Sundance Film Festival kicks off out in Park City today, bringing some of the year’s most anticipated independent films to the big screen. Following shortly after will be the Berlinale next month, and SXSW in March, which has just debuted a very promising initial line-up. And now the first big film festival on our shores, the Glasgow Film Festival, has announced its line-up, and it is absolutely exceptional.
Opening the events on Valentine’s Day next month will be Régis Roinsard’s Populaire, starring Romain Duris, Déborah François, and Bérénice Bejo, getting its UK premiere.
And closing the festival will be Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, the great writer-director’s contemporary adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play. Similarly seeing its UK premiere, the film stars an ensemble that will please all Whedon fans, led by Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, with fine support from Fran Kranz, Clark Gregg, Sean Maher, Jillian Morgese, Ashley Johnson, Tom Lenk, Reed Diamond, and the ever-brilliant Nathan Fillion.
I was fortunate enough to see Whedon’s latest film, shot in just twelve days at his own home, at its world premiere at TIFF last September – you can read our five-star review here – and cannot recommend enough how much it is a must-see film of the year, and definitely a must for those heading to Glasgow next month.
And sandwiched between the two films is the festival’s finest line-up to date, with more than fifty other films making their premieres on our shores, including Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, with Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Dane DeHaan; Park Chan-wook’s Stoker, with Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska; Eren Creevy’s Welcome to the Punch, with James McAvoy and Mark Strong; Neil Jordan’s Byzantium, with Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan; Andrés Muschetti’s Mama, with Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and produced by Guillermo del Toro; Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love, with Steve Coogan; Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage, with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Brit Marling; and Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, with Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman.
And as if that wasn’t enough, it will also be hosting the first public screening of Cloud Atlas, with its all-star cast headed up by Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, HalleBerry, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, and many more, directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski.
An astounding line-up, to say the least. Along with seeing Much Ado About Nothing, I was also lucky enough to see The Place Beyond the Pines at its debut last year as well, and can’t wait to see it again. By far one of the most riveting, well-written, and brilliantly performed crime dramas in recent memory.
Glasgow Film Festival will be opening on Valentine’s Day, 14th February, and will be closing on Oscar night on 24th February. Given the line-up, it is most definitely a must-attend event of the year in film.
Film lovers, rejoice! Glasgow Film Festival today announced its most ambitious programme yet: bookended by two very different romantic comedies, kicking off on Valentine’s Day and ending on the night of the 85th Academy Awards.
Supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, with 368 screenings, panel discussions, live performances and special events, this is the most extensive Glasgow Film Festival programme to date. It truly is a festival for the whole city, too, spreading out further than ever before into twenty six venues – everywhere from the stately surroundings of Glasgow Cathedral to a secret location somewhere in the depths of the Subway system. There are a record number of UK premieres amongst this year’s films, and GFF’s unique programme of special events celebrating the joy of cinema gets even more innovative in 2013, with contributions from comedians, musicians, comic book legends, fashion designers and even Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. It’s a programme that wears its love of film – and of the cinema-going experience in all its forms – very prominently on its sleeve.
Opening Gala: Populaire **UK PREMIERE**
On Valentine’s Day, movie lovers will walk down the red carpet for the UK premiere of sparkling French romantic comedy Populaire, starring Déborah François, Roman Duris and The Artist’s Běrénice Bejo. With the retro appeal of Mad Men and the glossy allure of a Doris Day/Rock Hudson tussle, this gorgeous, candy-coated romance between the fastest typist in the world and her handsome, commitment-phobic boss will melt hearts (and inspire wardrobes).
Thursday 14 February (19.30 & 20.15)
Closing Gala: Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing **UK PREMIERE**
What do you do when you’ve just made the most successful superhero blockbuster ever? In the case of Avengers Assemble writer/director Joss Whedon, you invite a group of actor friends to your home for a fortnight and shoot an inspired, inventive version of Shakespeare’s classic battle of the sexes. Stuffed with familiar faces from Whedon’s cult oeuvre (look out for actors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and Firefly giving their best hey nonny noes), this Much Ado About Nothing is a warm, witty and accessible take on one of the original rom coms.
Sunday 24 February (20.15)
We are delighted to announce that the Sponsors of our Opening and Closing Galas, Link-Tel Communications have received a New Arts Sponsorship grant supported by the Scottish Government in conjunction with Arts & Business Scotland, as first time Sponsors of the arts.
