The 14th Glasgow Film Festival begins today

Karen Gillan in The Party's Just Begining

The city’s 14th annual celebration of cinema – now one of the largest film festivals in the UK – will feature over 330 separate events and screenings, showcasing over 180 films from 51 countries including 6 World premieres, 7 European premieres, 77 UK premieres and 52 Scottish premieres.

The festival will opens today, Wednesday 21 February with the UK premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated adventure Isle of Dogs and close on 4 March with the World premiere of the rousing Scottish feature documentary Nae Pasaran, telling the true story of the group of Scots who defied a dictatorship.

Isle of Dogs

Isle of Dogs

World and European Premieres

Karen Gillan will attend the red carpet gala World premiere of her directorial debut The Party’s Just Beginning, a fiercely honest tale of loss, grief and survivor’s guilt filmed in Inverness and Glasgow.

The World premiere of Felipe Bustos Sierra’s Nae Pasaran will offer a resounding end to this year’s festival. The Scottish-made documentary charts the incredible true story of the East Kilbride Rolls Royce factory workers who managed to ground half of Chile’s Air Force from the other side of the world, in the longest single act of solidarity against Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship.

BAFTA Scotland nominated Douglas King makes the leap from shorts to features with the World premiere of the Glasgow-filmed Super November starring comedian Josie Long as a Clydebank librarian who meets the love of her life played by Sean Biggerstaff, just as Western civilization crumbles.

The Camino Voyage, another incredible true story of dedicated individuals, will also have its World premiere at GFF on 28 February. A writer, two musicians (including Glen Hansard, who won the Best Original Song Oscar for ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once), an artist and a stonemason embark on an epic, three-year pilgrimage from Ireland to Northern Spain in a handmade Naomhóg rowing boat in this modern-day Celtic odyssey.

2018 marks the centenary of the birth of pioneering experimental Scottish filmmaker Margaret Tait, GFF will screen the World premiere of Margaret Tait Award winner Sarah Forrest’s new film, inspired by the prophetic phenomenon of ‘second sight’ that is particular to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands.

David Tennant stars in a new rom-com with a twist You, Me and Him which gets its first European screening at GFF with the star himself in attendance alongside director Daisy Aitkens.

You, Me and Him

You, Me and Him

Other European premieres include Geena Davis in the crowd-pleasing coming-of-age gem Don’t Talk To Irene and acclaimed screenwriter Mari Okada making her directorial debut with the animated fantasy Let’s Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Farewell Morning (Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hanao Kazarou).

UK Premieres

Glasgow Film Festival 2018 will host a 77 UK premieres across twelve days, including the UK premiere of Bill Pullman’s acclaimed new Western The Ballad of Lefty Brown.

UK audiences will also get the first chance to see Wim Wenders’ thrilling romance Submergence starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander; Roya Sadat’s scathing dissection of Afghanistan’s changing political climate in A Letter To The President; Diane Kruger in the winner of the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Picture (Foreign Language), the emotionally charged revenge story In The Fade; Kathleen Hepburn’s debut feature Never Steady, Never Still with an extraordinary lead performance from Shirley Henderson; Gemma Arterton as an ordinary woman making difficult decisions alongside Dominic Cooper in The Escape and Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel sparkling in a fairytale vision of Paris in Madame. Glasgow anime fans will also be the first to see the hotly-anticipated Mary and The Witch’s Flower, as the first film by Studio Ghibli alum’s Studio Ponoc gets its UK premiere at GFF.

First chance to see in Scotland

Lynne Ramsay will return home to Glasgow to introduce the Scottish premiere of her eagerly-awaited new feature You Were Never Really Here, a brutal noir with an unforgettable lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix.

With 52 Scottish premieres in total, Glasgow Film Festival audiences will also be the first in the country to enjoy Carol director Todd Haynes’ imaginative and charming new film Wonderstruck; the 2018 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee A Fantastic Woman, with Daniela Vega in a star-making turn as a trans woman dealing with the fallout of her partner’s death; Xavier Legrand’s tense look at the fallout from a bitter domestic dispute in Custody, which netted him the Venice Film Festival Best Director prize; the plaintive teen drama A Ciambra, drawn from true stories of life among Italy’s Romani community
; the big screen adaptation of League of Gentlemen creator Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s terrifying West End stage smash hit Ghost Stories and the beguiling final screen outing of the late, great Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky.

