016 Glasgow Film Festival programme is bursting with must-see movies and events. I’m excited to introduce audiences to real gems like Pablo Trapero’s gripping crime drama The Clan in our Argentine focus, Zhang Yang’s breathtaking Tibetan film Paths Of The Soul, and a cracking line-up of Audience Award contenders including the unforgettable, Oscar-nominated Mustang. Where else would you want to be in February?’
Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said:
‘I’m really delighted with this year’s programme. We’ve got some exceptional premieres in our Gala strand, a great and thoroughly original line up of documentaries in Stranger Than Fiction, and a really charming, child-friendly Modern Families programme headlined by the UK premiere of Disney’s Zootropolis. The festival keeps moving forward, with new developments like our Industry Focus conference, whilst also maintaining our roots as an audience-focused festival where everyone can come together to share a love of cinema. And we’ve been around for a few years now, so look out for some extra-special movie anniversaries in the programme.’
Opening Gala: Hail, Caesar! **UK Premiere**
Nobody loves old Hollywood quite like Joel and Ethan Coen. Hail, Caesar! is their freewheeling, all-star comic extravaganza set during the latter days of the studio system. Josh Brolin is a studio fixer, George Clooney is kidnapped megastar Baird Whitlock, taken in costume from the set of his new film Hail, Caesar!, Scarlett Johansson is a starlet swimming sensation, Tilda Swinton plays twin gossip columnists and Channing Tatum is a Gene Kelly-esque song-and-dance man in a sailor suit. The Coens are back, in style, with an irresistibly eclectic cast featuring more stars than the heavens. Who could want a more festive start to a festival? Wednesday 18 February (Doors 18.00 for 19.00 sold out; second screening 22.00) | repeated Thursday 19 February (15.30) | GFT
Closing Gala: Anomalisa **UK Premiere**
This latest mesmerising masterwork from the beautiful mind of Charlie Kaufman is a one-of-a-kind romance, entirely played out in stop motion animation. Michael Stone, voiced by David Thewlis, is a customer services guru suffering near-terminal ennui – until he meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animation and with the Grand Special Jury Prize from Venice Film Festival under its belt, Anomalisa offers a plaintive exploration of all the little things that make us human. It is funny, charming, surprisingly erotic, deeply moving and completely, wonderfully irresistible. Sunday 28 February (Doors 19.15 for 20.00) | GFT | Sold out
Confirmed Guests – Further guests will be announced in the run-up to the festival.
• Richard Gere: the star of Pretty Woman and An Officer and a Gentleman comes to Glasgow to support the UK premiere of Time Out of Mind, a beautifully-shot, hugely affecting film directed by Oren Moverman and co-starring Steve Buscemi, Jena Malone and Ben Vereen, in which Gere gives an astonishing, pared-back performance as a homeless man down and out in New York.
• Natalie Dormer, best known as Margaery Tyrell in Games of Thrones and Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, walks the red carpet for the UK premiere of Japan-set horror The Forest, as a FrightFest preview.
• Ben Wheatley The director formerly known as British cinema’s enfant terrible has lost none of his edge with his pull-no-punches adaptation of JG Ballard’s High-Rise.
• Peter Greenaway: the veteran director presents his new film Eisenstein in Guanajuato, and takes part in an In Conversation retropective of his career.
• Vic Armstrong: the legendary stunt man (Indiana Jones and Superman) joins us to look back at his 50 year career, as well as introducing our all-action screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
• Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones, Skins) appears to support Bridgend, a thoughtful look at the suicide ‘epidemic’ experienced by the small Welsh town in the mid 2000s. She is joined by fellow cast members Josh O’Connor (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) and Steven Waddington (The Imitation Game, Sleepy Hollow) and director Jeppe Rønde.
• Danny Fields, the hugely influential music journalist, record exec and manager of The Stooges & The Ramones, in conversation following the Scottish premiere of the film about his life, Danny Says.
• Director Michael Caton-Jones (The Jackal, This Boy’s Life) and actor Letitia Wright (Cucumber and Banana) in support of the UK premiere of Urban Hymn.
• Joachim Trier comes to the festival to support the UK premiere of his first English language feature, the hotly-tipped Louder Than Bombs.
• Nerdvana event The Road to Civil War features the UK premiere of Marvel Renaissance, a documentary tracing how the comic book house came to dominate contemporary cinema, followed by directors Phillipe Guedj and Philippe Roure in conversation with comic book writer Mark Millar, who created Kick-Ass and is the brains behind the upcoming Marvel film Captain America: Civil War. We can’t promise spoilers, but look out for a lot of behind-the-scenes Marvel insight.
