The end of February sees Glasgow become Festival City once more. The fourteenth Glasgow Film Festival will run from the 21st of February until the 4th of March, and in that narrow timeframe more than 300 events and screenings will be crammed in, appealing to a wide range of audience tastes.
As in previous years, there will be specific themes and strands: new films from Ireland and the Baltics will be showcased (with the Near Shore strand looking at emerging female directors; and Pure Baltic celebrating a hundred years of independence there in pieces employing satire and dry humour). Lovers of the red carpet will also be attracted to the by-now traditional opening and closing ceremonials – featuring as opening presentation (21 February) the national premiere of the quirky Isle of Dogs directed by Wes Anderson. The curtain will be rung down (4 March) by Nae Pasaran, the world premiere of a documentary based on the Rolls-Royce workers’ boycott of Pinochet’s Chile.
There will other popular themes: ranging from free showings of classics on the Rebel Hero theme (“a collection of mavericks, misfits and ice cool dudes”, says Allan Hunter, Festival Co-Director) to the Frightfest strand, to more than 70 national premieres, some featuring local talent such as Karen Gillan and Lynne Ramsay, some marking personal appearances of stars like Bill Pullman and David Tennant. Not forgetting attention to documentaries in the Stranger than Fiction strand (with Chilean Felipe Bustos Sierra’s debut premiere mentioned above a highlight). As some of these names make clear, local heroes also feature, and there is also a tribute screening of Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as John Gordon Sinclair’s latest work.
Of course, there will also be some cutting edge innovative work too. Musically, there will be soundtrack contributions from heavy-hitting composer Mica Levi (a previous Oscar nominee) collaborating with electronic group Wrangler; and from last year’s album of the year winners Sacred Paws. Also, a number of special events specially designed for the festival: ranging from an 80s vs 90s School Disco/party taking over Glasgow club venue SWG3, to other pop-up screenings using venues such as the top floors of the former College of Printing to the Bath Street Bar Flat 0/1 to Saint Andrews in the Square. Festival Co-Director Allison Gardner also sees “world cinema covered”, with movies from more than 50 countries represented.
Last year’s festival collected more than 40 thousand cinemagoers, and it’s certain that this year’s organisers are hoping to do better. GFF Members gain early access to film tickets (from Thursday 25th January), but ordinary members of the public will be able to purchase tickets from 10 am on Monday 29th January. And there are, as you would expect, a range of package deal possibilities.
Tickets are available online at glasgowfilm.org/festival, by calling the Festival Box Office on 0141 332 6535 or in person at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street).
The full programme can be accessed at glasgowfilm.org/festival
Header image: Jaak Kilmi’s The Dissidents