Glasgow Short Film Festival 2020 announces opening gala and special event

Film festivals are usually very strict about phones being turned off during screenings. However, Glasgow Short Film Festival, last year voted one of MovieMaker’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, has always done things differently.

GSFF today announced its 2020 opening event, the Scottish premiere of live expanded cinema performance My First Film by Zia Anger, which opens with the filmmaker, seated amongst the audience, requesting via onscreen text that phones should be kept on.

Anger is probably best known as a music video director, although her work with indie music doyennes like Jenny Hval and Angel Olsen blurs the lines of performance, video art and filmmaking, often while revealing its own artifice.

My First Film, partly the story of Anger’s first, “abandoned” feature film, mirrors the fragmented, multi-app experience of being connected to the world in the modern age – Anger creates the screening live for the audience, narrating and annotating via live typing, providing atmospheric music through pop-up YouTube windows and, crucially, sending fragments of the story straight to the audience’s own devices.

It’s partly film, partly theatre experience, partly confessional, partly meditation on failure, partly live essay on the place of the female filmmaker and wholly unique, and GSFF is delighted to offer audiences a rare chance to experience this hugely-acclaimed event, live in Glasgow.

GSFF programmes are well known for screenings that play with the relationship between music and film. This year’s special Saturday night live event, Felix In Wonderland, directed by respected short film artist Marie Losier, is an innovative look at the tingling creativity of cult electronic musician Felix Kubin, and its UK premiere at GSFF will be followed by a very rare live gig by Kubin himself, supported by Glasgow’s own R&B-disco-house-dreampop-infused electronica outfit Babe.

Losier inscribes her own aesthetic into every available cinematic aspect as she captures Kubin’s public and private worlds, resulting in a synchronous celebration of sound, film, and the visionary few who sculpt their potential. Experience fifty minutes inside a joyous audiovisual collaboration, featuring the challenge of feeding a microphone to a Slovakian dog, bathtub audio experiments and a trumpet-playing ventriloquist’s dummy.

This UK Premiere screening and live show has been made possible thanks to a Franco-German collaboration between the Alliance française de Glasgow and the Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

Notes to editors

Glasgow Short Film Festival, the largest competitive short film festival in Scotland, champions new film talent by providing an annual showcase and meeting point for new and established Scottish and international filmmakers, industry delegates and the local audience. Our programme celebrates diverse forms of cinematic expression, and foregrounds disruptive, ground-breaking work that transgresses the boundaries of conventional narrative film. In 2019 the festival reconstituted as an independent Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), charity number SC049556. The 13th edition of the festival will run 18-22 March 2020, and the full programme will be announced on 13 February 2020.

Glasgow Short Film Festival is funded by Screen Scotland, 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.