The 2019 Glasgow Film Festival will begin on Wednesday 20 February. With an outstanding programme of premieres, events and imaginative retrospectives, Screen Scotland are thrilled to be supporting the festival and the important role it plays in engaging audiences and celebrating cinema-going and film culture in Scotland.
We're extremely excited to see a wide range of our supported projects feature in the programme. From the exhilarating, immersive documentary, Aquarela, to the dazzling rag-to-riches story of ballet superstar, Carlos Acosta - Yuli, to the UK Premiere of the hotly anticipated Beats by Brian Welsh.
Read on to find out more about the wealth of Scottish and Scotland-based talent that will be on show at Glasgow Film Festival.
The Vanishing - UK Premiere - Thursday 21 February, 8.30pm, GFT 1
Kristoffer Nyholm is a past master of stylish suspense, having directed TV series The Killing and Taboo. Now, he turns his talent to the eerie true events known as the Flannan Isle mystery. Thomas (Peter Mullan), James (Gerard Butler) and Donald (Connor Swindells) are three lighthouse keepers who arrive on an uninhabited island 20 miles off the Scottish coast. It is the start of a six-week shift that is anything but routine as they make a discovery that provokes greed, fear, paranoia and a vicious fight for survival. What lies at the heart of the mystery could be the root of all evil.
Additional screening on Friday 22 February. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/the-vanishing-nc-15
Only You - Scottish Premiere - Friday 22 February, 5.30pm, GFT 1
Spending Hogmanay in Glasgow is the beginning of a beautiful romance for office worker Elena (Laia Costa) and PhD student Jake (Josh O’Connor). A chance encounter and an instant attraction soon starts to feel like something more meaningful. Is this the real deal? A relationship develops in which the modest age gap seems irrelevant. They are soon making plans to settle down together and start a family but this is easier said than done when biology seems set against them and IVF proves so gruelling. A heartfelt tale of modern love that rests on the cracking chemistry between two charismatic stars.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/shows/only-you-nc-15.
Tell It to the Bees - Scottish Premiere - Friday 22 February, 8.30pm, GFT 1
The Scotland of 1952 is no place for the faint-hearted. When mill worker Lydia (Holliday Grainger) is abandoned by her philandering husband, she struggles to pay the rent and feed herself and son Charlie (Gregor Selkirk). Local doctor Jean (Anna Paquin) is one of the few to help and a friendship develops that blossoms into a romance that will scandalise the town. Director Annabel Jankel has crafted a sensitive adaptation of the Fiona Shaw novel that captures oppressive small town life and the way love has the power to challenge narrow minds and deep-rooted prejudices.
Additional screening on Saturday 23 February. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/tell-it-to-the-bees-nc-15
Yuli - UK Premiere - Saturday 23 February, 5.15pm, GFT 1
The dazzling, rags-to-riches life of ballet superstar Carlos Acosta is beautifully captured by director Icíar Bollaín and writer Paul Laverty in this life-affirming adaptation of his memoir No Way Home. In modern Cuba, Acosta is rehearsing a show dramatising his life in dance. That’s the prompt to recall a childhood where the irrepressible young Carlos would rather have been playing football than attending the Cuban School of Ballet. The struggles to overcome poverty and make his family proud lie at the heart of an inspirational story as vibrant and entrancing as the Cuban locations.
Additional screening on Tuesday 26 February. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/yuli-nc-15
Wild Rose - Scottish Premiere with Post-Screening Gig - Thursday 28 February, Cineworld Renfrew Street
If ever a film deserves the accolade crowd-pleasing then it is Wild Rose. A Glasgow story of a young woman’s determination to follow her dream, it has the rousing, heartmelting qualities of The Full Monty or Billy Elliot. Jessie Buckley lights up the screen as Rose-Lynn Harlan. Her impossible dream is to become a county music star in Nashville. Not so easy when you are a single mother of two and just out of prison. Buckley’s phenomenal singing is the icing on the cake of a big-hearted film that unfolds in some of the Glasgow music scene’s landmark locations.