Local Heroes

Homegrown talent is always in the spotlight at Glasgow Film Festival, which will screen features from some of the boldest and brightest filmmaking talents here in Scotland and across the UK.

Scottish director May Miles Thomas returns with the UK premiere of Voyageuse, an ingeniously constructed biography of Thomas’s late mother-in-law, dramatising one woman’s ordinary life, lived through extraordinary times.

Hedwig And The Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell is back with a shape-shifting adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s sci-fi punk short story How to Talk to Girls at Parties; Weekend and 45 Years director Andrew Haigh scores another hit with Lean on Pete, a heartfelt tale of a boy’s flight through America on his chestnut horse starring Chloë Sevigny and Steve Buscemi; star-on-the-ascendant Jessie Buckley continues to shine as the black sheep of her family in Michael Pearce’s intoxicating Jersey-set thriller Beast and Deborah Haywood makes her impressive directorial debut with Pin Cushion, an all-female gothic fairy tale set in a working-class British suburb.

Film Talent Attending

A host of famous faces will be treading the GFF red carpet in 2018.

Guardians of the Galaxy and Jumanji star Karen Gillan will attend the gala World premiere of her directorial debut The Party’s Just Beginning whilst Lynne Ramsay will introduce the Scottish premiere of You Were Never Really Here and appear as a special guest on an episode of Edith Bowman’s hit music and movies podcast Soundtracking, recorded at the festival in front of a live audience.

Imogen Poots (Green Room, 28 Weeks Later) will be in town for Mobile Homes, a starkly realistic tale of American prefab life and Journeyman director and star Paddy Considine will attend the Scottish premiere of his second feature, an intellectual and heartfelt look at boxing and sporting struggle. We also welcome the return of some festival favourites with David Tennant at the European premiere of You, Me and Him, Gregory’s Girl star John Gordon Sinclair with the Scottish premiere of music biopic Nico 1988 and one of Britain’s most prolific directors Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, High- Rise) in an intimate, in-person chat about his career and his inspirations.

The Thick of It’s Joanna Scanlan and one-to-watch Lily Newmark will attend the UK premiere of Pin Cushion alongside their director Deborah Haywood; filmmakers Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman introduce the Scottish premiere of their blood-curdling Ghost Stories and director Michael Pearce introduces his acclaimed thriller Beast.

Special Events and Pop-Up Cinema

Glasgow Film Festival is renowned for taking film out of the cinema and turning some of the city’s best-loved venues into unforgettable pop-up movie houses.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of two of the greatest office-set movies of all time, the top floors of the Former College of Building and Printing will be turned into Nakatomi Plaza for a very special screening of Die Hard. Audiences will also be invited to search their wardrobe for classic 80s-style padded shoulders and raise a toast with a themed cocktail to celebrate climbing the corporate ladder with Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.

It’s 25 years since audiences first met Bill Murray’s curmudgeonly weatherman in Groundhog Day, and Bath Street bar Flat 0/1 will be transformed into a Punxsutawney-style bed & breakfast which will screen the film at the same time every day of the festival. That’s right, woodchuck-chuckers!

In partnership with Festival 2018 – the cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – and Glasgow Youth Film Festival, GFF will also host a special 20th anniversary screening of gripping cult German thriller Run Lola Run, set in the European Championships co-host city of Berlin.

Audience Award

The only award presented at Glasgow Film Festival returns for a fourth year and is chosen by the festival’s most important people – its audiences. Ten emerging filmmakers at the start of glittering careers – seven of them women – compete for the prestigious award with eligible films including Lisa Brühlmann’s coming-of-age body-horror Blue My Mind; The Divine Order, fellow Swiss director Petra Volpe’s hugely entertaining story of Switzerland’s women campaigning in 1971 to secure the vote; Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Life and nothing more, a look at a young African-American man on the cusp of adulthood in today’s America and Village Rockstars, the irresistible story of 10 year old Dhuna dreaming of starting her own rock band in a small North Indian village from second-time director Rima Das.

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