10 reasons to go to Glasgow Film Festival 2016

The programme for the 12th annual Glasgow Film Festival has just been announced, and once again it’s another crowd-pleasing mix of starry premieres, compelling indie releases and one-off special events.

Here are some of the highlights to look forward to, when the festival returns next month.

1. See a new movie (weeks before your friends)

time out of mind

Once again GFF has knocked it out the park when it comes to snapping up some of those exclusive premieres. There are three World Premieres, four European Premieres, 60 UK Premieres and 59 Scottish Premieres.

Here’s just a quick selection:

  • The UK Premiere of the new Coen Brothers comedy Hail, Caesar! starring George Clooney
  • The UK Premiere of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Oscar-nominated, stop-motion animated Anomalisa
  • The UK Premiere Time Out Of Mind, starring Richard Gere as a homeless man with mental health issues, adrift in New York (pictured)
  • The Scottish premiere of High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel, starring Tom Hiddleston
  • The UK Premiere of Demolition, the new film from Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée starring Jake Gyllenhaal
  • The UK Premiere of new Disney animation Zootropolis, about a enthusiastic cop bunny on a case

We could go on.

2. Revisit some cult classics

Thelma and Louise

Watch those celluloid favourites like it was the first time in the Glasgow Film Theatre, with screenings including Romeo + Juliet, Silence of The Lambs, Thelma and Louise and Con Air.

Yep, Con Air.

Nicolas Cage con air

3. Hear from special guests

Among the special guests this year is Indiana Jones stuntman Vic Armstrong, who will reflect on his 50-year career and introduce a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark – in the apt surroundings of the Kelvingrove Museum.

But that’s not all…

The aforementioned Richard Gere will be in town for the premiere of Time Out Of Mind. Kudos if you manage to score a selfie with the Hollywood star on the red carpet.

Other confirmed guests (so far) include Game of Thrones and Hunger Games star Natalie Dormer, High-Rise director Ben Wheatley, and veteran film-maker Peter Greenaway.

4. The chance to get involved

The Industry Focus is looking for you (yes, you) to get involved and brings together international film-makers, funding bodies and industry insiders for various workshops.

There are talks, a documentary workshop, SFX and prosthetics masterclasses and even a casting panel with casting director Lenny Mullan (Neds, The Magdalene Sisters), actor Conor McCarron (Neds, Catch Me Daddy) and actor Carolyn Genzkow (Der Nachtmahr). To reserve a place, email gyff@glasgowfilm.org

5. See films from around the world

In a Turkish homage to the likes of Hellraiser and HP Lovecraft, Baskin is about an unassuming police squad investigating an abandoned building that comes across a weird ritual. With cannibalistic creatures and imaginative blood ceremonies on show, the men are, of course, not allowed to leave.

Elsewhere in the programme, high-profile foreign films include Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, Norway’s Oscar entry, action-thriller The Wave, and Miguel Gomes’ majestic Portuguese trilogy Arabian Nights.

6. Celebrate David Bowie

In celebration of the Starman, GFF has several events planned (which were programmed before his death, coincidentally), including a screening of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and a 40th anniversary show of The Man Who Fell To Earth in the Glasgow Science Centre Planetarium, where you’ll be able to experience the Thin White Duke in a full 360 degree screen.

7. Watch a film in the Barras

Photo: Neil Thomas Douglas

The Barrowland Ballroom is the greatest music venue in the world (here’s the evidence) but for GFF the projectors will be replacing the amps. In a change from the norm a film will replace the usual gig, but you can still enjoy the musical element of Where You’re Meant To Be, which follows former Arab Strap musician Aidan Moffat around Scotland through the history of folk music – and it will be preceded by a gig, so it won’t feel too confusing.

(The Barrowlands event is already sold out, but a second screening of the film will take place at GFT on 24 Feb.)

8. See the next generation of talent

This year the kids are in charge with the Glasgow Youth Film Festival (curated by 15-18 year olds) which precedes GFF, running from February 12-15. That doesn’t mean constant Disney princesses and Minions – instead it’s about first-time directors and themes that affect young people.

Among the listings is Der Nachtmahr, a psychological drama set in Berlin’s rave scene, and Sundance Award-winning black magic film, The Witch, which will be introduced by its star Kate Dickie.

9. Relive some classic double acts

Fred & Ginger

This year’s twist on the retro aspect of the Glasgow Film Festival is called Dream Teams of the Silver Screen and features the best duos of movie history. Expect Fred and Ginger, Taylor and Burton and Butch and Sundance.

10. Discover the best of Argentinian cinema


The country focus this year is on Argentina, and the Roads to the South strand promises a snapshot of a country that has stepped up to the cinematic world stage in recent years.

There will be several UK Premieres, including Pablo Trapero’s The Clan, Gabriel Lichtmann’s How to Win Enemies, and 1985’s The Official Story, Luis Puenzo’s Oscar-winning film that began a revolution in Argentine cinema, in a brand-new print only seen so far at Cannes.

Glasgow Film Festival runs from February 17 – 28. For the full programme and ticket info, go to visitgff.glasgowfilm.org