• Lucile Hadžihalilović: the French director – the first woman to win the Bronze Horse at the Stockholm Intl. Film Festival, and co-writer of Enter The Void – presents her new film Évolution.
• Better known as an actor, Ruth Platt presents her directorial debut The Lesson, a dark, bloody and shocking coming-of age tale.
• Artist filmmaker Miranda Pennell, supporting her film The Host, a personal search through corporate colonialism.
GFF is renowned for pop-up cinema: atmospheric one-off ‘total cinema’ experiences in some of the city’s best-loved venues. Alongside our already sold-out screenings of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Silence of the Lambs at Kelvingrove Museum, a number of talks and live music events round off an exciting and utterly original programme:
• A screening of Con Air is held in a top-secret location: you’ll be put through your convict paces: collected at GFT, assigned a uniform, handcuffed to your partner, and loaded onto the prison bus! (Thu 18 Feb)
• Journey to Glasgow’s Deep South to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Ridley Scott’s classic Thelma & Louise at Europe’s largest Country & Western saloon, The Grand Ole Opry, complete with lasso-work and line-dancing. (Sun 21 Feb)
• An intimate screening of biting media satire Network, which turns 40 this year, in the perfect setting of BBC Scotland’s HQ at Pacific Quay, introduced by BBC Arts Correspondent Pauline McLean. (Mon 22 Feb)
• David Lynch’s Wild At Heart, screened in GFF’s own Chapel of Love, new venue St Luke’s, complete with award-winning Elvis impersonator Danny Allan. (Thu 25 Feb)
• Glasgow based vocalist and composer Ela Orleans will perform a specially-commissioned live score to Lucky Star, a romantic silent melodrama starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, created especially for performance in Mackintosh Queen’s Cross. (Fri 26 Feb)
• Baz Luhrmann’s never-bettered adaptation of Romeo + Juliet is 20 in 2016, and they are turning city-centre mansion Trades Hall into the Capulet mansion costume ball, complete with fishtanks, angel wings and cocktails in poison vials. Whether you’re wearing Hawaiian shirts, Cuban heels or full drag, fancy dress is mandatory! (Sat 27 Feb)
The Audience Award
Glasgow Film Festival is delighted to welcome back the Audience Award, for which the GFF audience will be asked to vote on a shortlist of ten films from first or second-time directors chosen by the festival programming team from across the programme. The Award has been created in conjunction with GFF’s Pioneer strand, which celebrates the festival’s reputation for picking great early films from future cinema masters, and is designed to bring greater profile to some of the most exciting new cinema talents in the world. The Audience Award is sponsored by Scottish Power.
• 16 Years Till Summer (UK, dir. Lou McLoughlan) A best film nominee at the recent BAFTA Scotland awards, this cathartic documentary focuses on Uisdean, who has been released from prison after serving 16 years for killing his friend. **Scottish Premiere**
• The Ardennes (Belgium, dir. Robin Pront) This eye-catching debut turns a tale of brotherly conflict into a much darker and bloodier affair. A wintry Antwerp provides the atmospheric setting as inveterate troublemaker Kenny (Kevin Janssens) is released from prison. **UK Premiere**
• From Afar (Venezuela/Mexico, dir. Lorenzo Vigas) A striking debut feature which won the Golden Lion at Venice and offers a poised, acutely observed account of the way intimate bonds can be forged from the strangest of circumstances. **Scottish Premiere**
• Home Care (Czech Republic/Slovenia, dir. Alena Mihulová) The Czech Republic’s Oscar candidate is a warm-hearted, funny, life-affirming drama about a dedicated nurse and tireless domestic goddess who puts everyone else first. **Scottish Premiere**
• Miles Ahead (USA, dir. Don Cheadle) An appropriately unconventional, freewheeling take on the life of jazz legend Miles Davis from actor/director Don Cheadle, who captures Davis’ physical look and swaggering attitude to perfection. Also stars Ewan McGregor. **UK Premiere**
• Mustang (Turkey/France/Germany, dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven) This extraordinary, multi-award winning debut, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, depicts the way female sexuality becomes a challenge to a strict society. **UK Premiere**
• The Ones Below (UK, dir. David Farr) One couple’s tragedy becomes another couple’s nightmare in this chilling British psychological thriller and impressive cinema debut from playwright and RSC Associate Director David Farr. **Scottish Premiere**
• Parabellum (Argentina/Austria/Uruguay, dir. Lukas Valenta Rinner) How do you prepare for the end of the world? In Lukas Valenta Rinner’s coolly-composed first feature, the middle classes head to survival camps in the woods. **Scottish Premiere**
• These Daughters of Mine (Poland, dir. Kinga Debska) Winner of the Audience Award at the Gdynia Film Festival, These Daughters Of Mine is a warm-hearted tale of family bonds and sisterly struggles. A tender, bittersweet tale that will strike a chord with every family member. **UK Premiere**
• Winter (UK, dir. Heidi Greensmith) In this soulful debut feature, veteran Scots actor Tommy Flanagan picks up one of the best roles of his career as an aging painter battling mental illness and alcoholism. **Scottish Premiere**
Retrospective – Dream Teams of the Silver Screen
Every year, Glasgow Film Festival celebrates cinema history with a retrospective strand exploring the work of a star, or a particularly great year for cinema. This year they are seeing double with a look at great Hollywood teams: double acts whose chemistry scorched the screen over long collaborative partnerships. These films screen at 10.30 every morning of the festival, with completely free entry.
