Glasgow Film Annual Review 2016/17 published and Glasgow Film Festival 2018 submissions call now open

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Mr Cosmo’s hat in the new downstairs bar at GFT

Glasgow Film’s 2016/17 Annual Review can be viewed online here.
Glasgow Film, comprising Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow Short Film Festival, and the Learning and Public Engagement Programmes, celebrates a hugely successful year as the call for film submissions for the 2018 festival opens.
Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) has had a momentous twelve months in 2016/17: becoming the first cinema in the UK to be awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award; celebrating the busiest quarter in GFT history, with 69,500 admissions between January and March, and the completion of Phase 2 of the GFT redevelopment. Accessibility remained a priority with Glasgow Film’s Public Engagement Programme. Visible Cinema, Access Film Club, and Dementia-friendly screenings in 2016/17 made cinema available to often-excluded communities. GFT was named Accessibility Champion at the Scottish Council of Deafness Star Awards in 2016, celebrating the pioneering Visible Cinema programme. Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) once again attracted audiences in the excess of 40,000, and GFT recorded the biggest week of its 40-year history during the festival, welcoming over 12,500 people through the doors in just seven days. Industry Focus returned for a second year, this time expanding to a three-day programme attracting acclaimed international guests. Glasgow Short Film Festival (GSFF) marked its tenth edition with a series of special anniversary events drawing on the festival’s origins and highpoints. Welcoming a 24% increase on 2016 admissions, GSFF featured an unprecedented 88 screenings and events, including Scotland’s first Virtual Reality cinema. Glasgow Film’s Learning Programme attracted 4,116 young people from across the West of Scotland for Glasgow Film Festivals Schools Week, and launched the Dramatic Enquiry programme, in which just under 1,000 pupils from all over Scotland have taken part.

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GFT Redevelopment

Glasgow Film’s redevelopment project, which began in 2013 with the completion of Cinema 3 and a new entrance box office facility, continued in 2016/17 with Phase 2: the refurbishment of the foyer, bars and Project Room. Paying homage to the original Art Deco style of GFT’s predecessor, the Cosmo, a stunning butterfly staircase has been reinstated in the foyer. The essence of the refurbishment was to provide improved accessibility for GFT visitors. GFT now has two new bar areas and additional seating areas, new accessible toilets, an accessible public platform lift alongside a refurbished Project Room equipped with high spec technology suitable for private hires and further education programmes. Glasgow Film would like to thank our fantastic supporters and major partners, without whom this transformation would not have been possible.  Phase 3 of the redevelopment will focus on renewing the seating and audio/visual systems in Cinemas 1 and 2.

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Glasgow Film Festival 2018 Submissions Open

Glasgow Film Festival will return in 2018 from 21 February–4 March, submissions for GFF18 are now open. GFF is firmly established as one of the key events in the UK film calendar and is committed to supporting emerging talent and providing audiences with the opportunity to see the best of world cinema. Five submitted films were screened at GFF17: The Lure, Celtic Soul, In The Radiant City, Spectres are Haunting Europe and our Audience Award winner – Lipstick Under My Burkha. The Early Bird deadline for submissions is Friday 27 August, the regular deadline is Monday 25 September and the late deadline is Monday 30 October. For more information, pricing and details on how to enter your film, please click here.

Jaki McDougall, CEO of Glasgow Film, said:

'Glasgow Film has had another brilliant year across all areas of our work. GFT has been named Accessibility Champion at the Scottish Council on Deafness Awards, and with the completion of Phase 2 of our redevelopment, the building is more accessible than ever. As such, we are confidently moving into the year ahead as a leader in Scottish cinema programming and exhibition and look forward to welcoming, entertaining, and inspiring even more film lovers in 2017/18.’

Allison Gardner, GFF Co-director, said:

‘We’re thrilled that the 2017 edition of Glasgow Film Festival attracted audiences in excess of 40,000 for the fourth consecutive year! With the Industry Focus programme expanding to three days, the festival continues to grow and support emerging local and national talent. Our Audience Award continues to flourish and we’re delighted that the 2017 winner, Lipstick Under My Burkha was entered as GFF submission. The 14th edition of GFF will take place 21 February – 4 March 2018, and we’re pleased to invite filmmakers to submit their work for consideration.’

More Information

Glasgow Film believes that cinema can 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 Life Events Team, EventScotland and the British Film Institute for Glasgow Film Festival.

