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Glasgow Film Festival 2019 unveils full programme

Find out the full details for this year’s jam-packed event.

Do No Harm
Do No Harm (Credit: GFF)

Glasgow Film Festival 2019 has unveiled the full programme for this year’s festival, which runs from 20th February to 3rd March 2019.

This year’s event will host 337 individual screenings, talks and events – showcasing 7 world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres from 54 countries.

World Premieres

There will be seven World Premieres taking place at this year’s festival. They are:

  • Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War – Matt Pinder’s new feature documentary which plunders the treasure trove archives of Scottish amateur filmmaker Harry Birrell to present one man’s view of the 20th century.
  • Connect – the debut feature from director Marilyn Edmond. It’s an ambitious attempt to confront the issue of suicide amongst young men in Scotland, featuring a deeply affecting performance by Kevin Guthrie.
  • Do No Harm –  director Stephen Bennett’s compelling exploration of the legacy of Scottish-born psychiatrist Dr Ewen Cameron and the experiments that contributed to systems of modern-day torture across the globe.
  • Mackintosh Redux – the painstakingly remastered new version of Murray Grigor’s 1969 film made to complement the Macintosh Centenary Exhibition, with a brand new score by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • between a whisper and a cry – Alberta Whittle, the recipient of the 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award will present the first ever screening of her newly-commissioned film.
  • Automata & Here Comes Hell! – returning crowd favourite FrightFest will also offer up two spine-tingling world premieres – Automata, a bold and original work from Scottish auteur Lawrie Brewster and ‘Downton Abbey meets The Evil Dead’ in Jack McHenry’s pitch-perfect Here Comes Hell!
All Creatures Here Below

All Creatures Here Below (Credit: GFF)

International and European Premieres

Among the International and European Premieres this year are:

  • All Creatures Here Below – Karen Gillan delivers another star turn in the international premiere of the wrenching US drama.
  • Scotch The Golden Dram – director Andrew Peat returns to Scotland for the European premiere. It’s a handsomely crafted documentary charting the story of the Scottish whisky industry through its most famous distillers and ardent enthusiasts.
  • The Science of Ghosts – from director Niall McCann, whose Lost in France documentary had its premiere at GFF17, is an imaginative and humorous riff on the musical biopic featuring Irish singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley.
  • Run Free – theatre director Simon Sharkey will introduce Run Free, the story of his working in a ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica, teaching young boys parkour and physical theatre over a period of four years for the National Theatre of Scotland, Manifesto Jamaica and the British Council.

Tell It To The Bees (Credit: GFF)

UK Premieres

Glasgow Film Festival 2019 will host over 100 UK Premieres during this year’s events. Highlights include:

  • The Vanishing – Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan star in the eerie re-telling of the real-life Flannan Isle mystery
  • Fighting With My Family – Stephen Merchant’s solo feature film directorial debut is a warm-hearted true story about wrestling and family bonds starring The Rock and Florence Pugh.
  • Yuli – the dazzling, rags-to-riches life of ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, beautifully captured by director Icíar Bollaín and I, Daniel Blake writer Paul Laverty.
  • Tell It To The Bees -Annabel Jankel’s film stars Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger as two young women falling in love and causing scandal in their 1950s Scottish small town.
  • Final Ascent – Glasgow director Robbie Fraser’s film about the life of legendary Scottish mountaineer Hamish MacInnes, featuring testimonies from Sir Michael Palin and Sir Chris Bonnington.
  • A Bread Factory – Patrick Wang’s Altman-esque Midwest epic across two parts.
  • The Public – Emilio Estevez’s moving, thought-provoking, state-of-the-nation drama starring Alec Baldwin;
  • Hotel Mumbai – a gripping dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks starring Dev Patel.
  • The Wedding Guest – Michael Winterbottom’s eagerly-awaited thriller also starring Dev Patel.
  • Dirty God – Sacha Polak’s film features astounding newcomer Vicky Knight as a young mother rebuilding her life following an acid attack.
  • She’s Missing – a haunting thriller set in the deserts of the American deep south starring Josh Hartnett.
  • Tyrel – a jet black comedy and razor-sharp analysis of racial divides in America starring Jason Mitchell, Michael Cera, and Caleb Landry Jones.