• The Adventures of Robin Hood, the Oscar-winning adventure yarn that cemented the on-screen chemistry between Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn.
• Oscar-winning screwball comedy The Awful Truth, one of three films teaming Cary Grant with the great Irene Dunne.
• The Big Sleep Prepare for an electric charge on screen when Humphrey Bogart crosses paths with the sultry Lauren Bacall.
• Crowd-pleasing, Oscar-winning delight Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
• Film noir thriller Double Indemnity starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.
• Oscar-nominated romantic comedy Libeled Lady, starring one of the most perfect on screen couples, Myrna Loy and William Powell.
• Pillow Talk, the Oscar-winning comedy of crossed wires and exasperated misunderstandings between Doris Day and Rock Hudson.
• Swing Time: effortless teamwork meets pure escapism as Fred Astaire sweeps Ginger Rogers off her feet.
• Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at the height of their fame.
• Oscar-winning Woman of the Year, which began a twenty-five year partnership between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
Country Focus – Roads to the South: Argentine Cinema
Filmmakers from Luis Puenzo to Lucrecia Martel have helped to make Argentine cinema one of the major players on the world stage, and recent hits like The Secret In Their Eyes and Wild Tales have achieved critical and commercial success internationally. A special strand for 2016, Roads to the South offers a snapshot of contemporary Argentine cinema, stretching from joyous crowd- pleasers to haunting dramas, heart-warming road movies to chilling true-life crime thrillers
• The Clan (dir. Pablo Trapero) about an ordinary family who kidnap the wealthy, hold them for ransom and kill them in cold blood. **UK premiere**
• Dog Lady (dir. Laura Citarella, Verónica Llinás), an enigmatic portrait of a woman surviving in the wilds outside Buenos Aires, with a pack of dogs and a parrot for company. **Scottish premiere**
• The Fire (dir. Juan Schnitman), a lean, gripping drama that exposes all the tiny cracks in a relationship when a couple find themselves in possession of $100,000 for 24 hours. **Scottish premiere**
• How to Win Enemies (dir. Gabriel Lichtmann) follows Lucas, who finds himself turning detective when a seductive woman relieves him of his life savings. **UK premiere**
• Living Stars (dir. Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat), a joyous documentary in which the good folks of Buenos Aires cast aside their inhibitions and dance as hard as they can in their own homes. **UK premiere**
• Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta (dir. Natalie Cristiani) a beautiful portrait of an enigmatic artist whose tortured love affair with her homeland acts as catalyst for her work. **Scottish premiere**
• The Official Story (dir. Luis Puenzo), a rare chance to see the landmark 1985 Oscar-winning film that began a revolution in Argentine cinema, in a brand-new print only seen so far at Cannes. **UK premiere**
• Parabellum (dir. Lukas Valenta Rinner), a disturbing, provocative debut where the middle classes hide from apocalypse in forest survival camps. **Scottish premiere**
• Paulina (dir. Santiago Mitre) is a promising young lawyer who gives up her studies to teach in a remote village near Paraguay, believing she can make a difference to the lives of her students. **Scottish premiere**
• Road to La Paz (dir. Francisco Varone), a road movie following a thirty-something drifter and an elderly, devout Muslim travelling two thousand miles to Bolivia. **UK Premiere**
60 of this year’s films are UK premieres, including:
• Zootropolis Disney’s 55th feature-length animation is set in a mammal metropolis, where a rookie rabbit cop has to team up with a wily fox con-artist to solve a mystery.
