Scottish titles at GFF 2022


It seems you can barely turn a corner in Scotland these days without tripping over a big budget international film or television production. Everywhere from Glasgow to Melrose has been pressed into service for the likes of The Batman, Indiana Jones 5, Batgirl, Good Omens, Tetris, The Lost King, Anansi Boys and many others. That can only be a welcome boost for local economies and a source of inspiration for those with dreams of making their own films in Scotland.

The question of how much this production boom really helps Scottish filmmakers to tell Scottish stories is something that will be debated in one of the Industry events at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival. What needs to happen to encourage the next Lynne Ramsay or Scott Graham to flourish, and how do we best support filmmakers who can toil away for years to make their production a reality?

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The Hermit of Treig

One of the aims of Glasgow Film Festival has always been to provide a showcase for the range of productions made in Scotland and the new talents who are emerging. This year is no exception.

There are some brilliant documentaries in GFF 2022 that reveal the sensitivity and compassion of filmmakers who seem born to make this their profession. We are talking Lizzie Mackenzie’s atmospheric and touching The Hermit Of Treig on the off-grid life and times of Ken Smith, or Martyn Robertson’s Ride The Wave which captures the adrenaline thrill of surfing and all the emotional pressure on teenage champion Ben Larg.

Fizzing with energy and invention, Jono McLeod’s documentary hybrid My Old School is one of the most entertaining films you’ll see all year with its jaw-dropping revisitation of the Brandon Lee story through the hindsight vision of his 1990s classmates. Alan Cumming is a marvel, lip-synching and emoting to the audio interview given by “Brandon”.

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Angry Young Men

Paul Morris provides a shining example of truly independent, micro-budget filmmaking with Angry Young Men, a film that swiftly sold out its premiere. You can spend a lot of time waiting for the phone to ring and hoping that somebody with big pockets will fund your vision, or you can just get out there and make something happen. That’s what Morris has achieved with Angry Young Men and reminds us how Bill Forsyth first made waves with That Sinking Feeling back in 1979.

Scotland is a land just filled with stunning locations both urban and rural so it is hardly surprising that filmmakers want to come here and make the most of its allure. A GFF favourite over the years, Belgian actor/writer/director Bouli Lanners came to the Isle Of Lewis to make Nobody Has To Know, a beautiful romantic weepie that reminds this old softie of classic Hollywood tales like Random Harvest. Does that make Bouli this century’s Ronald Colman? It was co-produced by Glasgow production company Barry Crerar who go from strength to strength.

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Skint

That is just the smallest taste of the Scottish films you can see at GFF 2022. There is so much to recommend including Ruth Paxton’s unsettling chiller A Banquet, the return of Robbie Fraser and David Pratt with the World Premiere of their documentary Pictures From Iraq, the compendium Skint with work from Jenni Fagan, Cora Bissett, James Price, Peter Mullan and many more, plus a chance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sweet Sixteen, the Ken Loach film that set Martin Compston on the road to lasting stardom.

How can we best support our Scottish filmmakers? Come along and watch their films at Glasgow this year.


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