If you thought Scottish cinema was all about Trainspotting 2 at the moment, then you’d be as far off the mark as the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats. That’s because the full programme for this year’s Glasgow Film Festival has been announced and it promises to be a Caledonian cracker.
Over the space of 12 action-packed days, from February 15-26, there will be in excess of 300 events and screenings, including 67 Scottish premieres, 65 UK premieres and nine world premieres, coming from a total of 38 countries. Not only that, but a whole host of venues and pop-up cinemas in Scotland’s second city will be used – even the slopes of indoor winter sport resort Snow Factor will be getting in on the act.
Small wonder then, that this is officially the third-biggest event of its kind in Britain. Despite this, Glasgow still manages to maintain a degree of exclusiveness by presenting a sole award. The Audience Award is all the more special because, as the name suggests, the extremely lucky winner is chosen by the festival’s audiences, without whom none of this would even exist. In the running for this year’s prize, thus becoming only the third recipient of this prestigious gong, are ten up-and-coming filmmakers. Sponsored by ScotRail, the nominees include Thomas Q Napper for Jawbone, Hope Dickson Leach for The Levelling, as well as American Rachel Lambert for In the Radiant City and India’s Alankrita Shrivastava for Lipstick Under My Burkha.
So back to the the premieres, and what can those in attendance expect? Making their Scottish debuts will be Paul Verhoeven‘s award-winning Ellen, not to mention Free Fire, Personal Shopper, Their Finest, Frantz and Mindhorn, which stars The Mighty Boosh‘s very own Julian Barratt. Among the pictures being introduced to a UK audience for the first time are the Cate Blanchett-narrated Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey and Berlin Syndrome, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Festival only last week. Speaking of world premieres, two that will be unveiled in Glasgow are of a sporting theme. Benny, the biopic of legendary Glaswegian boxer Benny Lynch, charts a meteoric rise and tragic fall, whilst Celtic Soul captures Jay Baruchel‘s (How To Train Your Dragon) trip to Parkhead to see his beloved Celtic in action.
The 12-day programme is divided into 16 strands. These range from ‘Dangerous Dames’, a celebration of film noir starring famous femme fatales through the ages, to ‘Nerdvana’, which is a look at all things geeky, with a few cult classics – such as a special 30th anniversary screening of Predator – thrown in for good measure. However, it’s ‘Sound and Vision’ and ‘FrightFest’ that look likely to take the plaudits this year. The latter alone will be cramming in 14 horror flicks into three days, including The Lost Boys at a secret location and a 35th anniversary of John Carpenter‘s The Thing at the previously mentioned Snow Factor, taking spine-chilling to a whole new level.
Those behind the annual jamboree are understandably excited about the 2017 bill. Festival co-director Allan Hunter said it is “bursting with must-see new movies”, with colleague Allison Gardner adding “there are some absolutely brilliant experiences this year”. Stuart Turner, head of Event Scotland who are backing the festival alongside Creative Scotland, said: “The calibre of films premiering at the festival is testament to the talent and commitment of the Glasgow Film Festival team to making this one of the country’s foremost film festivals and Scotland as the perfect stage for major events.”
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.glasgowfilm.org/festival, by calling the Festival Box Office on 0141 332 6535 or by popping into the Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street. You can also get involved right now via social media by following @glasgowfilmfest or joining in with the hashtag #GFF17.
As you can see, this is bound to be a whole heap of fun and about as unmissable as film festivals get. To be quite honest, it would take several more of these articles to do the whole thing justice, which is all the more reason to go and grab a slice of lights, camera, action Glasgow-style.