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Glasgow Film Festival 2019 reveals opening and closing films

Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s will open this year’s proceedings.

Credit: A24

The opening and closing galas have been announced for Glasgow Film Festival 2019.

The 15th annual festival will open on 20th February with the UK premiere of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s and close on 3rd March with the UK premiere of Brian Welsh’s Beats.

Mid90s is a coming-of-age comedy-drama written and directed by Hill. It stars Sunny Suljic (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Lucas Hedges (Ladybird) and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them). The film follows a 13-year-old boy who begins to hang out with an older group of skateboarders while living in 1990s Los Angeles. The soundtrack features an original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross alongside original 90s hip-hop.

Allison Gardner, Co-director of Glasgow Film Festival, said: “We are honoured and delighted to be opening our 15th edition with Jonah Hill’s thrilling and moving directorial debut. The film is a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that feels authentic, and the young actors give naturalistic and heartfelt performances that stay with you. The Opening Gala sets the ball rolling on 12 days of fantastic film fun and we couldn’t ask for a better start to GFF19.”

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Credit: Rosetta Productions

Closing film Beats is a big screen adaptation of Scottish playwright Kieran Hurley’s hit stage show of the same name. Set in 1994, just as the Criminal Justice Bill attempted to place restrictions on Scotland’s rave culture and the free party movement, Beats is a universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth. Beats is directed by Brian Welsh (Black Mirror) and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.

It stars young Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduates Cristian Ortega and Lorn Macdonald in their feature film debuts. The film features an original soundtrack from Scottish club legend JD Twitch (Optimo), who will DJ at the official festival after-party for all ticket holders at Argyle Street Arches.

Allan Hunter, Co-director of Glasgow Film Festival, said: “We are thrilled to close the festival with the UK premiere of the hotly anticipated screen version of Kieran Hurley’s Beats. It is a wildly entertaining, desperately poignant blast of rebellion, romance and bittersweet friendship that beautifully captures the end of an era in 1990s Scotland. Showcasing a wealth of talent on both sides of the camera, it is the perfect closing night film.”

Mid90s will be released in the UK on 12 April and Beats will be released in the UK in May.

The 15th Glasgow Film Festival will run from 20th February to 3rd March and the full programme will be announced on 23rd January. Glasgow Film Festival (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 Glasgow Life, Screen Scotland, the British Film Institute (using funds from The National Lottery) and Event Scotland.

Tickets for Opening and Closing Galas go on sale 10am on Wednesday 9 January at

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