Glasgow Film Festival is the third largest film festival in the UK, the 13th edition attracted audiences in excess of 40,000 for the fourth consecutive year. The festival opened on February 15 with the European premiere of Irish coming-of-age charmer Handsome Devil, attended by director John Butler and principal actor Fionn O’Shea, and closed with the world premiere of R. D Laing biopic, Mad to Be Normal, attended by David Tennant, director Rober Mullan and members of the cast and crew. The festival screened 65 UK premieres and films from 38 countries, welcoming an array of local and international guests including: directors Ben Wheatley, Hope Dickson Leach, Terence Davies, William Oldroyd, and actors Jack Reynor, Macha Grenon and Simon Farnaby. In 2017, GFF Industry Focus returned for a second year, this time expanding to a three-day programme. Attracting widespread recognition from the local and UK-wide industry, the 2017 programme featured a keynote producer master-class with Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry) alongside workshops hosted by SAE Institute, Directors UK, Women in Film and TV and many other industry partners. Over 200 delegates attended each day, confirming Industry Focus as an integral part of GFF. Other highlights included the GFF17 Audience Award, generously sponsored by ScotRail. Director Alankrita Shrivastava collected the coveted prize with Lipstick Under My Burkha, amid film censorship controversy in her home country of India. GFF17 also saw the world premiere of the 2016 Margaret Tait Award commissioned film Kate Davis’ Charity, and the announcement of Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest as the Award’s 2017 recipient.

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The tenth edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival took place from 15–19 March 2017 and welcomed more attendees than ever before. The four-day festival featured a record 88 screenings and events, and featured over 214 films from 44 different countries. Total attendance was 3,566, a 24% increase on 2016. Industry attendance included 70 filmmakers, 63 industry representatives and 118 students – 25 filmmakers and industry representatives attended from outwith the UK, travelling from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the USA. GSFF18 will take place 14-18 March 2017. A call for entries will be launched soon. For more information see

Glasgow Youth Film Festival moves to its new slot from 22-24 September in 2017. GYFF is currently the only film event in Europe completely curated by 15-18 year olds. The new arrangement should give the festival more space to develop its own identity outwith Glasgow Film’s other festivals.

Children and Young People Co-ordinator, Annie McCourt, said:

‘We’re thrilled to be soon welcoming a new group of 15-18 year olds to be part of the Glasgow Youth Film Festival team. They curate the festival entirely, selecting films and developing ideas for masterclasses. We look forward to welcoming an eager audience young people to GYFF’s new slot in September.

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From January-March 2017, Glasgow Film Theatre celebrated its busiest quarter on record and the biggest week of its 40-year history, welcoming 12,500 people through the doors in just seven days during GFF17. Following the cinema’s long-term support of the unique and varied output from filmmaker Richard Linklater, the director/writer/producer visited GFT in early May 2016 for a preview screening of his new film Everybody Wants Some!! and delighted the sold-out audience with a lively Q&A. Due to Phase 2 of the redevelopment, Cinema 1 was closed from May to October, meaning programming became tighter and more focused. Audiences continued to show their loyalty and dedication, and GFT delivered a wide and varied programme throughout the year including: a hugely successful major retrospective of influential filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s work, entitled Tarkovsky: Sculpting Time; a remarkable six-hour digital restoration screening of Abel Gance’s Napoleon, and a sold-out screening of Radiohead: Meeting People is Easy preceded by a rare 35mm screening of their latest music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Throughout the year, GFT continued to work with a number of national festivals including Scottish Queer International Film Festival, Africa in Motion, UK Green Film Festival, Scotland Loves Anime and Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival – for which Glasgow Film commissioned several new short films.

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Glasgow Film’s Public Engagement Programme includes a number of initiatives that seek to transform the way people see the world, through film. Launched in 2014, Access Film Club is relaxed monthly screenings for young people and adults aged 15+ on the Autism Spectrum, and offer a welcoming environment for audiences to watch a range of films in an intergenerational environment, share feedback, socialise and discuss. During Glasgow Film Festival 2017, GFT became the first cinema in the UK to receive the prestigious Autism Friendly Award, administered by the National Autistic Society. In 2016, GFT was named Accessibility Champion by Scottish Council on Deafness and Visible Cinema, GFT’s unique programme of film screenings for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences, received recognition for research and development. In 2016, GFT established RCS Curates – a quarterly Deaf-led curated strand in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Performance in BSL and English students. Following a period of research and development, and a hugely successful dementia friendly Movie Memories event in partnership with Queens Cross Housing Association, Community Connectors and Alzheimer’s Scotland Movie Memories Team, Glasgow Film is actively seeking funding to enable monthly dementia friendly event provision.   

Glasgow Film’s Learning Programme provides a range of learning opportunities for young audiences. During 2016/17, over 11,000 schools audience members attended 112 screenings, workshops and events. This year’s Glasgow Film Festival Schools Week attracted 4,116 young people from across the West of Scotland to 27 screenings, workshops and events. This year also saw the launch of GFT’s Dramatic Enquiry programme, in which our creative learning specialists produced an immersive film and theatre experience for learners in years Primary 5 to Secondary 2. Almost 1,000 students, teaching staff and student teachers from 21 schools in Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh and Dundee and 90 students from Aberdeen University, took part in the programme. 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 2016/7, there were 6,363 admissions. Take 2 Access, GFT’s Autism friendly screenings for families, had 251 admissions.

Glasgow Film’s 2016/17 Annual Review can be viewed online here.

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