All ticket holders have access to a post-screening gig, featuring a set from Jessie Buckley at Grand Ole Opry. More information: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/wild-rose-15.
Beats - UK Premiere - GFF Closing Gala, Sunday 3 March, 7.15pm, GFT 1, 2 and 3
It is 1994 and new legislation effectively outlaws raves or “public gatherings around amplified music characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. The party is well and truly over but not before mild-mannered teenager Johnno (Cristian Ortega) is encouraged to join his best mate Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) for one last big night out at an illegal rave.
More information: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/beats-nc-18
Aquarela - Scottish Premiere - Friday 22 February, 3pm, Cineworld Renfrew Street
Cinema transforms a basic element of life on earth into an exhilarating thrill ride in this astonishing, immersive documentary from Russian master Viktor Kossakovsky. Travelling from the frozen waters of Russia’s Lake Baikal to the mighty Angel Falls in Venezuela, he captures all the raw, glorious power of water and its impact on the planet. Icebergs groan and tumble, seas flick aside cars and signs of human existence in a mind-blowing fusion of sound and vision, in which incredible images are matched by a haunting soundtrack. An unmissable big screen experience. This Dolby Atmos screening at Cineworld is kindly made possible by Brewin Dolphin.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/aquarela-nc-12
Of Fish and Foe - Scottish Premiere - Sunday 24 February, 1pm, CCA Theatre
Fishing has been a vital part of Scottish life for centuries but the tensions between traditional ways and modern day environmentalists are acute. Of Fish and Foe follows brothers Kevin and John Pullar who are struggling to sustain the family business of net fishing for wild Atlantic salmon. Environmentalists are watching their every move, thwarting their attempts to make a living and ruthlessly protecting the seal population. The two groups are worlds apart and frustrations frequently boil over in a thought-provoking film that constantly shifts the balance of your sympathies.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/of-fish-and-foe-nc-12
Irene's Ghost - Scottish Premiere - Sunday 24 February, 1.30pm, CCA Glasgow
Iain Cunningham’s mum died when he was only three years old. He never had the opportunity to form a lasting memory of her, and as he’s grown he’s realised that many around him are weary of divulging exactly who she was and how she died. This film is Iain’s personal journey into his mother’s life, through the family he never really knew until now. A beautiful and sensitive film, which explores not only grief and loss, but also the incredible bond that binds families together. A powerful documentary that you will find hard to forget.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/irenes-ghost-nc-12
Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War - World Premiere - Sunday 24 February, 5.45pm, GFT 2
Harry Birrell was given his first cine-camera as a boy in 1928. He spent his life recording incidents great and small. Home movies of family events and fine romances now ache with fond nostalgia but Harry’s life was also filled with far away adventures. Matt Pinder’s beautifully composed, captivating documentary plunders the treasure trove of Harry’s 400 films and personal diaries to capture a vivid sense of wartime years spent in Bombay, the jungles of Burma and the mountains of Nepal. It’s one man’s cinematic vision of the 20th century and his own incredible journey through it. Narrated by Richard Madden.
Additional screening: Monday 25 February. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/harry-birrell-films-of-love-and-war-nc-12
Prophecy - International Premiere - Tuesday 26 February, 8.30pm, GFT 2
Intimate and revealing, Prophecy presents an unprecedented insight into the mind of acclaimed artist Peter Howson as he works on his latest masterpiece. Beginning with a blank canvas, follow Peter on a journey that showcases his dark sense of humour as well as his immense talent. Discover what inspires his work and the difficulties he has faced throughout his life that push his creative output and marvel at the monumental reveal of the finished painting. The end result is a wonderfully crafted, candid documentary that celebrates the genius of an artist at the top of his game.
Additional screening: Wednesday 27 February. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/prophecy-nc-15
Freedom Fields - Scottish Premiere - Tuesday 26 February, 8.30pm, CCA Glasgow
Football isn’t a matter of life and death, it’s much more important than that in Freedom Fields. Filmed over five years, Naziha Arebi’s documentary follows three friends and their dream of being allowed to play football in Libya. When the promise of the Arab Spring starts to fade, the women face public opposition and threats of violence. Playing football is an act of defiance and a test of the freedoms they hope might one day become a reality. An intimate, nuanced insight into a changing society revealed through the actions and aspirations of three resilient friends.
