This month we are looking forward to the start of the 2021 Glasgow Film Fest! Visiting their 2020 festival is one of our last team memories from the pre-pandemic world, but we are just as excited to see another brilliant programme on a virtual platform. We have scoured their line-up to bring you our top recommendations, including some familiar faces from festival's past and our talent alumni...
Apples (2020) • Recommended by Director of Programming Rod
Any fan of Charlie Kaufman or Yorgos Lanthimos will love this haunting first feature from director Christos Nikou. He deftly blends deadpan comedy with soulful reflections on identity, memory and all the little things that make us human.
“This little gem from Greece could scarcely be more timely… slacker Aris finds himself enrolled in an identity recovery programme in the aftermath of a strange amnesia-inducing pandemic.”
Gagarine (2020) • Recommended by Marketing Assistant Ellie
“If you are looking for a sweet slice of escapism, as I am most days at the moment, Gagarine will take you to the stars! In a Parisian housing estate, named after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the space-obsessed Yuri does everything he can to save his home from imminent demolition. As the outside atmosphere becomes cold and unwelcome, Yuri builds himself another, defying gravity to lose himself in space and time.
This celestial urban romance is both heartbreaking and illuminating, grand, sweeping and adventurous, telling of unbreakable community bonds, inspiring creativity and young love.”
Expensive Shit (2020) • Recommended by Head of Industry & Talent Development Holly
"Don't miss the screening of short film Expensive Shit, written and directed by Adura Onashile. I first met Adura when she took part in the SFTN Write4Film programme with this idea leading to a commission through the SFTN short film funds. Adapted from her original play, I am delighted to see it included in the GFF programme."
BIG vs SMALL (2020) • Recommended by Education & Learning Coordinator Chloe
“I have seen so many videos of people surfing Nazaré and each time I get shivers just imagining what it must feel like being faced with this giant wall of water; it makes you feel humble. I’m so pleased to see a film that documents the journey of a female big wave surfer, the challenges she faces and how she trains her body to overcome them.
The visuals look stunning and the sound of the waves make me feel like I am there with her. There is something fascinating about sports’ documentaries and how they explore the human psyche. This film looks breathtaking… no pun intended!”
Limbo (2020) • Recommended by Marketing Officer Abbie
“I was excited to watch Limbo, after hearing great things about Ben Sharrock’s Michael Powell award-winning Pikadero. Not only did the film not disappoint, but it also surprised me! Sharrock manages to sensitively tackle the refugee crisis, while still bringing in humour and lightness.
It follows Omar (a fantastic, gentle performance from Amir El-Masry), a Syrian refugee who finds himself waiting for the processing of his asylum claim in a safe house on the weather-beaten Isle of Uist, with only his grandfather’s Oud and three other refugees to keep him company. Through deadpan humour and a super sharp script, Limbo achieves the feat of being heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.”
Made by EIFF Talent Lab Alumni, Writer-Director Ben Sharrock, and Producer Irune Gurtubai.
Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché (2020) • Recommended by Head of Industry & Talent Development Holly
"I can't wait to see this story of one of the legendary women from the British punk rock era. Although I was late to the party, punk rock was a seminal part of my teenage musical and political education and X-Ray Spex, with a woman in the lead spot, was an inspiration for me, and for many. You can also catch the Industry Programme talk with the team, co-directors Celeste Bell and Paul Sng, and producer Rebecca Mark-Lawson on Monday 1st March from 2.00 - 3.30pm!"
If these recommendations weren't enough, here are a few special mentions for EIFF Talent Lab alumni in the #GFF21 programme!
Special Delivery (2020) - Director John McPhail (Short Film screening as an accompaniment to the UK Premiere of Run Hide Fight)
Sweetheart (2020) - Producer Michelle Antoniades (Dir. Marley Morrison)
The Toll (2020) - screenwriter Matt Redd (Dir. Ryan Andrew Hooper)
Event: Catching the Zeitgeist - Homemade Horror, with Rob Savage, Director and Co-Writer of Host
Event: Limbo Case Study with Writer-Director Ben Sharrock