What we do

What began as a single screen cinema over 40 years ago has become Scotland’s most diverse and best publicly attended independent cinema in Scotland, with Glasgow Film Festival one of the top three film festivals in the UK. 

Glasgow Film is a national centre for film and moving image media where audiences and filmmakers experience and debate cultural practice and ideas through diverse, unique and quality programmes that transform the way people see the world, through film. 

Glasgow Film is...

GFT (Glasgow Film Theatre), Glasgow’s year-round centre for film-lovers. 

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) the launching pad for the best of international and Scottish cinema. 

Glasgow Short Film Festival, Scotland’s leading short film event.

Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF) one of the most innovative youth film festivals in Europe. 

Glasgow Film’s Learning and Engagement programme integrated across all areas of Glasgow Film’s work. 

Glasgow Film Theatre Limited is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

History of Glasgow Film

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Our story is one of pioneers and idealism:

In 1929, the first film association in Scotland, and the first outside London, The Film Society of Glasgow, was founded with the assistance of Charles Oakley.

The UK’s first purpose built art-house cinema outside London, the Cosmo in Glasgow’s Rose Street, opened in 1939 (again with Oakley’s involvement), with an introduction by pioneering documentary filmmaker John Grierson. Grierson said he believed it would contribute not just to cultural vigour, but also the city’s democratic and social life, presenting cinema as an instrument of observation and enlightenment as well as a form of art and entertainment. Run with dedication and passion by the Singleton family, by the early 1970’s due to a fall in cinema admissions in the UK, its future was uncertain. At this point the Scottish Film Council (predecessor body of Scottish Screen and then Creative Scotland) was looking for a home for Scotland’s first ‘Regional Film Theatre’ and on 2 May 1974 the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) opened its doors. Grierson was right, this cinema has remained a treasured institution.

Since those early days the organisation has changed and evolved but the original sense of being at the cutting edge has remained central to our DNA. What began as a single screen cinema has grown to a three screen complex offering screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, industry support and the chance to see films and meet filmmakers from Scotland and around the world.

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