The full programme has been announced for Glasgow Film Festival 2017, which runs from 15-26 February. 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.
World, International and European Premieres
Glasgow Film Festival 2017 opens and closes with two exclusives, as it hosts the European premiere of John Butler’s Irish coming-of-age charmer Handsome Devil (15 February) and the hotly anticipated World Premiere of Mad To Be Normal (26 February), starring David Tennant as infamous Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing.
The festival will also showcase the World Premiere of Benny (22 Feb), the story of local hero Benny Lynch, widely considered the greatest boxer Scotland has ever produced. Fusing archive footage, animation and interviews with contemporary boxing stars, the film charts the rise and tragic fall of the Gorbals-born people’s champion.
More Glasgow sporting legends get the big screen treatment in the International Premiere of Celtic Soul (26 Feb), as Canadian actor-filmmaker Jay Baruchel (How To Train Your Dragon) embarks on an epic trip to Celtic F.C’s Parkhead to see his beloved Hoops in action.
Glasgow Film Festival audiences will also be the first to catch European premieres including: the charming road movie Folk Hero & Funny Guy (20 and 21 Feb) starring US indie favourites David Cross and Alex Karpovsky and Steven Ellison's (aka Flying Lotus) dark and twisted directorial debut Kuso (24 Feb), featuring exclusive new tracks from Aphex Twin and Thundercat.
Receiving their UK premieres at Glasgow Film Festival 2017 are Raoul Peck’s profoundly timely look at what it means to be black in America, I Am Not Your Negro (22 Feb); Aki Kaurismäki ’s dissection of the plight of Syrian refugees, The Other Side of Hope (21 and 22 Feb); Terrence Malick’s visually astonishing Voyage of Time: Life's Journey, narrated by Cate Blanchett; Cate Shortland’s (Lore) Berlin Syndrome (17 and 18 Feb), hot-on-the-heels of its upcoming Sundance world premiere; Werner Herzog’s eco thriller Salt and Fire (16 and 17 Feb) starring Michael Shannon; Tim Sutton’s uncompromising portrait of modern alienation inspired by the multiplex shootings in Aurora, Colorado Dark Night (18 and 19 Feb) and the no-holds-barred black comedy Catfight (18 and 22 Feb) starring Sandra Oh and Anne Heche as two University rivals whose forty-something reunion ends in a bloody brawl will all receive their UK premieres at this year’s festival.
First chance to see in Scotland
Lucky Glasgow Film Festival audiences will be the first in Scotland to see a host of buzz-worthy new movies with this year’s Gala screenings including Paul Verhoeven’s multi Golden Globe winner Elle starring Isabelle Huppert (19 and 20 Feb); Ben Wheatley returning with all guns blazing in the bruising shoot-em-up Free Fire (22 and 23 Feb); Olivier Assayas's elegant supernatural thriller Personal Shopper starring Kristen Stewart (18 & 19 Feb); François Ozon’s beautifully crafted black and white period drama Frantz (16 and 17 Feb); Sean Foley’s comic romp Mindhorn starring The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt (20 and 21 Feb) and Lone Scherfig’s bittersweet story of the creative brains behind Britain’s morale-boosting World War II propaganda, Their Finest (19 and 20 Feb) starring Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy.
Homegrown talent is also in the spotlight, with the first Scottish screenings of Edinburgh-based filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach’s atmospheric debut feature The Levelling (21 and 22 Feb), Mark Cousins’ heartfelt love letter to the Swedish capital Stockholm, My Love (25 Feb) and Terence Davies’ reflection on the life of Emily Dickinson, A Quiet Passion (23 Feb). Alongside these new premieres is the chance to celebrate one of the most joyous landmarks of Scottish film and theatre as John Byrne introduces a special 20 year anniversary screening of the big screen adaptation of The Slab Boys (26 Feb).
Filmed in the Scottish Highlands and featuring a cast of non-professional actors from Forres, the award-winning thriller Bodkin Ras (24 and 25 Feb) will get its Scottish premiere at the festival as will David Graham Scott’s hugely entertaining look at what happens when the vegan filmmaker develops an unlikely bond with an ageing hunter from the Caithness moors in End of the Game (20 and 21 Feb).
Film Talent Attending
A host of famous faces will be treading the GFF red carpet this year as Doctor Who and Broadchurch star David Tennant will attend Mad To Be Normal alongside director Robert Mullan; Co-writers and stars Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Simon Farnaby (Horrible Histories) attend Mindhorn with director Sean Foley, and director Ben Wheatley (High Rise) will introduce Free Fire with cast members Michael Smiley (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Jack Reynor (What Richard Did). Veteran director Terence Davies (Sunset Song) will also introduce the Scottish premiere of A Quiet Passion, actor Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side) will attend for Halfway, and acclaimed independent producer Christine Vachon (Carol) will attend an In Conversation event as part of the Industry Focus strand.
Canadian film talent will be present to introduce screenings in the True North strand including, writer-director Ashley McKenzie who makes her directorial debut with Werewolf, actress Macha Grenon (Boundaries) and animation director Ann Marie Fleming (Window Horses). The five female directors competing for the Audience Award will also be in town for the festival: Maysaloun Hamoud who took prizes for In Between at San Sebastian and Toronto film festivals; writer-director Rachel Lambert (In the Radiant City); documentary director Benthe Forrer (The Chocolate Case); BIFA-nominated writer-director Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) and writer-director Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha).
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.
On the film's 35th anniversary, wrap up warm and experience John Carpenter’s The Thing (23 Feb) on the Snow Factor’s real snow slope; celebrate 30 years of steamy Cajun noir classic The Big Easy (18 Feb) at the burgeoning new Barras Art and Design centre, with an introduction by top author Christopher Brookmyre and a post-screening live gig from Hoodou Bayou and come shake your hips at the one and only Dirty Dancing (16 Feb) at West End institution Òran Mór with a dance workshop and performance by award winning ballroom dancers Tibro Poc and Hilary Mouat.
The only award presented at Glasgow Film Festival returns for a third year and is chosen by the festival’s most important people – our audiences. Ten emerging filmmakers at the start of glittering careers compete for the prestigious award– sponsored by ScotRail – with eligible films including Alankrita Shrivastava’s story of personal and sexual liberation in modern India Lipstick Under My Burkha (24 and 25 Feb), Maysaloun Hamoud’s look at three modern Palestinian women sharing a flat in vibrant Tel Aviv In Between (24 and 25 Feb), Rachel Lambert’s brooding family drama In The Radiant City (19 and 20 Feb) and Thomas Q Napper’s British boxing drama Jawbone (25 and 26 Feb). Alankrita, Maysaloun and Rachel will all be in attendance at the festival to introduce their films to Glasgow audiences.
Sound and Vision
Audiences will be in indie heaven at the sold-out screening of Lost In France (21 Feb) at Sauchiehall Street’s O2 ABC with a live performance from Scottish superstars including Alex Kapranos, Stuart Braithwaite, RM Hubbert, Emma Pollock which will also be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK. Glasgow Film Festival will also get a second chance to see the film about cult label Chemikal Underground and the rise of Scotland’s ‘90s music scene Scotland's global with an extra screening at GFT on 22 February.
Sub Hub – the daytime cultural wing of Glasgow’s legendary Sub Club – host 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, plus there’s the UK premiere of Contemporary Color (18 and 19 Feb), a glorious celebration of the US high school culture of color guard routines – where flag spinning meets rhythmic gymnastics- featuring new musical commissions from David Byrne (Talking Heads), St Vincent, Ad-Rock and more.
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. A celebration of the great diversity of talent in Canada’s national cinema, the True North strand includes: Aletha Arnaquq-Baril’s controversial documentary study on the seal hunting ban and the detriment it brings to the Inuit community Angry Inuk (23 and 24 Feb); Boundaries (20 and 21 Feb), Québécois filmmaker Chloe Robichaud’s wry satire on the exploitation of natural resources; Phillipe Lesage’s nightmarish looks at the horrors of childhood stalking the mind of sensitive young Felix in The Demons (22 and 23 Feb) and a chance to step back in time and marvel at hipster Toronto in the 1950s with a rare screening of Sidney J Furie’s trailblazing A Cool Sound From Hell (25 Feb).
