The full programme of Glasgow Film Festival 2019 has been announced. From 20 February to 3 March, the city’s 15th annual celebration of cinema will host 337 individual screenings, talks and events - showcasing 7 world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres from 54 countries.
Tickets for the full programme go on sale Thursday (24 January) for GFF members, and on general sale on Monday (28 January) at 10am.
Glasgow Film Festival is thrilled to be hosting the first big screen outings of seven new features. Many were made right here in Scotland and look set to follow in the success of last year’s world premiere closing gala, the smash-hit BAFTA-winning Scottish documentary Nae Pasaran. World premieres from home-grown talents include: BAFTA-winning director Matt Pinder’s new feature documentary Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War, which plunders the treasure trove archives of Scottish amateur filmmaker Harry Birrell to present one man’s view of the 20th century; debut feature director Marilyn Edmond’s Connect, an ambitious attempt to confront the issue of suicide amongst young men in Scotland, featuring a deeply affecting performance by Kevin Guthrie; Do No Harm is director Stephen Bennett’s compelling exploration of the legacy of Scottish-born psychiatrist Dr Ewen Cameron and the experiments that contributed to systems of modern-day torture across the globe; Mackintosh Redux is the painstakingly remastered new version of Murray Grigor’s 1969 film made to complement the Macintosh Centenary Exhibition, with a brand new score by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; and, Alberta Whittle, the recipient of the 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award will present the first ever screening of her newly-commissioned film between a whisper and a cry. Returning crowd favourite FrightFest will also offer up two spine-tingling world premieres, with Automata, a bold and original work from Scottish auteur Lawrie Brewster and ‘Downton Abbey meets The Evil Dead’ in Jack McHenry’s pitch-perfect Here Comes Hell!
International and European Premieres
Festival favourite Karen Gillan delivers another star turn in the international premiere of wrenching US drama All Creatures Here Below; director Andrew Peat returns to Scotland for the European premiere of Scotch - The Golden Dram, a handsomely crafted documentary charting the story of the Scottish whisky industry through its most famous distillers and ardent enthusiasts; The Science of Ghosts (from director Niall McCann whose Lost in France documentary had its premiere at GFF17) is an imaginative and humorous riff on the musical biopic featuring Irish singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley, whilst theatre director Simon Sharkey will introduce Run Free, the story of his working in a ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica,teaching young boys parkour and physical theatre over a period of four years for the National Theatre of Scotland, Manifesto Jamaica and the British Council.
GFF will host over 100 UK premieres, making Glasgow audiences the first in the country to see this wide selection of new films. UK Premiere highlights include: Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan in the eerie re-telling of the real-life Flannan Isle mystery, The Vanishing; Stephen Merchant’s solo feature film directorial debut, Fighting With My Family, a warm-hearted true story about wrestling and family bonds starring The Rock and Florence Pugh; Yuli, the dazzling, rags-to-riches life of ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, beautifully captured by director Icíar Bollaín and I, Daniel Blake writer Paul Laverty; Annabel Jankel’s Tell It To The Bees starring Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger as two young women falling in love and causing scandal in their 1950s Scottish small town; Glasgow director Robbie Fraser’s Final Ascent, about the life of legendary Scottish mountaineer Hamish MacInnes, featuring testimonies from Sir Michael Palin and Sir Chris Bonnington; Patrick Wang’s Altman-esque Midwest epic across two parts, A Bread Factory; Emilio Estevez’s The Public, a moving, thought-provoking, state-of-the-nation drama starring Alec Baldwin; two new films starring Dev Patel - Hotel Mumbai, a gripping dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, and Michael Winterbottom’s eagerly-awaited thriller The Wedding Guest; Sacha Polak’s Dirty God, screening fresh from Sundance and featuring astounding newcomer Vicky Knight as a young mother rebuilding her life following an acid attack; She’s Missing, a haunting thriller set in the deserts of the American deep south starring Josh Hartnett; and Tyrel, a jet black comedy and razor-sharp analysis of racial divides in America starring Jason Mitchell, Michael Cera, and Caleb Landry Jones.
49 must-see films make their Scottish debut at this year’s Festival. Scottish premieres include: US stand-up comedian Bo Burnham’s eagerly awaited directorial debut, Eighth Grade; fellow comic Simon Amstell’s feature directorial debut, the fresh and endearing rom-com Benjamin; Only You, charting a beautiful romance that begins on Hogmanay on the streets of Glasgow, featuring rising stars Josh O’Connor and Laia Costa; Papi Chulo, the new feature from John Butler (director of GFF17 opening film Handsome Devil) that sees a heartbroken weatherman (played by Magic Mike star Matt Bomer) strike up a friendship with an elderly Mexican labourer; The Merger, starring top Australian stand-up Damian Callinan as a former professional Aussie Rules footballer returning home to help his hapless local team; Prophecy, an unprecedented insight into the mind of acclaimed Scottish artist Peter Howson as he works on his latest masterpiece; and the astonishing immersive documentary about the raw power of water, Aquarela (supported by Creative Scotland), screened on Dolby Atmos at Cineworld for full, jaw-dropping effect.
