World Premiere of Karen Gillan’s The Party's Just Beginning at GFF18


It’s always a special feeling when a Scottish film receives its world premiere at GFF. Hitting the red carpet last night was Inverness-born director, screenwriter and star, Karen Gillan, who’s directorial debut The Party’s Just Beginning was given the Gala treatment. Crowds amassed as Gillan joined us at GFT, with a large portion of the film's producers, cast and crew accompanying her on the red carpet. Inside, Gillan introduced the film by inviting the audience to raise the whisky miniatures she’d brought for the occasion in a toast to the film.

Description of image Description of image
Description of image
Play video

Following the screening, Karen, star Rachel Jackson, and producer Mali Elfman joined festival co-director Allan Hunter for a lengthy Q&A. Screening the film at GFF18 seemed important to the trio. Jackson told the audience “I’m sat here right now loving life. Here I am. My whole family and my friends are here, so everyone I love is in this room right now, so I’m very emotional.” Gillan followed by thanking the many Scottish crew-members present in the audience, saying “So much of this was figuring our way out as we were going from script to the shooting of it. I mean I was backed by an incredible crew who made it so much easier than it could have been.” 

Description of image Description of image

Elfman, an LA native, went on to reflect on the differences in working in America and Scotland. She started off by joking that there’s “a lot more tea… it’s much colder,” before saying “one of the things that I really appreciated about our crew is that… in America, and I love this about Americans, and I love this about people in LA, is that they’re dreamers, and they kind of have fifty different jobs. And that’s lovely and everybody’s dreaming, but here, everybody who does their job does their one job and they do it very, very well. So every single person we worked with was really an expert, and it allowed us to have a very minimal crew, and it allowed us to move very, very quickly. And I think, without everybody being that experienced and that good at their jobs, I don’t think that we would have got there. So I really love having [the crew] here.”

When talking about the moments of humour in a film dealing with such serious issues, Gillan told the GFF18 audience that much of this came from her connection to the places and the people involved: “What my intention was, was to tackle this very heavy subject matter from a very Scottish standpoint. Which means I wanted to inject this humour in the face of adversity… that we have as a nation.” She later stated: “I wanted to make it as personal as I possibly could.”

Description of image Description of image

Indeed, Gillan gave the audience an insight into what it was like to direct herself in such a personal project, joking that “It’s interesting directing yourself. I have the ultimate shorthand so there was no discussion necessary.” However, she also revealed: “What I try to do is give myself options in the edit, so each take I would do something different so I would have something to choose between.”

Editing was also a major element of discussion. “A huge thing that kept coming up was communication and connection with other people.” Gillan told the audience. In trying to allow the film to say what it needed, much of the time line was restructured. “I feel like we tore a house down and rebuilt it again.”

Description of image Description of image

Photography: 
Red Carpet and Introduction Toast - Eoin Carey
Q&A - Pete Copeland


At Glasgow Film Festival, we pride ourselves on being a festival that loves the movies and loves our audience. GFF18 is your festival - so talk to us and let us know what you're up to! Did you love our office parties? Which do you prefer, Working Girl or Die Hard? Did you take a GIF with our Social Halo? Tag us in your photos, posts and tweets - we want to hear from you! #GFF18

Description of image

banknote calendar-02 calendar close down-chevron facebook filter google-plus left-arrow-02 mail play-icon right-arrow search shopping-basket small-play-icon tick twitter up-arrow