Glasgow Film Annual Review 2015-2016 Published as Submissions Open for Glasgow Film Festival

Glasgow Film’s 2015–16 Annual Review can be viewed online here.

Glasgow Film, comprising Glasgow Film TheatreGlasgow Film FestivalGlasgow Short Film Festival, and the Learning and Engagement programme, celebrates a hugely successful year as the call for film submissions for the 2017 festival opens.

The last twelve months have been a bumper year for GFT. Not only was the cinema named the Screen Awards Cinema of the Year (24-screens or less), but 2015/16 also saw the second highest annual admissions in the cinema’s history, with 198,900 admissions. In 2015/16, the busiest week ever recorded at GFT was from 19-25 February 2016, with 12,103 admissions. Glasgow Film Festival 2016 achieved a record-breaking 42,000 admissions, and the 12th edition also saw the introduction of the Industry Focus at the festival, with two days of sold out presentations and panels. Glasgow Short Film Festival welcomed more international guests and industry delegates than ever before to its ninth edition, while Glasgow Youth Film Festival also boasted its busiest year yet, with over 1,500 people attending the packed 4-day weekend. Glasgow Film’s Learning Programme attracted 4,870 young people from across the West of Scotland for Glasgow Film Festivals Schools Week, and worked with schools and colleges to provide a range of learning opportunities for young audiences throughout the year. Accessibility remained a priority with Visible Cinema, Access Film Club, and Dementia-friendly screenings making cinema available to often-excluded communities. Other highlights in 2015/16 included the breathtaking Wings of Desire at Paisley Abbey in November. The national moment at the centre of the BFI LOVE season, the event featured Wim Wenders’ 1986 Berlin symphony accompanied by live music, sonic art, and aerial performance.

2015/16 also marked the continuation of Glasgow Film’s redevelopment project. The second phase of the project, which began in 2013 with the completion of Cinema 3, includes the refurbishment of the foyer, bars and Learning Suite, and a platform lift that will further improve access. A butterfly staircase in the foyer will pay homage to GFT’s predecessor, the Cosmo; Scotland’s first arthouse cinema. In addition to enhancing the experience of thousands of GFT cinema-goers, this will also improve the facilities GFT can offer organisations, companies, clubs and individuals who hire the cinema for their own private events.

Glasgow Film Festival Submissions Open

Glasgow Film Festival will return in 2017 from 15–26 February: feature submissions for GFF17 are now open. Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) is committed to supporting emerging talent and providing audiences with the opportunity to see the best of world cinema. Six submitted films were screened at GFF16, including The Elite, Cain’s Children, Man Vs Snake, The Host, Weepah Way for Now and Voice of the Eagle. The Early Bird deadline for submissions is Friday 26 August, the regular deadline is Friday 30 September and the late deadline is Monday 31 October. For more information, pricing and details on how to enter your film, please click here.

Jaki McDougall, CEO of Glasgow Film, said:

‘The Annual Review reflects the breadth of Glasgow Film’s achievements. We’ve had another great year across all areas of our work, which I’m confident our audience, supporters and funders will agree with. As we enter our 42nd year, we’re still inspiring, challenging and entertaining our audiences more successfully than ever. But we’re not stopping there – with the redevelopment of the foyer, bars and Learning Suite now underway, it’s an exciting time, and we look forward to welcoming even more film lovers to the cinema in the coming year.’

Allison Gardner, GFF Co-Director, said:

‘2015/16 has been another record-breaking year for Glasgow Film Festival, and the festival continues to go from strength to strength. The huge success of the inaugural Industry Focus means that Glasgow more than ever is a festival for people who love movies and for people who are serious about making them. GFF17 will take place 15–26 February 2017, and we’re delighted to invite filmmakers to submit their work for consideration. Our open call for submissions enables us to support emerging talent, and past submissions have gone on to secure distribution.’

More Information 

Glasgow Film believes that cinema can powerfully inspire and improve people’s lives and aspirations. In order to offer the widest range and diversity of films, festivals and learning activities, Glasgow Film depends on core public partners: Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Europa Cinemas part of the Creative Europe/MEDIA Programme, with additional investment from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and the British Film Institute for Glasgow Film Festival.

Glasgow Film Festival is the third largest film festival in the UK. Glasgow Film Festival 2016 was the most successful event in the festival’s 12-year history. The festival opened on February 17 with the UK premiere of Joel and Ethan Coen’s all-star Hollywood satire Hail, Caesar!, and concluded on February 28 with the UK premiere of the Oscar-nominated Anomalisa. The festival hosted over 60 UK premieres, achieved a record-breaking 42,000 admissions, and welcomed an array of local and international guests, including Richard Gere, directors Lucile Hadžihaliliovic, Ben Wheatley and Joachim Trier, actors Shirley Henderson, Hannah Murray and Roland Møller, legendary stuntman Vic Armstrong and screenwriter Alexandru Baciu. In 2016, the festival debuted its first Industry Focus strand: two days of discussions, presentations and workshops aimed at filmmakers at all stages of their careers, with speakers from across Europe. Other highlights included the Oscar-nominated Mustang, which was the emphatic winner of the festival’s Audience Award, sponsored by Scottish Power, and the World Premiere of the 2015/16 Margaret Tait Award commissioned film, Duncan Marquiss’ Evolutionary Jerks and Gradualist Creeps.

