Take One Action returns to GFT – we take a sneak peek at this year’s programme

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With the state of our planet – and the interactions between some of its inhabitants – sending many of us into a pit of despair, Take One Action are coming back to GFT for five screenings that offer a much-needed opportunity to understand, celebrate and harness our power for positive change.

 The films we present do not shy away from stark realities, yet there is joy and inspiration to be found in the commitment, resilience and solidarity at the heart of the stories we share. From women’s empowerment to refugee rights, our programme celebrates the people and the films that are changing the world. Wondering what’s in store? Here’s the lowdown on this year’s programme.


Take One Action’s exploration of inequality, both overseas and at home, finds its home in our ‘All Equal?’ strand, which features a range of beautifully crafted films that challenge systemic, structural and cultural inequality.  

We kick off our GFT screenings with Hassan Fazili’s Sundance-award-winning Midnight Traveler (Sun 22 Sept) which provides a striking interrogation of the current refugee crisis – and Europe’s failure to respond to it – through a deeply personal account of the director’s and his young family’s flight from Afghanistan. Passionate, intimate and vital, Midnight Traveler is both a remarkable creative essay and a rallying cry for change. We are proud to be presenting the film with Oxfam Scotland and will be joined by representatives from Oxfam and the Scottish Refugee Council to explore Scotland’s role in welcoming refugees and how to influence global refugee policy.

Anbessa (Wed 25 Sept) is presented in partnership with Mercy Corps and explores the reality of internal displacement in East Africa through the poetic, dream-like portrait of a 10-year-old boy living on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. This exquisitely shot film pays as much attention to its protagonist’s emotional landscape as it does to the wider political and economic realities re-shaping Ethiopia.

Workers’ rights and the role of international solidarity continue to form an integral part of our programme, with a particular focus this year on the food industry. Through the remarkable story of a Thai female activist dedicated to stamping out modern slavery in her country, Ghost Fleet (Mon 23 Sept) shines a light on the continued reliance on human trafficking, violence and enslavement in the Thai fishing industry (whose exports the UK consumes in large quantities). Can we help end such practices? We will be joined in conversation by Rachel Wilshaw (Ethical Trading Manager, Oxfam GB) and Shan Saba (Founder of Scotland Against Modern Slavery) to find out how.

This year we also turn the lens on the UK, with two films that probe rising inequality levels on our shores. The Tribeca Award-winning Scheme Birds (Tues 24 Sept) is a lyrical documentary that follows young teenager Gemma as she grows up on Motherwell’s Jerviston housing estate. Directed by two young Swedish filmmakers, Scheme Birds casts its unflinching gaze on the reality of social inequity in contemporary Scotland. Producer Ruth Reid will be in attendance to take part in the post-screening conversation (and will be hosting a free Masterclass at the University of the West of Scotland). 

Three years after closing our festival with the Scottish premiere of I, Daniel Blake, we close Take One Action’s 12th edition with a special preview of Ken Loach’s latest film, Sorry We Missed You (Sat 28 Sept). Through its exploration of zero-hour contracts and the gig economy, this intimate family drama provides an angry indictment of a callous, inhumane economic system. We are thrilled that screenwriter Paul Laverty, long-term collaborator of Ken Loach and patron of Take One Action, will be joining audiences in conversation after the film.


We understand that more needs to be done to make festivals like ours accessible to wider audiences. We’ve put a lot of effort into our planning so that our events can be more inclusive, welcoming and accessible. Both Scheme Birds and Sorry We Missed You are fully captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing people. British Sign Language Interpretation will be available for the intro and audience discussion for Sorry We Missed You, which will also have audio description. Our other three titles are fully subtitled for those for whom English is not their first language. To remove some of the economic barriers faced by those on no or low income, we are offering a Community Ticket Fund, Travel Fund and Childcare Fund – please see takeoneaction.org.uk/access for full details of access provision throughout the festival.

Take One Action Film Festival runs from the 19-29 September in venues across Glasgow, with a programme of screenings and events that offer an urgent reminder of the role we can play in shaping our world for the better. We are so proud and excited to invite you to be part of these journeys of change.

Tamara Van Strijthem

Executive Director

Take One Action Film Festivals





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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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