Allan Hunter, Co-Director of Glasgow Film Festival, said: ‘Glasgow Film Festival has grown into a massive celebration of every aspect of the moving image. We all spend part of our lives watching films, playing games or catching up with television but there is still nothing to match sharing the experience with fellow enthusiasts, meeting the filmmakers and finding fresh inspiration. We are extremely proud of an ambitious 2013 programme that promises unforgettable moments in venues all across the city.’
Catwalk shows. Live video gaming. DJ sets. GFF’s events programme has always made the festival particularly unique, and this year we celebrate cinema with almost fifty different events from panel discussions to comedy, some embracing the cinematic in television and computer games, some tracing the relationships between film and fashion or music. Highlights include:
- Entre chien et loup, a series of new commissioned works by some of Scotland’s best artist filmmakers, curated by Henry Coombes and premiering at a fabulous grand ball.
- The first ever film screening in Glasgow Cathedral will be the 1928 silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, with a brand new live score for organ and soprano.
- Legendary Scottish actor James Cosmo in conversation about his life and career
- A secret film screening in a hidden location in the depths of Glasgow Subway.
- Comedian Simon Munnery’s new show, Fylm-Makker.
- A panel of actors from HBO’s award winning television epic Game of Thrones introduce an episode screening and launch Season Three.
- The Calamity Jane Barn Dance, at Glasgow’s legendary country and western club, Grand Ole Opry
- Scary watery movies Jaws and Dead Calm screened – comfortingly enough – on board The Tall Ship.
- Comic book legends John Wagner (creator of Judge Dredd), our Kapow!@GFF curator Mark Millar (Kick-Ass), and Steve Niles (creator of 30 Days of Night) discuss their work.
- Hop on board our samba bus and be whisked off to a proper Brazilian Carnival.
- Live music performances from Jane Birkin, Auricle Ensemble and Lau.
- Celebrate fifty years of Doctor Who with members of the cast and series writer Tom McRae.
- DCI Caroline Goode, who led the investigation into the death of young British-Kurdish woman Banaz Mahmod, joins us for a discussion on honour killings.
- Fashion label Obscure Couture launch their next season collection with an outrageous live catwalk/film extravagana.
- Detroit techno icon Jeff Mills headlines our day-long Sonic Cineplex, where DJs and musicians create new soundtracks to old film footage.
- First Minister Alex Salmond reveals his nerdy side, introducing his favourite geek cinema classic.
- Computer game experts compare highly anticipated game Aliens: Colonial Marines to the original 70mm Aliens, both on the big screen.
- Dress up like your favourite cult character and walk the red carpet at our Cosplay Gala.
SELECTED UK PREMIERES
This year, fifty-seven of our films are UK premieres, including:
- Stoker, starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman.
- The Place Beyond the Pines, which reunites Ryan Gosling with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.
- Neil Jordan’s dark vampire thriller Byzantium, with Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton,
- Arbitrage, with a bravura performance by Richard Gere.
- The Look of Love, Michael Winterbottom’s stylish look at the life of Paul Raymond (played by Steve Coogan).
- Mama, starring Jessica Chastain.
- The Paperboy, with a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Nicole Kidman alongside Matthew McConaughey.
- James McAvoy, Peter Mullan and Mark Strong team up for the sleek, powerful thriller Welcome to the Punch.
Glasgow Film Festival is also delighted to host the first public UK screening of the eagerly-anticipated Cloud Atlas, which was partially shot in Glasgow.
SELECTED WORLD PREMIERES
- Kevin Cameron’s Alasdair Gray: A Life in Progress, a film as entertaining and multi-faceted as the man himself, featuring Liz Lochhead and the late Edwin Morgan.
- A Tale of Two Syrias: award-winning documentary filmmaker Yasmin Fedda’s unique, personal take on recent events in Syria.
- Created especially for GFF with CCA and Stills Gallery, feature film Staande! Debout! is based on true events, examining the aftermath of a strike on a workforce.
- Outwork, by the internationally-renowned artist filmmaker Stephen Sutcliffe, is the third annual Margaret Tait Award project.
- The Devil’s Plantation, based on May Miles Thomas’ BAFTA-winning website, is an innovative look at Glasgow’s secret geometery, narrated by Kate Dickie and Gary Lewis.
- We Are Northern Lights, a film created from submissions across Scotland.
NEW FOR 2013
Three new programming strands for this year’s Festival were announced in November 2012.