Stars attending the festival
We’re delighted to welcome a host of famous faces and rising talent to GFF19. Sir Michael Palin will attend the UK premiere of Final Ascent and also discuss his varied and fascinating career in a special live Empire podcast, while Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and The Pastel’s Stephen McRobbie with join Daydream Nation director Lance Bangs for a post-screening Q&A and Magic Mike, American Horror Story and White Collar star Matt Bomer treds the red carpet at the Scottish premiere of Papi Chulo. Other guests include: one of the world’s greatest dancers Carlos Acosta alongside his Yuli director Icíar Bollaín and writer Paul Laverty; stand-up comics-turned directors Bo Burnham and Simon Amstell; actor and disability campaigner Adam Pearson; Irish musician Adrian Crowley; director Carol Morley; actors including Swedish horror icon Christina Lindberg, award-winning Belgian director and actor Bouli Lanners who stars in two Festival titles (Real Love, The Third Marriage), the star of Netflix’s latest hit Sex Education Connor Swindells; Josh O’Connor who stars in Only You; and rising star of Dirty God, Vicky Knight. As previously announced, actor-director Alice Lowe will participate in a horror film panel as part of the festival’s Industry Programme, with more Industry programme guests to be announced next week.
Audience Award Nominees
The only award handed out at Glasgow Film Festival is one bestowed by our most important guests – the festival audience. The prestigious GFF Audience Award is awarded to a feature by a first or second-time director with previous winners including Lipstick Under My Burkha and Custody. For 2019 we are delighted that six out of the ten shortlisted films are directed by women. The films are: Marta Bergman’s feature debut about a
Romani woman who becomes a mail-order bride, Alone At My Wedding; Louis Garrel’s droll French romance A Faithful Man; The Feeling of Being Watched, journalist Assia Boundaoui’s investigation into FBI surveillance in her Arab-American neighbourhood; Float Like a Butterfly, Carmel Winters’ powerful and timely drama about a young girl from the Irish roadside camps rising through the boxing ranks; Fugue, Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s gripping thriller about a mother with memory loss; Glasgow-based director Matt Pinder’s Harry Birrell: Films Of Love and War; Vasan Bala’s irresistible Indian Hindi comedy The Man Who Feels No Pain about a young man who uses his rare congenital disorder to fight muggers; Soheil Beirraghi’s thought-provoking, high stakes drama Permission, about everyday injustices faced by women in Iran; Claire Burgers’ Real Love, a tender family drama about a single father of two who becomes involved in community theatre; and, Ash Mayfair’s directorial debut The Third Wife, set in 19th century Vietnam. The Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award 2019 is sponsored by Benihana.
Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “Over the years at GFF we have excelled with our Special Events and this year is no exception. The Blair Witch Project at a Secret Location is sure to scare and thrill and don’t forget “The first rule about Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club” so you’ll just have to get along and participate… As ever our Sound & Vision strand is filled with music of all types from Classic to Jazz and a brilliant live event hosted by Lost Map records featuring Monoganon and Free Love performing to footage of Eigg filmed by Slow Tree. This heady strand is topped off with films such as Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell starring Elisabeth Moss as a self-destructive rock star and Brady Corbett’s electric Vox Lux. This year our Audience Award – GFF’s only award - features six (out of 10) films that are directed by women with strong and vibrant films telling a variety of stories.”
Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “It is a real pleasure to be able to share the programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2019. The Festival is peppered with exciting discoveries from around the world that range from action-packed Indian crowd-pleaser The Man Who Feels No Pain to elegant Vietnamese period piece The Third Wife, knockout coming of age tale Float Like A Butterfly from Ireland and the gorgeous Kyrgyzstan musical The Song Of The Tree. I can’t wait for audiences to delight in Louis Garrel’s romantic A Faithful Man, embrace Patrick Wang’s Altman-esque epic A Bread Factory and shudder at The Vanishing with Peter Mullan and Gerard Butler. The cherry on the cake is our tribute to the great Elaine May that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.”
Tickets go on sale to GFF members and GFT CineCard holders from 12noon on 24 January, and then on general sale from 10am on 28 January. Book online at glasgowfilm.org/festival.