Glasgow Short Film Festival took place from 16–20 March 2016 and welcomed more international guests and industry delegates than ever before. The ninth edition featured over 170 films from 35 different countries, across 54 screenings and events. Industry attendance included 181 Scottish filmmakers and delegates, 20 international filmmakers and a further 22 international delegates and special guests, travelling from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. The tenth anniversary edition will take place 15-19 March 2017. A call for entries will be launched on Wednesday 1 June 2016 at

Glasgow Youth Film Festival has gained cult status over the past eight years as the only film festival in Europe curated by 15–18-year-olds. This year was the most successful to date, with over 1,500 people attending over a packed 4–day weekend. Opening with a screening of critical hit The Witch, the programme featured an eclectic selection of UK and Scottish Premieres. Dutch director Saskia Diesing attended the UK premiere of her film Nena and German actress Carolyn Genzkow discussed her lead role in Der Nachtmahr. GYFF has become known for immersive closing gala events, and this year Tim Burton’s classic Edward Scissorhands was screened in the gothic surroundings of renovated church, St Luke’s. The ninth GYFF will take place in 2017, dates tbc.

Glasgow Film Theatre welcomed 198,900 audience members of all ages in 2015-16, a 5% increase on the previous year. Screening 676 films from 55 countries, GFT continued its unique and popular streak of home-grown programming strands, offering audiences the chance to delve into the past and relive classic moments in cinema history. GFT excelled by working with partners from across Scotland, expanding its programme and audiences in new and exciting ways. In May, the UK Green Film Festival returned with a diverse series of titles that explored various environmental issues and GFT partnered for the first time with Stag & Dagger music festival to offer a programme of specially curated music-themed films to those attending the one-day festival. Elsewhere, Scotland Loves Anime! returned for its annual weekend takeover of GFT Screen 1, and both the French and Italian Film Festivals brought thrilling programmes to GFT screens with special previews and one-off revivals of films from the masters of foreign cinema.

Wings of Desire at Paisley Abbey was Glasgow Film’s event at the centre of the BFI LOVE season, which took place across the UK throughout October, November and December of 2015. At the start of November, Glasgow Film’s contribution to the season included a spectacular event screening of Wim Wenders’ 1986 classic Wings of Desire. Taking place in the divine settings of Paisley Abbey (founded in 1163), the event presented a unique collaboration between music, sonic art, aerial performance and film. Glasgow Film Festival programming team worked with visual/sonic artist Kathryn Elkin, experimental musicians Tut Vu-Vu and aerial dance company Spinal Chord to create a bespoke multi-disciplinary response to Wenders’ film. In addition to the screening at Paisley Abbey, over twenty cinemas and film societies across the whole of the UK also participated in the event. The result was a nation-wide appreciation of one of the greatest films about love ever made.

Glasgow Film’s Public Engagement Programme includes a number of initiatives which seek to transform the way people see the world, through film. Launched in 2014 in collaboration with Scottish Autism, Access Film Club is a relaxed monthly Film Club for young people and adults aged 15+ on the Autism Spectrum, and offers a welcoming environment for audiences to watch a range of films in an intergenerational environment, share feedback, socialise and discuss. Visible Cinema, GFT’s unique programme of film screenings for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences, has been attended by over 400 people in the past year. Every event screens films with subtitles or captions, is enhanced by BSL interpretation together with a speech to text service and is concluded by a host speaker provocation. Current projects are underway at GFT to grow older audience engagement with a dementia friendly focus, and external community engagement to attract migrant and low-waged families. 

Glasgow Film’s Learning Programme provides a range of learning opportunities for young audiences. During 2015-16, over 10,000 schools audience members attended 73 screenings, workshops and events. This year’s Glasgow Film Festival Schools Week attracted 4,870 young people from across the West of Scotland to 28 screenings, workshops and events. This year also saw the launch of in-school creative learning programmes. Inspired by the documentary Batkid Begins, the Whose Dream Is it Anyway? workshops enabled 90 young people from across Glasgow to create a Dreamers Action Plan to set them off on their individual lifelong learning journeys. Take 2 is GFT’s programme of family friendly Saturday matinees. All of these screenings are free to Glasgow Young Scot and KidzCard holders and an accompanying adult. Since they began in 2004, over 100,000 children have attended Take 2 Screenings. In 2015-16, there were 7,758 admissions. Take 2 Access, GFT’s Autism friendly screenings for families, had 240 admissions.

Glasgow Film’s 2015–16 Annual Review can be viewed online here.

All Monday to Friday shows before 5pm have capacity capped at 50% (unless otherwise stated). All other screenings have full unlimited seating capacity (unless otherwise stated).

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