The city’s 13th annual celebration of cinema – now one of the largest film festivals in the UK – will feature over 310 separate events and screenings, showcasing over 180 films including 9 World and International premieres, 3 European premieres, 65 UK premieres and 67 Scottish premieres. Running from 15 – 26 February 2017.
Films of note:
- I Am Not Your Negro (Weds 22nd Feb) – Receiving its UK premiere will be Raoul Peck’s Oscar nominated, profoundly timely look at what it means to be black in America – In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. Book tickets.
- Free Fire (Weds 22nd / Thurs 23rd Feb) Ben Wheatley’s bruising shoot-em-up starring Babou Ceesay (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Damilola, Our Loved Boy) which will be shown for the first time in Scotland. The film got its world premiere at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival. Book tickets.
- Halfway (Thurs 23rd / Friday 24th) – The debut feature from Ben Caird offers some pointed reflections on America’s broken justice system. Byron Smith (Quinton Aaron from Oscar-winner The Blind Side) is one of the lucky ones. On release from prison he is offered a job working on a struggling family farm in Wisconsin. He is the only black man in a white heartland. As he struggles to adjust to a world far beyond his comfort zone and a family riven with problems, outsider Byron is faced with stark choices if he is to remain on the straight and narrow. An involving, smartly observed drama that puts a human face to a national crisis. Producer Jonny Paterson and actor Quinton Aaron will be in attendance for both screenings. Book tickets.
- Check It (Fri 24th Feb) – Fed up with being the victims of hate crimes, a group of gay and trans teens form a gang in Washington DC. Calling themselves ‘Check It’, they seem unlikely gang members at first glance. Some of the boys wear lipstick and carry handbags but they also carry knives and brass knuckles. Led by an ex-convict named Mo, this one-time group of victims have not only turned the tables on anyone trying to hurt them but are also trying to break free from the cycle of poverty and violence they grew up in. Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer’s documentary is a gritty and intimate portrait of marginalisation and gang violence in the United States. Check It is directed by Directors Dana Flor & Toby Oppenheimer. Book tickets.
- The Transfiguration (Fri 24th Feb) – A fiercely independent first feature, Michael O’Shea’s The Transfiguration took Cannes 2016 by storm. To escape his depressing life, orphaned African-American teen Milo has drenched himself in vampire lore, gleaned from horror classics including Nosferatu, Martin, Let the Right One In, The Lost Boys and Near Dark, and sublimated his morbid fantasies of sucking the blood of strangers. When he befriends the equally troubled Sophie, a clear course of action presents itself, providing liberation and tragic redemption. A nihilistic meditation on millennial angst and the defence mechanisms needed to protect the vulnerable spirit. Book tickets.
Other strands include:
- Local Heroes – which features homegrown talent.
- Special Events and Pop-Up Cinema – Glasgow Film Festival is renowned for its atmospheric one-of-a-kind events, which annually transform some of the city’s best-loved venues into unforgettable pop-up cinemas.
- Family-fun screenings.
- The Audience Award – Ten emerging filmmakers at the start of glittering careers compete for the only award presented at Glasgow Film Festival, chosen by the festival’s audiences.
- Sound and Vision & Sub Hub – Live performances and classic / cult music related films including a special screening of Raving Iran (19 Feb), an exhilarating look at DJs Anoosh and Arash continually risking their freedom to play their beloved dance tunes in Tehran, where Western music is banned.
- True North: New Canadian Cinema – In the year that Canada celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, Glasgow Film Festival focuses on exciting new and re-discovered voices in Canadian cinema, sponsored by Telefilm.
- FrightFest – The hand-picked selection of the finest fear-stokers from around the globe is back to send shivers down GFF-goers spines. FrightFest packs 14 films into 3 days.
- Stranger Than Fiction – A selection of urgent and unbelieveable true stories, from the rawly political to the enduringly odd.
- Window On The World – 38 countries are represented at this year’s festival, offering audiences a chance to explore a wonderful world of cinema that rarely makes it to UK cinema screens.
- Modern Families – The much-loved Modern Families strand returns to keep discerning film fans aged one to 91 entertained.
- Retrospectives – Alongside all the hot new premieres, Glasgow Film Festival brings some classic gems back to the big screen | One of the great figures in world cinema, Toshiro Mifune is one of the few Japanese actors to become a truly international movie star. Audiences can relive some of his collaborations with Akira Kurosawa
- Dangerous Dames – salutes the alluring femme fatales of film noir. All Dangerous Dames screenings are free to attend, giving audiences the perfect excuse to reacquaint themselves with some women behaving (very) badly.
- Nerdvana – The strand that brings the awe-inspiring and the downright strange to Glasgow Film Festival.
- Crossing The Line – A selection of experimental cinema that pushes the boundaries of conventional film form and interrogates the meaning behind moving images.
- Industry Focus – Returning for its second year, Industry Focus (22 – 24 February) features events including a producing masterclass, Finance Forum sessions on international co-production and opportunities for women and an Independent Producers Scotland conversation on the future of the Scottish film industry. Plus numerous networking opportunities and workshops.
- Behind The Scenes – Behind The Scenes offers an insight into the world of film, appealing to anyone with an interest in how movies are made – from emerging filmmakers to industry veterans and curious cinephiles. Sound designers Ronan Breslinand Paul Wilson will deconstruct what makes a perfect film soundtrack, Kahleen Crawford and Brian Coffeyreveal the secret to casting choices, stunt co-ordinator Abbi Collins (fresh from working on Star Wars: Episode VIII) will discuss the evolution of the stunt, from concept through to execution and Dan Frye (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Game of Thrones) will lead an incredible (and probably very messy) prosthetics workshop. All Behind The Scenes events are completely free to attend.
The 2017 Glasgow Film Festival runs from 15 – 26 February.
To book your tickets:
- Online – glasgowfilm.org/festival | Festival Box Office – 0141 332 6535 | In person – Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street.
- Join the conversation on social media with #GFF17 or follow @glasgowfilmfest.