- Emma Simmonds
- 14 January 2021
The 17th edition goes online only but still unveils an eye-catching line-up
Taking place from Wed 24 Feb to Sun 7 Mar, the Glasgow Film Festival will look very different this time round, as it embraces the online nature of our current lives and hosts screenings via new streaming platform Glasgow Film at Home, broadening its potential reach. Despite the changes to the format, the line-up this year is as eye-catching as ever, as it gathers together the best in global cinema, with the programme boasting six world premieres, two European premieres and 49 UK premieres.
Things kick-off on opening night with the critically adored Minari, Lee Isaac Chung’s awards-tipped autobiographical drama, following an Arkansas-based Korean-American family. We’ve seen it and it’s wonderful. Closing the festival will be young French director Suzanne Lindon’s remarkable debut Spring Blossom, in which she stars as a teenager falling for an older man.
Other screenings of note include the UK premiere of Kevin Macdonald’s riveting Guantanamo Bay thriller The Mauritanian, based on a true story and starring Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. Lawrence Michael Levine’s psychosexual drama Black Bear, starring Aubrey Plaza, is another one to watch, while one of the many Scottish highlights is Ben Sharrock’s second feature, Limbo, the story of a Syrian refugee stuck on a remote Scottish island, which won raves on its Toronto International Film Festival debut. And FrightFest returns to the festival with six new titles, including the UK premiere of Kyle Rankin’s controversial high school siege drama Run Hide Fight.
As the GFF team unveiled the line-up during the festival’s YouTube launch, there was much talk of challenges faced and still to come, with Allison Gardner, CEO of Glasgow Film and GFF co-director commenting that, ‘the world has changed beyond anything we could have envisaged.’ And there was an acknowledgement of the role film has played and can continue to play in our locked-down lives, with Allison’s co-director Allan Hunter reflecting how movies have provided ‘a source of great solace and diversion.’
Allison went on to share her personal picks from this year’s programme, which are: Anders Thomas Jensen’s black comedy Riders of Justice, starring Mads Mikkelsen; Minna Dufton’s surfing documentary Big vs Small; and Greek director Christos Nikou’s ‘haunting first feature’ Apples. Allan’s own festival highlights include: Frederick Wiseman’s latest documentary epic, City Hall; Marley Morrison’s alternative coming-of-ager Sweetheart; and an unusual romantic comedy from Spain, Rosa’s Wedding, directed by Icíar Bollaín.
Tickets for the festival go on sale at noon on Mon 18 Jan. For more information on this year’s programme and to book tickets, visit glasgowfilm.org/festival.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).