Additional screening: Thursday 28 February. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/freedom-fields-nc-12
Last Breath - Scottish Premiere - Thursday 28 February, CCA Theatre, 8.30pm
In 2012, diver Chris Lemons lay trapped under the North Sea. His umbilical cable was completely severed, leaving him without breathing gas or any connection to the dive bell. Alone in the dark waters without any means of communication, his chances of survival were slim. Docu-drama Last Breath recreates his story, placing the viewer at the heart of desperate attempts to reach him. Filled with emotional testimony, archive footage and fascinating technical detail, it is an edge-of-the-seat true story on a par with anything that James Cameron might have devised.
Additional screening: Friday 1 March. Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/last-breath-nc-12
Do No Harm (Eminent Monsters) - World Premiere - Sunday 3 March, 4pm, GFT
Do No Harm is an abiding principal of psychiatry. It is abandoned time after time in this shocking, utterly compelling exploration of the profession’s collusion with state sponsored torture over the past 70 years. Director Stephen Bennett untangles a web of secrecy, denial and complicity to explore the legacy of Scottish-born psychiatrist Dr Ewen Cameron and the experiments that helped devise systems of torture employed across the globe, from Northern Ireland to Guantanamo Bay. Experts, victims and families provide chapter and verse on fundamental violations of human rights.
Final Ascent - Scottish Premiere - Sunday 3 March, 1.15pm, GFT 1
Legendary mountaineer Hamish MacInnes is no stranger to a challenge. He has pitted himself against the elements and conquered the highest peaks. More recently, he fell ill, was declared a danger to himself and sectioned. Final Ascent follows his determination to regain his freedom, reclaim his past and reconnect with old friends like Michael Palin. Triggering lost memories has required him to watch his own documentaries, read his books and reconsider his achievements. The viewer shares every step of his remarkable journey in this gripping and poignant documentary.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/final-ascent-nc-12
Visitations - World Premiere - Sunday 24 February, 7pm, The Savings Bank
Transport yourself to the small isles for a night of visual experimentation and sonic escapism. Lost Map - an independent record label based on the Hebridean island of Eigg - are co-hosting an evening inspired by their Visitations project, where artists are left to their own devices in a remote bothy for a week. This event will showcase filmed footage by Slow Tree and an exclusive live set of the music made during their time on the island. The night will also feature performances from residency alumni Monoganon and Free Love.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/visitations-nc-18
Archie [Short Film] - World Premiere - Saturday 2 March, 2.30pm, CCA Theatre
Playing after Tito and the Birds, Ainslie Henderson’s stop motion animated delight, following a tenacious dog on an incredible journey.
Book tickets here: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/tito-and-the-birds-nc-8
Margaret Tait Award 2019
Between a Whisper and a Cry - World Premiere - Monday 25 February, 6.15pm, GFT 1
This screening is the world premiere of between a whisper and a cry, the 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award commission by Alberta Whittle. Whittle’s film seeks to challenge conditions of racialised abjection and find new methods for refusal. A chief linkage is the sonic cosmologies found in Kamau Brathwaite’s research on tidalectics, and Christina Sharpe’s work on The Weather. Sharpe positions The Weather as a lens to understand the inescapable conditions within the afterlife of slavery, while Brathwaite’s theories of tidalectics expose the performativity of sound, revealing memories of transoceanic life. The recipient of the 2019/20 Margaret Tait Award will be announced at the screening.
More about Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival is one of the leading UK film festivals. Glasgow Film Festival 2019 takes place Wednesday 20 February - Sunday 3 March.
GFF programme regularly features new, local and international film from all genres; mainstream crowd-pleasers to groundbreaking art-house experimentation; the return of well-loved classics alongside rare cult gems; with filmmaker guest appearances, interactive workshops and discussion panels to complete the mix!
To learn more and browse the full programme, check out the GFF website: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival