Glasgow Film Festival 2020 Opening and Closing Galas announced

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) 2020 has announced its Opening and Closing Gala films.

The 16th annual festival will open on 26 February with the UK premiere of Proxima – the latest drama from award-winning Alice Winocour, director of Augustine and DisorderEva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful) gives one of her most powerful performances in a heartfelt portrait of a woman torn between professional ambition and the demands of motherhood.

Proxima

Astronaut Sarah Loreau (Green) is undertaking the gruelling mental and physical training required for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station. She is the only mother in a diverse international crew. Her colleagues, including American NASA veteran Mike (Matt Dillon), are focused on the job and seemingly untroubled by their family responsibilities.

Separated from her husband, Sarah tends to the needs of her sensitive seven-year-old daughter, Stella (Zelie Boulant-Lemesle), who is struggling with the long separation that lies ahead. The pressures intensify as Sarah finds herself facing some impossible choices. Meticulously observed, Proxima offers a tender portrait of a mother-daughter relationship against a backdrop of unimaginable scope.

How to Build a Girl

We are thrilled to conclude the 2020 Glasgow Film Festival with the UK premiere of How to Build a Girl on Sunday 8 March. The big screen version of Caitlin Moran’s cherished, semi-autobiographical bestseller is a hilarious, inspirational coming-of-age comedy that is set to be the homegrown crowd-pleaser of the year.

Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) shines as Johanna Morrigan, a 16-year-old extrovert from the outskirts of Wolverhampton with raging hormones, an unstoppable imagination and gigantic dreams. Her bedroom is adorned with posters of her heroes such as Jo March, Cleopatra, Sylvia Plath and others, who come to life and provide the closest thing to friendship that she has. Yearning to make a name for herself, she answers an ad seeking “hip young gunslinger” journalists for a cool London music magazine.

She is accepted, reinvents herself as Queen of Mean rock critic Dolly Wilde and heads to the big city. But as her critical savagery brings her greater and greater success, the lines between Johanna Morrigan and Dolly Wilde begin to haze. She has certainly figured out how to build a girl but is this the girl that she wanted to be?

Penned by Moran with her trademark humour, Coky Giedroyc (Stella Does Tricks, Harlots) directs a wise and witty delight with a terrific cast that includes Paddy Considine, Alfie Allen, Chris O’Dowd, Emma Thompson, Sarah Solemani, Frank Dilane, Laurie Kynaston and Arinze Kene plus fantastical cameos from Sharon Horgan, Lily Allen, Jameela Jamil, Lucy Punch, Alexei Sayle, Michael Sheen, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc and Gemma Arterton.

"It is a privilege to be the opening film for the Festival"

"I am incredibly excited that Proxima will have its UK premiere at this year's Glasgow Film Festival. It is a privilege to be the opening film for the Festival especially as it will be the first time in the festival's history that the opening and closing films are directed by women."

Alice Winocour
Director and Writer of Proxima

Buy tickets

Tickets for Opening and Closing Galas go on sale at 12pm on Monday 13 January from glasgowfilm.org/festival and GFT Box Office (0141 332 6535).

The full programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2020 will be announced on 29 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 Screen Scotland, the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery, Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland.

Caitlin Moran, writer of How to Build a Girl, said:

“It is the greatest thrill of my life to finally unleash Beanie Feldstein as the noble, swashbuckling Sex Pirate Johanna Morrigan at the Glasgow Film Festival - and to have the honour of closing this joyous cinematic explosion means the whole audience can come straight to the nearest pub with me, and celebrate the hotness of Alfie Allen as John Kite. Unless Glasgow’s gone off that kind of thing since last time I was there. Which I doubt."

Allan Hunter, Co-Director Glasgow Film Festival, said:

“We are delighted to be opening and closing the 2020 Glasgow Film Festival with work from hugely talented female directors. What better way to start that celebration than opening the Festival with the UK premiere of Proxima, the latest film from writer/director Alice Winocour. Produced by Isabelle Madelaine and Emilie Tisné, it features a career-best performance from Eva Green as an astronaut undertaking the gruelling preparations for a year-long mission aboard the International Space Station. The growing tensions between her professional ambitions and personal responsibilities will strike an emotional chord with every parent.”

Allison Gardner, Co-Director Glasgow Film Festival, said:

“This year we close the festival on International Women’s Day and we are delighted to host the UK Premiere of How To Build A Girl, based on Caitlin Moran’s cherished, semi-autobiographical bestseller. The film is a hilarious and moving tale of Wolverhampton teenager, Johanna, brilliantly played by Beanie Feldstein, making her way in the world. Along the way she takes life lessons from her heroes, Sigmund Freud, Sylvia Plath, Julie Andrews and David Bowie, to try to navigate the unfairness of the world. I loved every minute of it.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“This first announcement for Glasgow Film Festival 2020 is just a taster for what is sure to be another great programme. I am delighted to see women at the fore, bookending this fantastic annual celebration of cinema and once again showcasing Scotland as the perfect stage for inclusive and world-class events.”

Notes to editors

The 16th annual Glasgow Film Festival will run from 26 February to 8 March 2020. Previous GFF guests include Richard Gere, Alan Rickman, Joss Whedon, Terry Gilliam, John C Reilly, Saoirse Ronan, Richard Dreyfuss, Karen Gillan, Jessie Buckley, Sir Michael Palin, Jonathan Glazer, Richard Johnson, Gemma Arterton, Ben Wheatley, David Tennant, Cliff Curtis, David Robert Mitchell, Carol Morley, Gemma Jones, Jason Priestley, Neil Jordan, agnés b., Armando Iannucci, Jack O’Connell, Dexter Fletcher, Peter Mullan, George Sluizier, Peter Capaldi, Ty West, Richard Ayoade, David Dastmalchian, Eli Roth and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
www.glasgowfilm.org/festival

Glasgow Film Festival Partners

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success.

The BFI is the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. It is a distributor of National Lottery funding and a cultural charity that:

  • Curates and presents the greatest international public programme of world cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online
  • Cares for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world
  • Actively seeks out and supports the next generation of filmmakers
  • Works with Government and industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

Glasgow Life is an independent charity which provides culture, leisure and community learning services to citizens and visitors to the city on behalf of Glasgow City Council. In 2018/19, nearly 19 million attendances were recorded at Glasgow Life managed venues, events and festivals – up more than one third since 2007.

Glasgow Life helped to deliver the 2014 Commonwealth Games; the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships; the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships; the 2017 Total BWF World Badminton Championships; the inaugural 2018 European Championships – a major multi-sport event in partnership with Berlin – the 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships and the 2019 LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships.  

Looking ahead, Glasgow Life is supporting delivery of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (GI) 2020; Glasgow Indoor Athletics Grand Prix 2020; the World Men’s Curling Championships 2020; four matches as part of UEFA’s EURO 2020 football championships and the first ever UCI World Cycling Championships 2023.

EventScotland is the national events agency. EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.