• Time Out of Mind, a soulful account of one man’s life on the streets of New York City featuring a poignant, career-best performance from Richard Gere.
• Demolition, the latest film from Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
• The Forest, in which Natalie Dormer battles malevolent spirits in a Japanese forest, as part of FrightFest.
• Hyena Road, directed by Due South favourite Paul Gross, focusing on Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, capturing the chaos and complexity of modern warfare.
• Disorder Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger star in a tense, beautifully-paced thriller about a soldier with PTSD, directed by Alice Winocour.
• Louder than Bombs, the English-language debut of award-winning Norwegian director Joachim Trier, an intelligent, well-acted and elegantly crafted exploration of family ties starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert.
• Urban Hymn Shirley Henderson gives a remarkable performance as a damaged social worker at the time of the London riots who takes in an equally traumatised teenage girl (Letitia Wright).
• Human Highway (Director’s Cut) An ultra-rare, never-before-seen remastering of Neil Young’s mind-bending post-apocalyptic musical comedy, featuring Dennis Hopper and the band Devo. A must for all the Young dudes.
• Sing Street: after the crowd-pleasing success of Once, writer/director John Carney returns to Dublin for this charming musical. An electrifying coming-of-age story – with a dream of a soundtrack – starring Aidan Gillan and Maria Doyle Kennedy.
• The Propaganda Game A fascinating journey into North Korea, where everyone is playing the propaganda game, by director Álvaro Longoria.
• Traders Acerbic social satire from Ireland looking at the new phenomenon of ‘econosuicide’, following two financially-strapped men who agree to fight to the death for each others’ life savings.
• Bridgend A sensitive fictionalisation of the mysterious spate of suicides to hit the small Welsh town in the mid-2000s, directed by Danish documentarian Jeppe Rønde.
• Marguerite, a delightful comedy of manners inspired by the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Xavier Giannoli
• Peace Officer, a hard-hitting, utterly fascinating documentary on US police shootings and gun culture. Winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Award at SXSW.
• Suburra: Director Stefano Sollima made Romanzo Criminale and Gomorra into unmissable television events. Now he returns to the big screen with a swaggering, fast-paced thriller steeped in the crime and corruption at the heart of modern Rome.
• Where Do We Go From Here? A gentle and unique spin on the romantic comedy, this new Scottish treat, which won Best Film at the Sydney Indie Film Festival, offers a delightful blend of Still Game-inspired elderly shenanigans and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest-style breakouts.
59 of this year’s films are Scottish premieres, including:
• High-Rise, a brutal, elegant examination of class warfare. Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons and Elisabeth Moss star in Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian 1975 novel.
• Green Room Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier returns with another piercing, blackly comic journey into the dark and dangerous fringes of American life. Sir Patrick Stewart as you’ve never seen him before – the leader of a neo-Nazi group.
• Arabian Nights, Vols. 1-3 Miguel Gomes’ majestic epic uses the structure of Scheherazade’s ‘1001 Nights’ to examine life in contemporary Europe. Dark, ambitious and hugely entertaining, this trilogy of films is worth the investment of time. Destined to become one of the must-watch cinema events of 2016.
• Experimenter Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard star in Michael Almereyda’s surreal take on Dr Stanley Miligram’s infamous experiments into human cruelty.
• Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story This sexy, sun-kissed salute to teen spirit, evoking the work of Larry Clark and Sofia Coppola, caused a huge stir after its premiere at TIFF.
• Office Hong Kong action maestro Johnnie To strikes out in a completely different direction with this glossy, extravagant musical satire on corporate greed.
• Dheepan, director Jacques Audiard’s (Rust and Bone) immensely powerful 2015 Palme d’Or winner. Ex-Tamil Tiger Dheepan, is played by real life former-Tiger child soldier Antonythasan Jesuthasan.
• Truth James Vanderbilt directs Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in a tense, beautifully-wrought political thriller with echoes of All The President’s Men, based on real-life events.
• Heart of a Dog Laurie Anderson’s beautiful, playful stream-of-consciousness riff on love and mortality, following the deaths of her mother, her husband Lou Reed and her beloved dog, using animation and 8mm home movies. (Part of Crossing the Line)
• Couple In A Hole, powerful yet understated drama starring local favourites Kate Dickie and Paul Higgins. Deep in a French forest an apparently normal Scottish couple exist like savages.
• Chevalier Athina Rachel Tsangari’s bracingly eccentric and richly comic reflection on the male ego, which won Best Film at LFF.
• No Home Movie: Pioneering filmmaker Chantal Akerman’s final film is an intimate video essay that focuses on her relationship with her mother Natalia, a Holocaust survivor. (Part of Crossing the Line)
• Hitchcock/Truffaut The cinema-changing week-long encounter between two directing giants is recalled in this exceptional documentary by Kent Jones.
• Eisenstein in Guanajuato Peter Greenaway’s exuberant, multifaceted reinterpretation of a period in the Battleship Potemkin director’s life.
• Goodnight Mommy Austria’s Oscar entry is a chilling story of ten-year old twins and the bandaged woman they begin to suspect is not their mother.
• The Cowboys (Les cowboys): Best known as the writer of A Prophet, Thomas Bidegain moves behind the camera with a hauntingly intense reworking of the John Ford landmark The Searchers.
• Departure, the assured first feature from Andrew Steggall, is a confidently-composed, beautifully photographed family drama starring Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game) and Juliet Stevenson.
• Speed Sisters An innovative documentary about a team of Palestinian female racing car drivers, struggling against the social pressures of gender and nationality in a doubly fraught political context.
• I Am Belfast, Director Mark Cousins ventures back home with a portrait of his native Belfast, depicted here as a copper-haired woman who has survived times of violence, despair and elation.
• James White, Josh Mond’s debut feature, which took the Audience Award at Sundance among many others, is an edgy, intense exploration of a hedonistic twentysomething struggling to find his bearings in a frenzied New York City. Starring Christopher Abbott (Girls) and Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City).
• Remember An anguished, deeply-felt performance from Oscar-winning veteran Christopher Plummer distinguishes this poignant thriller.
• The Wave, Norway’s record-breaking Oscar entry, set in a town overcome by a natural disaster.
• A Month of Sundays A captivating Anthony La Paglia receives one of his best film roles in this gentle, ambling account of one man’s mid-life crisis. A tale of redemption told with dry wit and a light touch.
• Documentary Now! A smash-hit in the USA and heralded as one of the best TV shows of 2015 by The New York Times, Documentary Now! is the brainchild of Saturday Night Live alumni Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Myers. GFF hosts the first European screenings of the two-part season finale.
• Man vs. Snake: The Long And Twisted Tale Of Nibbler Documentary following Tim McVey, the first person to score over a billion points on a video game as he tries to protect his status from competitors, followed by a retro arcade gaming session at Glasgow’s Drygate Brewery.
• The Other Side of The Door The latest production from visionary horror titan Alexandre Aja (Switchblade Romance, The Hills Have Eyes) is an exotic tale of supernatural threat directed by rising British talent Johannes Roberts. Part of FrightFest.
• Hamish Robbie Fraser’s highly anticipated documentary pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Hamish Henderson (1919-2002), a colossal figure in Scottish culture and a man of boundless passion and curiosity whose poems continue to elevate and inspire a nation.
• Margaret Tait Award: Evolutionary Jerks & Gradualist Creeps GFF’s annual Margaret Tait Award, which offers a £10,000 commission to a Scottish or Scotland-based artist to create a new film, was won in 2015 by Glasgow artist filmmaker and musician Duncan Marquiss. Evolutionary Jerks… focuses on Niles Eldredge’s revolutionary theory of evolution, and expands into a discussion on cultural evolution.
• Where You’re Meant To Be Cult pop raconteur Aidan Moffat embarks on a folk music-tinged odyssey through Scotland. This world premiere screening will also be the first ever feature-length film shown at Glasgow’s legendary Barrowland Ballroom, preceded by a live gig. (The event at the Barrowlands is sold out, but a second screening will take place at GFT on Wed 24 Feb.)
Industry Focus is a landmark development for the traditionally audience-focused festival. Aimed at independent producers, feature, short and documentary filmmakers, this conference runs from Wed 24- Thurs 25 Feb. The programme has two halves: Inspiration, looking at new technologies and innovative strategies for production, and Funding, in which panels of funders, broadcasters, and distributors discuss available opportunities for filmmakers. Organisers hope that Industry Focus will help strengthen and offer valuable support to the Scottish film industry. Speakers include representatives from Curzon Film, the BFI, Verve, Metrodome, Film4, BBC Film, the Danish Film Institute, the Irish Film Board, Creative Scotland and Creative Europe. Filmmakers can also apply to meet one-to-one with representatives from some of Europe’s biggest funding bodies and pitch them their films. All events will take place at 29 Glasgow; two-day pass £50, one-day pass £30. Full details at www.glasgowfilm.org/festival/industry
Sound & Vision
Glasgow also has a global reputation for its music scene, forever keeping the city on the cutting edge of cool, and GFF’s Sound & Vision strand puts music at the very heart of the festival programme. Through spectacular crossover events throughout the city, live performance from vocalist and composer Ela Orleans, as well as premiere screenings of documentaries and features from around the world, Sound & Vision pays homage to Glasgow’s musical background in genre-spanning style.
