Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) is taking its premieres nationwide for 2021, with a partnership of 22 cinemas around the UK. Running from 24 February to 7 March, GFF’s 17th edition will link up with cinemas across the four nations, in order to welcome audience members who are not able to travel to Glasgow but still wish to experience their favourite festival on the big screen. In addition to these venues and Glasgow Film Theatre – GFF’s home in the city – festival films will screen on our new online platform Glasgow Film At Home, to safely provide the GFF experience for film fans all across the country.
For the first time, audiences will be able to take part in Glasgow Film Festival in towns and cities nationwide. From An Lanntair in Stornoway, to Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast, and three cinemas across London – BFI Southbank, Barbican and Curzon Soho – GFF premieres will be screening in independent cinemas all around the UK. Further partner cinemas will have exclusive screenings in: Aberdeen, Bo’Ness, Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Ipswich, Inverness, Keswick, Leicester, Manchester, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield, and Stirling.
Each partner cinema will show the Opening and Closing films of the festival, as well as a selection of cinema-only screenings from the festival programme, to be announced in January.
The UK premiere of Altitude’s Minari, which will open GFF on Wednesday 24 February. Minari is an award-winning autobiographical drama from director and screenwriter Lee Isaac Chung, which won the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and US Dramatic Audience Award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Starring Steven Yeun, best known for playing Glen in The Walking Dead, and his chilling performance in Burning, Minari follows a Korean-American family who move from the big city to a rural Arkansas farm in search of the American Dream. Jacob (Yeun) plans to grow Korean vegetables to sell to other immigrant families.
His wife Monica (Yeri Han) is wary of his ambitions, and their two children, five-year-old son David (Alan Kim) and daughter Anne (Noel Kate Cho) are restless in the rural setting. The whole dynamic changes with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed grandmother from South Korea, Yuh-Jung Youn. Underneath the instability and challenges, Minari, named after a vegetable otherwise known as Korean Watercress or Chinese Celery, shows the undeniable resilience of a family and what really makes a home.
GFF will close on Sunday 7 March with Curzon’s Spring Blossom, the remarkably assured debut feature from writer, director and actress Suzanne Lindon. Spring Blossom is an elegant tale of a bored Parisian student (Lindon), tired of her routine, who meets an older actor, Raphaël (Arnaud Valois), outside the theatre she passes each day. Curiosity gradually turns to infatuation in a tale of first love that unfolds in the streets and cafes of a sun-kissed Monmartre. Lindon expertly captures the feelings of a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood, finding and losing herself, all set against a beautiful Parisian backdrop.
The full programme for GFF will be announced on Thursday 14 January. Tickets for the programme, including the Opening and Closing films, will go on sale on Monday 18 January. Find more information at www.glasgowfilm.org/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’s Events Directorate.
Suzanne Lindon, actor, director and writer of Spring Blossom, said: "When I learned that the Glasgow Film Festival had chosen Spring Blossom to be the closing film, I felt very honoured and I realised how lucky I was. Having a passion and being able to live it and to share it with the world is very precious and extremely rare. Today, I realise that this is what happens to me, and I never thought that I would be able to live this experience so young, at only 20.
"It gives me hope, strength and it intensifies my desire to make films, to play and to feel free to express myself through cinema. I want to thank Allison Gardner and Allan Hunter for having selected Spring Blossom and for allowing it to travel. It is a great honour and the continuity of an extraordinary adventure for me, that of seeing my biggest dream come true."
Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film CEO and Co-Director of Glasgow Film Festival, said: “Working in partnership with cinemas all around the UK means we can bring fantastic films and premieres to audiences across the four nations and still give that big screen experience that makes cinema so exciting.
"We are delighted to be opening the 17th Glasgow film Festival with Minari, a heart-warming, affecting portrait of a family set against the beautiful Arkansas countryside. Steven Yeun gives a powerful portrayal in Lee Isaac Chung’s autobiographical drama, with scene-stealing performances from Yuh-Jung Youn and Alan Kim as a grandmother and grandson at cultural odds.”
Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said: “Spring Blossom is a dream of a film. Suzanne Lindon’s autobiographical debut feature is a tale of first love that unfolds on the streets of Montmartre. A major new talent is revealed in a film that captures the promise of life when the sun is shining, the heart is full and the future is filled with possibilities. It sets a perfect mood for the Festival’s Closing Gala and for a time when we all hope to be looking towards brighter days.“
Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland, said: "Glasgow audiences have always known that Glasgow Film Festival is a great place to discover and enjoy brilliant cinema from around the world, and this year is no exception. This year's programme is one of the strongest yet, and it's brilliant that audiences across the length and breadth of the UK will now be able to share in its magic."
Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many cinemas participating to ensure audiences across the UK benefit from the amazing programme Glasgow Film Festival has put together. We’re delighted that, through National Lottery support for the festival, as well as Culture Recovery Fund support for many of the cinemas, we’re able to help bring these delights to film lovers wherever they are.”
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow Film Festival has an international reputation for attracting exceptional films and talent and I am delighted that such a popular part of Glasgow’s events calendar will be seen across the UK in some of our best loved independent venues. It is especially important for our creative industries that the people who have worked so hard, and often for so long, know that their films can and will be seen by festival audiences. I hope as many people as possible will be able to watch screenings in cinemas or be part of Glasgow Film Festival from home and appreciate why it is loved and appreciated so much around the world.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow Film Festival’s partnership with 22 cinemas will ensure their loyal audience across the country are still able be part of the festival and enjoy the wonderful opening and closing films no matter where they may be in the country.
"Events are a force for good and vital part of the social fabric of our society. Their innovative thinking to the delivery of the 17th edition of the festival will ensure GFF continues to be a fantastic celebration of cinema for all to enjoy and a wonderful showcase of the creativity of Scotland’s events industry.”
Full list of partner cinemas
- Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen
- Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast
- The Hippodrome, Bo’Ness
- Watershed, Bristol
- Chapter, Cardiff
- Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee
- Filmhouse, Edinburgh
- Keswick Film Festival, Keswick
- Eden Court, Inverness
- Ipswich Film Theatre, Ipswich
- Phoenix, Leicester
- BFI Southbank, London
- Barbican, London
- Curzon Soho, London
- Home, Manchester
- Broadway, Nottingham
- Northampton Filmhouse, Northampton
- Forum Cinema Hexam, Northumberland
- Curzon, Oxford
- Showroom Workstation, Sheffield
- MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling
- An Lanntair, Stornoway
About Glasgow Film
Glasgow Film is an educational charity which runs Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), Scotland’s original independent arthouse cinema and the home of film in Glasgow; Glasgow Film Festival (GFF), one of the UK’s leading public celebrations of cinema; and Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF), a fast-growing international three-day festival co-curated by teenage film-lovers in the city. Glasgow Film is also the lead organisation for Film Hub Scotland, a membership organisation that supports more than 200 exhibitors across the country.
As one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas, GFT plays an important part in the cultural life of Glasgow, screening a wide variety of international cinema, classic films and documentaries, alongside locally made work and material aimed at a range of community groups. GFT also has a strong education programme of outreach, courses and school screenings.
GFT was awarded Accessibility Champion at the SCoD Star Awards 2016 and became the first UK cinema to scoop the Autism Friendly Award 2017. GFF was named Outstanding Festival of the Year at The Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2019. Glasgow Film Theatre is a charity registered in Scotland. No. SC005932. www.glasgowfilm.org