Only You (Credit: GFF)

Scottish Premieres

There are 49 films making their Scottish Premieres at Glasgow Film Festival 2019. These include:

  • Eighth Grade – US stand-up comedian Bo Burnham’s eagerly awaited directorial debut.
  • Benjamin – Simon Amstell’s feature directorial debut, the fresh and endearing rom-com.
  • Only You – charting a beautiful romance that begins on Hogmanay on the streets of Glasgow, featuring rising stars Josh O’Connor and Laia Costa.
  • Papi Chulo – the new feature from John Butler (director of GFF17 opening film Handsome Devil) that sees a heartbroken weatherman (played by Magic Mike star Matt Bomer) strike up a friendship with an elderly Mexican labourer.
  • The Merger – starring top Australian stand-up Damian Callinan as a former professional Aussie Rules footballer returning home to help his hapless local team.
  • Prophecy – an unprecedented insight into the mind of acclaimed Scottish artist Peter Howson as he works on his latest masterpiece.
  • Aquarela – the astonishing immersive documentary about the raw power of water,  (supported by Creative Scotland), screened on Dolby Atmos at Cineworld for full, jaw-dropping effect.

Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “Over the years at GFF we have excelled with our Special Events and this year is no exception. The Blair Witch Project at a Secret Location is sure to scare and thrill and don’t forget “The first rule about Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club” so you’ll just have to get along and participate… As ever our Sound & Vision strand is filled with music of all types from Classic to Jazz and a brilliant live event hosted by Lost Map records featuring Monoganon and Free Love performing to footage of Eigg filmed by Slow Tree. This heady strand is topped off with films such as Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell starring Elisabeth Moss as a self-destructive rock star and Brady Corbett’s electric Vox Lux. This year our Audience Award – GFF’s only award – features six (out of 10) films that are directed by women with strong and vibrant films telling a variety of stories.”

Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “It is a real pleasure to be able to share the programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2019. The Festival is peppered with exciting discoveries from around the world that range from action-packed Indian crowd-pleaser The Man Who Feels No Pain to elegant Vietnamese period piece The Third Wife, knockout coming of age tale Float Like A Butterfly from Ireland and the gorgeous Kyrgyzstan musical The Song Of The Tree. I can’t wait for audiences to delight in Louis Garrel’s romantic A Faithful Man, embrace Patrick Wang’s Altman-esque epic A Bread Factory and shudder at The Vanishing with Peter Mullan and Gerard Butler. The cherry on the cake is our tribute to the great Elaine May that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.”

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Alone At My Wedding (Credit: GFF)

The festival will also see the Audience Award, the festival’s only award, handed out. This year’s 10 nominees are:

  • Alone At My Wedding – Marta Bergman’s feature debut about a
    Romani woman who becomes a mail-order bride.
  • A Faithful Man – Louis Garrel’s droll French romance.
  • The Feeling of Being Watched – journalist Assia Boundaoui’s investigation into FBI surveillance in her Arab-American neighbourhood.
  • Float Like a Butterfly – Carmel Winters’ powerful and timely drama about a young girl from the Irish roadside camps rising through the boxing ranks.
  • Fugue – Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s gripping thriller about a mother with memory loss.
  • Harry Birrell: Films Of Love and War – Glasgow-based director Matt Pinder’s latest film.
  • The Man Who Feels No Pain  – Vasan Bala’s irresistible Indian Hindi comedy about a young man who uses his rare congenital disorder to fight muggers.
  • Permission – Soheil Beirraghi’s thought-provoking, high stakes drama about everyday injustices faced by women in Iran.
  • Real Love – Claire Burgers’ tender family drama about a single father of two who becomes involved in community theatre.
  • The Third Wife – Ash Mayfair’s directorial debut set in 19th century Vietnam.

The Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award 2019 is sponsored by Benihana.

Tickets for the full programme go on sale Thursday 24th January 2019 for GFF members, and on general sale on Monday 28th January 2019 at 10am from


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