The Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) has revealed the programme for its 2021 edition (Feb 24-March 7), which includes several award-winning festival favourites and a focus on South Korea.
The 17th edition of GFF, which recently announced it would shift online-only due to the ongoing virus crisis, includes six world premieres, two European premieres and 49 UK premieres – around a third of the event’s usual programme of 180 titles.
However, GFF co-directors Allison Gardner and Allan Hunter said the reduced number of slots had forced them to raise the bar for selection and produce a stronger programme as a result.
See below for full list of titles
The festival has secured world premieres of Marley Morrison’s debut feature Sweetheart, which follows the relationship between two young women during a summer holiday; star-crossed romance A Brixton Tale, from debut filmmakers Darragh Carey and Bertrand Desrochers; and Philippe McKie’s Dreams On Fire, which explores Tokyo’s underground dance community.
World premieres of documentaries in GFF’s line-up include Anthony Baxter’s Eye of the Storm, which uses animation to tell the story of Scottish painter James Morrison in his final years; Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, which explores the eponymous punk musician, co-directed by her daughter Celeste Bell and Paul Sng; and Luke White’s Handsome, in which a man and his brother journey to meet other siblings with Down’s Syndrome.
The festival also has the European premieres of Sonia Bennebeck’s hacker documentary Enemies Of The State, which debuted at Toronto, and Kirk Caouette’s action thriller American Badger, part of GFF’s partnership with genre festival Frightfest.
A country focus on South Korea will comprise the UK premieres of Jung-eun Lim’s Our Midnight; Eui-jeong Hong’s crime caper Voices Of Silence; Jae-Hoon Choi’s The Swordsman; Chan-yang Shim’s musician drama Da Capo; and Min-ho Woo’s conspiracy thriller The Man Standing Next, which is South Korea’s submission for the Oscar.
Selected festival favourites include Cannes label titles Gagarine, by Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh, Suzanne Lindon’s Spring Blossom (which will close GFF), and Ben Sharrock’s critically-acclaimed Limbo, which more recently won the top prizes at Cairo and Macao film festivals.
Berlinale award-winners in GFF’s line-up include Mohammad Rasoulof’s There Is No Evil, which won the Golden Bear, and Srdan Golubovic’s Father, which picked up the Panorama audience award.
As previously announced, the festival will open with Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, which won the grand jury prize and audience award when it premiered at Sundance.
There had been uncertainty over the opening and closing films as both Minari and Spring Blossom was originally secured as “cinema-only screenings”. But GFF has secured rights to screen nearly all its original selection online as part of its first virtual festival.
“We probably lost one or two films, due to their contractual obligations around theatrical screenings, but we’ve managed to secure nearly everything that was going to be in the cinema and online so it’s pretty close to our original programme,” said Gardner.
Announcing the line-up, Gardner said her personal highlights included dystopian drama Apples, from Greek director Christos Nikou; Anders Thomas Jensen’s Riders Of Justice, starring Mads Mikkelsen; and Big vs Small, the debut feature of Minna Dufton, which profiles Portugal’s first female big wave surfer.
This year’s GFF was set to physically screen titles in Glasgow as well as 23 partner cinemas around the UK, but with theatres across much of the UK remaining closed due to lockdown restrictions, festival organisers took the decision to move all activity to its new online platform, Glasgow Film At Home. Many of the virtual screenings will also include filmmaker Q&As, with plans to schedule live-streamed conversations as well as pre-recorded discussions.
Glasgow Film Festival 2021
- American Badger, dir. Kirk Caouette
- Apples, dir. Christos Nikou
- Back To The Wharf, dir. Xiaofeng Li
- Big vs Small, dir. Minna Dufton
- Black Bear, dir. Lawrence Michael Levine
- A Brixton Tale, dirs. Darragh Carey, Bertrand Desrochers (World premiere)
- Castro’s Spies, dirs. Ollie Aslin, Gary Lennon
- City Hall, dir. Fred Wiseman
- Cowboys, dir. Anna Kerrigan
- Creation Stories, dir. Nick Moran
- Da Capo, dir. Chan-yang Shim
- Dreams On Fire, dir. Philippe McKie (World premiere)
- Enemies Of The State, dir. Sonia Kennebeck
- Eye Of The Storm, dir. Anthony Baxter (World premiere)
- Father, dir. Srdan Golubovic
- Gagarine, dirs. Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh
- Handsome, dir. Luke White (World premiere)
- In The Shadows, dir. Erdem Tepegöz
- Iorram (Boat Song), dir. Alastair Cole
- Jumbo, dir. Zoé Wittock
- Killing Escobar, dir. David Whitney
- The Last Ones, dir. Veiko Õunpuu
- Limbo, dir. Ben Sharrock
- The Man Standing Next, dir. Min-ho Woo
- The Mauritanian, dir. Kevin Macdonald
- Mekong 2030, dir. Anysay Keola, Sai Naw Kham, Pham Ngoc Lan, Kulikar Sotho, Anocha Suwichakornpong
- Minari, dir. Lee Isaac Chung (Opening film)
- Murmur, dir. Heather Young
- My Favourite War, dir. Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen
- My Wonderful Wanda, dir. Bettina Oberli
- The Old Ways, dir. Christopher Alender
- Our Midnight, dir. Jung-eun Lim
- Out Of This World, dir. Marc Fouchard
- Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, dirs. Celeste Bell, Paul Sng (World premiere)
- Poppy Field, dir. Eugen Jebeleanu
- Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period Of Time, dir. Lili Horvát
- Redemptions Of A Rogue, dir. Philip Doherty
- Riders Of Justice, dir. Anders Thomas Jensen
- Rosa’s Wedding, dir. Icíar Bollaín
- Run Hide Fight, dir. Kyle Rankin
- Shorta, dirs. Anders Ølholm, Frederik Louis Hviid
- Spring Blossom, dir. Suzanne Lindon (closing film)
- Spring Tide, dir. Yang Lina
- Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Club, dir. Eammon Ashton-Atkinson
- Surge, dir. Aneil Karia
- Sweetheart, dir. Marley Morrison (World premiere)
- The Swordsman, dir. Jae-Hoon Choi
- There Is No Evil, dir. Mohammad Rasoulof
- The Toll, dir. Ryan Andrew Hooper
- Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation, dir. Lisa Immordino Vreeland
- Underdogs, dir. Chino Moya
- Underplayed, dir. Stacey Lee
- Vicious Fun, dir. Cody Calahan
- Victim(s), dir. Layla Zhuqing
- Voices Of Silence, dir. Eui-jeong Hong
- Wildland, dir. Jeanette Nordahl
- The Woman With Leopard Shoes, dir. Alexis Bruchon
- Yer Old Faither, dir. Heather Croall