• Danny Says, the story of Danny Fields, a hugely influential music exec in the 1960s-80s.
• Highlife: Latin American Especial sees globe-trotting party-starters Highlife showcase footage from their recent trip to South America during a Latin-American themed party, part of their Art School residency.
• Human Highway, a psychedelic comedy courtesy of Neil Young’s pseudonym Bernard Shakey, has its UK premiere, re-cut 34 years after its release
• The Idol, a triumphant account of a major new reality star of the Arab States that celebrates the universality of great music.
• Oscar-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple offers a glimpse into the turbulent life of incendiary soul singer and one-of-a-kind performer Miss Sharon Jones! **UK Premiere**
• Once director John Carney returns with musical Sing Street, starring Aiden Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy, where 14 year-old Cosmo forms a band to win over his dream girl in 1980s Dublin. **UK Premiere**
• Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, a star-studded documentary following a radio duo who brought a unique audience together and created a platform to change music forever.
• This Is Now: Film and Video after Punk (1978-85), an exhibition of post-punk artists’ films exploring the blurred lines between images and identity, creating new dialogues between the self and the world, at Tramway.
• Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho ft. Bards of Caledon & Other Lands celebrates Robbie Basho, the unsung master of outcast folk music, followed by a spoken-word and instrumental performance.
Crossing The Line
The Crossing the Line strand celebrates Glasgow’s dynamic creative scene through a selection of moving image works, experimental and artist films, including Scottish premieres of Miranda Pennell’s first feature-length film The Host, Ben Rivers’ third feature The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, and the final film from pioneering film maker Chantal Akerman, No Home Movie. Other highlights include a programme of film and video works selected by artist filmmaker Lyndsay Mann in Say-So presented by MAP, a director’s preview of Margaret Salmon’s first feature-length film Eglantine, and the world premiere of Evolutionary Jerks & Gradualist Creeps, the new film from Margaret Tait Award winner and Glasgow-based artist Duncan Marquiss.
Headlined by the UK premiere of Disney’s Zootropolis, their family-friendly strand also includes a celebration of Roald Dahl’s centenary, with special screenings of Fantastic Mr Fox and Matilda at Kinning Park Complex, which children are invited to help transform into Dahl-world through artist workshops – food inspired by Dahl’s books will be created by The Project Café. Families are also invited to shout encore! for the 25th anniversary of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, screened in Glasgow’s beautiful old mansion Trades Hall with pre-screening waltzing lessons for kids, who can also get in free to our Take 2 screenings of Lady & The Tramp and German charmer Fiddlesticks.
Glasgow Youth Film Festival 12–15 February
Glasgow Youth Film Festival, the only film festival in Europe curated by 15-18 year olds, kicks off with Puritan supernatural chiller and Sundance favourite The Witch, starring Kate Dickie (Prometheus, Game of Thrones), who will introduce the film. The weekend-long programme has been designed to showcase young filmmakers from all over the world; 80% of these new films are by first-time feature directors, spanning themes with huge relevance to young people across the globe – first love, peer pressure, struggles with identity and generational conflict. The festival ends with a pop-up screening of Edward Scissorhands in repurposed church-turned bar St Luke’s, which will be filled with specially-shaped topiary for an atmospheric fancy dress gala event. www.glasgowfilm.org/gyff
Glasgow Short-Film Festival: 16–20 March
The ninth annual Glasgow Short Film Festival opens with the world premiere of the major new commission Lost Treasure, a re-imagining of Dawn Cine Group’s uncompleted 1956 film by Drew Wright (Wounded Knee), Hamish Brown (Swimmer One) and filmmaker Minttu Mäntynen. The full GSFF programme is announced on 3 February. More details at www.glasgowfilm.org/gsff
Tickets for the main 2016 Glasgow Film Festival programme are on sale from 10am on Monday 25 January. The full brochure is available online now at www.glasgowfilm.org/festival.