Glasgow Film Fest is Back!

It’s that time of year again! For film enthusiasts everywhere the Glasgow Film Festival 2018 is back and not to be missed. Kicking off on the 21st February and running until 4th March #GFF 2018 has some real gems in store for us; from 90s cult classic Clueless (1995), to 1981 treasure Gregory’s Girl and Stuart Rosenburg’s 1967 hit Cool Hand Luke.

As one of the biggest film events in Britain, the Glasgow Film Festival attracts audiences in excess of 40,000. Festival Co-director Allan Hunter describes Glasgow Film Festival as having ‘something for everyone’, and indeed the 2018 programme features a broad range of films accessible to all, from family favourites to the festival’s ‘FrightFest’. In addition to this, the festival has a range of films which reflects the state of our current, chaotic times by celebrating films which are diverse, innovative that will inspire and educate.

Launching the festival on the 21st February is the UK premiere of Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion animated feature Isle of Dogs showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre a mere 6 days after its Berlin premiere! Described as ‘witty, wise and brimming with charm’ Isle of Dogs is set in dystopian future Japan and follows the escapades of a quintet of canines. In typical director Wes Anderson style the film is visually stunning and features the voice talents of many of Anderson’s regular collaborators including: Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Murray as well as featuring Scarlett Johansson and Greta Gerwig. The Isle of Dogs premiere is one not to be missed.

Ideal for all students is Glasgow Film Festival’s free cinema events. Each year explores a different theme from dangerous dames of film noir to 2018’s theme ‘Rebel Heroes’ featuring characters who broke the rules and fought the system, from Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront to Al Pacino’s defiance against the established order in Dog Day Afternoon. Further seminal works in the strand include a groundbreaking plea for racial tolerance in Sidney Poitier’s The Defiant Ones to Paul Newman, as a Christ-like (allegory) con in Cool Hand Luke. Start your day with something fun, defiant and different; come along to the Glasgow Film Festival at 10:30am and join us for some free cinema.

The theme of ‘heroes’ runs throughout the entirety of the film festival’s 2018 programme. As well as featuring ‘Rebel Heroes’ there is a special homage played to our ‘Local Heroes’ which recognise the inventive and wonderful films made here in Britain. The programme offers a diverse range of cinematic delight, from old classics to contemporary masterpieces, some familiar and some new for everyone. Highlights include director John Cameron Mitchell’s adaption of Neil Gaiman’s class graphic novel, How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Maggie Smith’s crème de la crème performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Set in Edinburgh during the 1930s Maggie Smith plays the eponymous Jean Brodie and won an Academy Award for Best Actress in the role. Romantic, corrupt and unrestrained it’s a classic not to be missed.

Staying local is the ‘Ireland: The Near Shore’ strand of the festival. Ireland’s film industry is booming with a lot of emerging newlocal talent at its forefront–– actors Saoirise Ronan, Barry Keoghan and directors such as Lenny Abrahamson and Martin McDonagh are claiming the world stage and are at the top of their game. This year the Glasgow Film Festival is celebrating up and coming Irish talent at its best, featuring animated film The Breadwinner, Kissing Candice and as well as not-to-be-missed The Near Shore: A Scottish and Irish Cine-Concert. Accompanied by a live Irish orchestra. The Near Shore is a silent film exploration which offers varying perspectives on Scotland and Ireland. This Irish Film Institute and Glasgow Film Festival are supported by Culture Ireland allowing Glasgow Film Festival to bring us the best of Irish acts in Britain, so definitely one to put in the calendar!

As 2018 is the ‘Year of the Young People’ the ‘Modern Families’ selection of films featured at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival are definitely ones to check out for young film enthusiasts as well as all the family. This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Willow. A fun-packed adventure for everyone to enjoy Willow gets even better (if possible) by being screened at Kinning Park. Get your tickets now, this one will be popular! If Willow isn’t your thing, why not check out the UK premiere of Mary and the Witch’s Flower which is the latest from iconic Studio Ghibli’s Hiromasa Yonebayashi. A tale of magic and wonder, this beautiful film is definitely one to watch, featuring the voice talents of Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet, Hana Sugisaki and Yūki Amami the film is in Japanese with English subtitles. The ‘Modern Families’ selection on offer at Glasgow Film Festival this year is a delight through and through.

Now for everyone’s favourite instalment of the film festival: the special events. Every year Glasgow Film Festival organise an array of cinematic spectacles for our enjoyment and this year is no different, welcome to the party pal! From Die Hard in the former college of building and printing to Clueless at SWG3-there’s a cult classic in a groovy venue for everyone. Also on offer is Mike Nichol’s 80s classic Working Girl featuring stand out performances from Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford and Joan Cusack, whose comic performance is so underrated. The film is worth going to see solely for her proposal of ‘Coffee, tea, me?’ to Harrison Ford as she poses as her pal Melanie Griffith’s receptionist. The choice of excellent, hilarious and fun films on offer on Glasgow Film Festivals’ special events programme is endless.

Closing this year’s Glasgow Film Festival is the world premiere of Felipe Bustos Sierra’s Nae Pasaran. This much anticipated feature length documentary debut slots right into the overarching theme of ‘Heroes’ which permeates throughout many of the films at this year’s festival. The film tells the story of a group of workers at the Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride who demonstrated their support to the people of Chile by refusing to perform vital inspections of engines for Hawker Hunter planes which were the planes used by the military junta against the people of Chile. The boycott lasted for four years and was an act of solidarity against a brutal dictatorship. The story of Nae Pasaran is a true story of local, Glasgow heroes and is an ideal way to close 2018’s Glasgow Film Festival.

From the adventures of five dogs on a Japanese island, to a set of mislead Edinburgh schoolgirls and a woman trying to climb the corporate ladder in 80s Manhattan, Glasgow’s Film Festival 2018 offers something for everyone. These films will make you laugh, cry, cower in fear and force to the edge of your seat. Be sure to book grab a programme, book your tickets and join us in a gateway into another world. Yipee-ki-yay!

See what else is on and book tickets at

Words by Marie-Louise Paton

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