- Buena Onda: New Brazilian Cinema: As Brazil begins to take its place on the world stage, both as an emerging superpower and as the next host nation of the Olympics, we examine some of the great new work coming out of the country. It’s also a great excuse to throw a traditional Brazilian Carnival party, with a samba bus to take you to a secret location, and a special screening of 1970s classic Black Orpheus.
- James Cagney: Top of the World, Ma!: Our retrospective this year takes a long, loving look at the career of the Oscar-winning Hollywood tough guy, from the young street rat–turned gangster of Angels With Dirty Faces, to the menacing obsessive lover of Love Me or Leave Me.
- Game Cats Go Miaow!: Robert Florence, star of the BBC comedy series Burnistoun, curates a look at the cross-over between cinema and video gaming. A panel of gaming experts review the hotly-anticipated Aliens: Colonial Marines on the big screen, followed by a comparison screening of Aliens itself. A whole host of comedians pack themselves in for Rab’s Video Game Empty, a quiz show with a difference, and we take a searing look at epic game Dark Souls and the whole of the dark fantasy genre.
Our brand new Festival Club takes over CCA’s Terrace Bar every day and night for the duration of the Festival. Rub shoulders with filmmakers and visiting guests, ask the GFF team for advice planning your schedule, take part in a daily programme of debates and discussions and then dance the night away with a great selection of DJs and live acts. Festival Club listings will be online at www.glasgowfilm.org/festivalclub and posted daily in the GFT foyer.
FESTIVALS WITHIN THE FESTIVAL
Glasgow Short Film Festival: 7–10 February
Scotland’s leading short film festival returns with a packed programme of screenings, workshops and parties. This year sixty films compete for the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film and the Scottish Short Film Award. The 2013 programme pays tribute to the behemoth of underground cinema George Kuchar, forecasts tomorrow’s US indie darlings with a showcase of filmmaking from Columbia University graduates, celebrates the groundbreaking work of Caroline Sascha Cogez and assembles heavyweight panels to ask ‘why can’t women make feature films?’ across a series of discussions during the weekend. www.glasgowfilm.org/gsff
Glasgow Youth Film Festival: 3–13 February
The only film event in the UK curated entirely by 15—18-year-olds presents international film premieres, workshops and events for child, teenage and young adult audiences. Highlights include premieres of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and Michel Gondry’s hilarious comedy The We and the I, plus anime previews and a cosplay parade! GYFF will also be turning the banks of the Clyde into a pop-up cinema and dance space, screening recent dance classic Girl Walk // All Day, and the cast and crew of Channel 4’s Fresh Meat stop by for a masterclass. GYFF also offers a range of practical workshops to aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers. www.glasgowfilm.org/gyff
Glasgow Music and Film Festival (dates as Glasgow Film Festival; Jane Birkin on 29 January)
Curated by the GFF team and long term partners-in-crime The Arches, this year’s GMFF embraces local artists and global greats alike, with live performances from Jane Birkin, techno legend Jeff Mills, gold star folkers Lau, Alasdair Roberts, and Auricle Ensemble. Witness some intriguing new live soundtracks created to old classics – in particular Irene Buckley’s spine-tingling new score for The Passion of Joan of Arc, for soprano, electronics and organ, in the very atmospheric setting of Glasgow Cathedral. Accompanied by a jam-packed programme of excellent rockumentaries and biopics.
Film4 FrightFest: 22—23 February
Our special horror Fest-within-a-Festival may now be in its eighth year at GFF, but there’s still no let up to that heady mix of mirth, menace, monsters and mayhem that characterises the Film4 FrightFest Glasgow experience
Scott Taylor, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: ‘We’re delighted to be continuing our support for Glasgow Film Festival, highly regarded as one of the premier film events in the UK today and a real stand-out in the city’s cultural calendar. The Festival not only celebrates one of the city’s most vital creative industries, providing a significant boost to the local economy, it also plays an integral role in successfully positioning Glasgow on the global film festival stage; reinforcing both our cutting-edge style credentials and our reputation for successfully hosting major events.’
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: ‘Glasgow Film Festival continues to grow year on year and it is hugely exciting to see it sporting its biggest ever programme for 2013. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in GFF we have a festival that engages, excites and challenges its audience, which is testament to the hard work and talent of the team.’
Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said: ‘Glasgow Film Festival is now one of the top three film festivals in the UK and is a fantastic celebration of cinema. The rising profile of the Festival and its consistent high quality is drawing growing numbers of film lovers and filmmakers to Glasgow from across Scotland, the UK and internationally. It is an inspiring event which Creative Scotland is very happy to once again be supporting.’