The hand-picked selection of the finest fear-stokers from around the globe is back to send shivers down GFF-goers spines. As previously announced, FrightFest packs 14 films into 3 days, including a special preview screening of The Ring director Gore Verbinski’s eagerly awaited new psychological thriller A Cure For Wellness (23 Feb) and powerful Australian true crime story Hounds of Love (25 Feb).
Stranger Than Fiction
A selection of urgent and unbelievable true stories, from the rawly political to the enduringly odd. Maria Kourkouta’s Spectres Are Haunting Europe (25 Feb) exposes the day-to-day reality of living in Idomeni Refugee Camp on the Greece / Macedonia border and Dutch journalist Teun van de Kueken investigates child slavery in the cocoa industry in The Chocolate Case (18 and 19 Feb). On the lighter side, The Lure (22 and 23 Feb) follows treasure hunters descending on the Rocky Mountains in a bid to solve cryptic clues and discover a fortune buried by an eccentric millionaire while The Lost City Of Cecil B. DeMille (23 and 25 Feb) is a film buff’s delight which follows Peter Brosnan on his obsessive quest to unearth the sets from the great silent director’s 1923 Biblical epic The Ten Commandments, believed to be buried in the Guadalupe Dunes.
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. Get a slice of real Australian life in the gritty Pawno (18 and 19 Feb), have your heart broken in Helsinki in the Finnish romance Love and Fury (17 and 18 Feb), take a hypnotic journey through faith in Morocco’s Mimosas (25 and 26 Feb) and experience a German take on Scottish author A L Kennedy’s dark comedy Original Bliss (19 and 21 Feb).
The much-loved Modern Families strand returns to keep discerning film fans aged one to 91 entertained. Highlights include the stop-motion animation gem My Life As A Courgette (17 and 18 Feb), adapted by Celine Sciama (Tomboy, Girlhood), a friendship between a lonely young boy and the giant ancient furry monster who lives in his building in the uplifting Hebrew drama Abulele (25 Feb) and a special anniversary screening of The Princess Bride (25 Feb) at Maryhill Burgh Halls with live sword-fighting and a fiendish treasure hunt (there will also be a ‘big kids only’ night time screening with licensed bar and even trickier treasure hunt). This year, the festival is even catering for four-legged film fans with a dog friendly screening of the new animated adventure Rock Dog (25 Feb), featuring Luke Wilson as the voice of a guitar-loving canine.
Retrospectives – Dangerous Dames and Mifune: The Last Samurai
Alongside all the hot new premieres, Glasgow Film Festival brings some classic gems back to the big screen. Dangerous Dames salutes the alluring femme fatales of film noir – from Lana Turner in the definitive version of The Postman Always Rings Twice (19 Feb) to Kathleen Turner’s unforgettably steamy debut in Body Heat (24 Feb). All Dangerous Dames screenings are free to attend, giving audiences the perfect excuse to reacquaint themselves with some women behaving (very) badly.
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 including Seven Samurai (21 Feb) and Stray Dog (17 Feb) and learn more about the man himself in the Scottish premiere of Mifune: The Last Samurai (16 and 24 Feb), narrated by Keanu Reeves.
The strand that brings the awe-inspiring and the downright strange to Glasgow Film Festival outdoes itself with the UK Premiere of John Waters’ Multiple Maniacs (16 Feb). This uncut version of his second feature, filmed in 1970, has never been seen in UK cinemas – until now. Restored to all its depraved, boundary-testing glory, this grotesque cavalcade of perversions stars all of Waters favourites, including Divine, Edith Massey and Mink Stole. Also returning to cinemas is a brand new 4k restoration of iconic zombie flick Night Of The Living Dead (16 and 17 Feb) and a late-night 30th anniversary screening of Predator (17 Feb), plus Scottish premieres of future cult classics including martial arts epic Headshot (18 and 20 Feb) and Original Copy (26 Feb), a melancholic look at the dying art of the hand-painted Indian cinema poster.
Crossing The Line
A selection of experimental cinema that pushes the boundaries of conventional film form and interrogates the meaning behind moving images.
