Opening and Closing Galas announced for GFF19

The 15th annual Glasgow Film Festival will open on 20 February with the UK premiere of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s.

GFF19 will close on 3 March with UK premiere of Brian Welsh’s Beats, the film adaptation of Scottish playwright Kieran Hurley’s hit stage show about ‘90s rave culture, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.

The festival will open on 20 February with the UK premiere of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s. The coming-of-age comedy-drama written and directed by Hill, stars Sunny Suljic (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird) and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), and follows a 13-year-old boy who begins to hang out with an older group of skateboarders while living in 1990s Los Angeles.

The soundtrack features an original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross alongside original ‘90s hip-hop.

"I am so honoured to have Mid90s screen as the opening night film at Glasgow International Film Festival. There is such an incredibly rich and cool art, music, design and film community in Glasgow, which has always embraced and championed artists. This is the first time the film is being shared with audiences in the UK and it’s a privilege to share our film. Thank you." Jonah Hill

We are honoured and delighted to be opening our 15th edition with Jonah Hill’s powerful and moving directorial debut. The film is a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that feels authentic, and the young actors give naturalistic and heartfelt performances that stay with you. The Opening Gala sets the ball rolling on 12 days of fantastic film fun and we couldn’t ask for a better start to GFF19.” Allison Gardner, Co-director of Glasgow Film Festival

GFF19 will step back into the ‘90s again when it closes on Sunday 3 March with the UK premiere of the big screen adaptation of Scottish playwright Kieran Hurley’s hit stage show Beats. Set in 1994, just as the Criminal Justice Bill attempted to place restrictions on Scotland’s rave culture and the free party movement, Beats is a universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth.

Beats is directed by Brian Welsh (Black Mirror), executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, and stars young Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduates, Cristian Ortega and Lorn Macdonald in their feature film debuts. The film features a soundtrack curated by Scottish club legend, JD Twitch (Optimo).

“We’re thrilled and honoured to be part of the Glasgow Film Festival this year, as the film was largely shot in Glasgow it feels like we are coming home. Many thanks to the programmers for having us and we look forward to being there in March.” Brian Welsh

“We are thrilled to close the festival with the UK premiere of the hotly anticipated screen version of Kieran Hurley’s Beats. It is a wildly entertaining, desperately poignant blast of rebellion, romance and bittersweet friendship that beautifully captures the end of an era in 1990s Scotland. Showcasing a wealth of talent on both sides of the camera, it is the perfect closing night film.” Allan Hunter, Co-director of Glasgow Film Festival

More information

Tickets for Opening and Closing Galas go on sale at 10am on Wednesday 9 January at glasgowfilm.org/festival.

Mid90s will be released in the UK on 12 April and Beats will be released in the UK in May.

The 15th Glasgow Film Festival will run from 20 February to 3 March and the full programme will be announced on 23 January. Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) is one of the leading film festivals in the UK and run by Glasgow Film, a charity which also runs Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT). GFF is made possible by support from Glasgow Life, Screen Scotland, the British Film Institute (using funds from The National Lottery) and Event Scotland.