New Hybrid Festival Announced for Glasgow Film Festival 2021


Glasgow Film Festival announces hybrid festival for 2021, plus a new year-round online platform

Best of the Fest programme will launch the ‘Glasgow Film At Home’ streaming site on 23 November

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Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) will return for its 17th edition from 24 February to 7 March 2021 with a new hybrid format. In-cinema screenings at GFF’s home, Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), will run alongside a brand-new online streaming platform, Glasgow Film At Home, allowing us to safely bring the festival to new audiences, as well as inviting back our dedicated Glasgow Film Festival fans.

Our new year-round platform Glasgow Film At Home will go live for the first time later this month, bringing our Best of the Fest programme of films straight to audiences at home. The programme consists of four films that were big hits at GFF 2020, including our 2020 Audience Award Winner Arracht from director Tom Sullivan, set during the desperate times of the 1840s Irish potato famine, and Runar Runarsson’s Echo, which was part of our Icelandic Country Focus and explores a fragmented society at Christmas time. They are joined by The Long Walk from director Mattie Do which follows a Laotian hermit who travels back in time, and Matthew Rankin’s wildly inventive and highly stylised faux biopic The Twentieth Century.

Today, we also launch our GFF 2021 branding, which brings to life our focus on delivering the festival to audiences at home, as well as on cinema screens, and still firmly rooting the festival in the City of Glasgow. Although Glasgow Film Festival will naturally be different this year, we are creating new and innovative ways to bring great cinema to our audiences, and to conjure up the festival feeling at home. Glasgow is known as one of the world’s friendliest film festivals and our mix of cinema screenings, streaming and online events will help recreate this atmosphere for all our audiences.

GFF is one of the leading film festivals in the UK and run by Glasgow Film, a charity which also runs Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT). GFF is made possible by support from Screen Scotland, the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery), Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

GFF 2020, held in February and March this year, had record audiences with more than 43,000 admissions, but we recognise that the 2021 edition must adapt to the new circumstances cinemas and festivals across the world are operating in. Making sure as many people as possible can access quality premieres from around the world, as well as the best new Scottish and UK releases, was a key consideration when planning the festival. The new blend of cinema screenings and at-home streaming means GFF can take place despite restrictions caused by Covid-19.

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Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film CEO and Co-Director of Glasgow Film Festival, said:

“We are delighted to be bringing Glasgow Film Festival back in 2021 in as safe as possible a way. GFF has always been a festival for audiences and, though our festival must take a different shape this year, our audiences are still at the heart of everything we do. Glasgow Film at Home and our new branding will invite GFF straight into your living room, and the Best of the Fest programme will give a taster of what’s to come and share incredible cinema with audiences all around Scotland and the UK this November.”

Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said:

“We are very excited to share the dates of the 2021 Glasgow Film Festival and give everyone a glimpse of what lies ahead. It cannot be business as usual but we promise a festival of exciting UK premieres from around the world. The power of film to entertain, illuminate and move us has never felt more necessary. The launch of Glasgow Film At Home and the Best Of The Fest programme will allow a much wider audience access to the cherished Glasgow experience.”

Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland, said:

“Glasgow Film Festival has always been a much-anticipated part of the film festival calendar. It's a truly audience-focused festival – filled to the seams with great film, great events, great guests and much more – and Screen Scotland is thrilled to support 2021's imaginative and creative edition. The festival team have risen to the challenges faced and have crafted a festival that will continue to embody all the best elements of the festival but also deliver them in a new, exciting ways. Audiences in Glasgow and beyond are in for a host of cinematic treats.”

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said:

“We’re delighted to continue our support of Glasgow Film Festival as it makes exciting changes to reach audiences in the cinema and also at home. At a time when our physical world might seem quite small, it’s wonderful that GFF 2021 will bring international and national stories to Glasgow, Scotland and beyond.”

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said:

“We’re proud to support Glasgow Film Festival for another year, and especially at a time when the enjoyment and entertainment which film brings is more important than ever – particularly for those who will choose to take part in the Film Festival both closer to home and also from the comfort of their own living rooms.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“Glasgow Film Festival is one of the UK’s premier film festivals and it is great to see them embracing the hybrid format so they can continue to connect and entertain their loyal audience while still showcasing Glasgow and Scotland as a destination.

“Events are a force for good and vital part of the social fabric of our society. Through innovation and creativity, the 17th edition of GFF will again be a fantastic celebration of cinema for all to enjoy whether it’s at a screening in the Glasgow Film Theatre or from the comfort of home.”


GFT temporary closure

GFT will remain closed until at least 14 December, due to restrictions on cinemas in areas under tiers 3 and 4.

We hope to re-open soon and will keep you updated.

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