Crossing The Line will unveil the world premiere of the new film from Kate Davis, commissioned through Glasgow Film Festival’s annual Margaret Tait Award (20 Feb). The Glue Factory will host a special screening of the influential sci-fi film La Jetée (19 Feb), heralded as the inspiration behind Hollywood blockbusters including The Terminator and 12 Monkeys, with live narration by David McKechnie and a score from sound artists Tim Shaw and Sebastian Piquemal. The short film screens as a double bill alongside an interactive sonic response to David Lynch’s Factory Photographs from HEXA (Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and composer Lawrence English).
Returning for its second year, Industry Focus (22 – 24 February) features events including a producing masterclass with Christine Vachon, 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 with BBC Head of Film Joe Oppenheimer, Film4 Head of Production Tracey Josephs, Senior Production and Development Executive for the BFI's Film Fund Lizzie Francke and Director, Screen at Creative Scotland Natalie Usher, plus numerous networking opportunities and workshops. An unmissable event for creators, producers and grassroots filmmakers. Passes cost £50 with a range of discounts available. To purchase passes visit glasgowfilm.org/festival.
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 Breslin and Paul Wilson will deconstruct what makes a perfect film soundtrack, Kahleen Crawford and Brian Coffey reveal 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.
Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director said:
"I am thrilled that the 2017 festival is bringing so many UK premieres to Glasgow audiences. The latest Aki Kaurismäki heartbreaker The Other Side Of Hope and Cate Shortland’s keenly awaited Berlin Syndrome head straight from Berlin to Glasgow. Other key UK premieres range from Raoul Peck’s utterly brilliant documentary I Am Not Your Negro to the screen version of A.L. Kennedy's Original Bliss and more than 60 others. I’m especially pleased about the ten films we have competing for the Audience Award which is sponsored by ScotRail. The line-up stretches from Hope Dickson Leach’s hugely impressive debut feature The Levelling to the brilliantly entertaining documentary The Chocolate Case, from brooding small-town drama In The Radiant City to Halfway from Scottish producer Jonny Paterson. The programme is bursting with must see new movies.”
Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director said:
“I love the delight that audiences take from our special events. There are some absolutely brilliant experiences this year and I can’t wait to feel the blood chill and the audience shiver as we head to Snow Factor for The Thing or revel in Cajun culture when The Big Easy screens at the Barras Art and Design. I am also thrilled at the way the Modern Families strand has grown within the Festival and this year’s highlights include the outstanding animated features My Life As A Courgette and Rock Dog with Eddie Izzard providing the voice of a Tibetan Mastiff who dreams of pop stardom and our 30th anniversary screening of the swashbuckling The Princess Bride. The 2017 festival is going to be so much fun.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said:
“The organisers of the Glasgow Film Festival have put together a jam-packed and world-class programme, reinforcing our position as a leading cinema city. I am particularly excited to see so many films which celebrate Glasgow and Glaswegians in this year’s line-up. It’s apparent from the eclectic and inventive programming that the Festival loves its audience. And audiences love the Festival in return, travelling from across the UK to attend, resulting in a substantial boost to the city’s economy.”
Jennifer Armitage, Screen Officer at Creative Scotland said:
“Once again, Glasgow Film Festival has curated an outstanding programme that celebrates the entire spectrum of cinema. Documentaries sit alongside noir classics, and international auteurs share a platform with emerging local filmmakers. During the festival thousands of people will come together to share unheard stories and find new perspectives on well known films. Glasgow Film Festival continues to be accessible and inclusive for audiences and, with the return of its Industry Focus, is also establishing itself as a key date for film industry professionals."
Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said:
“As one of the UK’s premier film festivals, we is proud to be supporting the Glasgow Film Festival. Once again there is a fantastic lineup of films that will delight and entertain audiences across the 12 days. The caliber of films premiering at the festival is testament to the talent and commitment of the Glasgow Film Festival team to making this one of the country’s foremost film festivals and Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”
Tickets go on sale to Glasgow Film Festival Members at noon on Thursday 19th January and on general sale at 10am on Monday 23rd January.
Tickets are available online at glasgowfilm.org/festival, by calling the Festival Box Office on 0141 332 6535 or in person at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street.
The programme will go live online at 19.15 on Wednesday 18 January at glasgowfilm.org/festival.