Glasgow Youth Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary

Glasgow Youth Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary

Anna and the Apocalypse

Check out what the festival's young programmers have in store for this landmark edition

In 2009, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival started life as part of Glasgow Schools Week. Now, ten edition's later, the festival has grown to occupy a deserved weekend all to itself.

What sets the GYFF apart is that it's entirely programmed by young programmers, aged 15–19, who have receive mentorship throughout the year, to give them the skills to bring a range of international films to Glasgow. As part of their remit, they also contribute to the organisation of two free film-themed workshops – Alternative Careers in Film and How to Make Your First Film – for fellow young people in the city.

For its tenth anniversary, the festival fittingly falls into the inaugural Year of Young People in Scotland and the programme has benefited from the YoYP fund because of the integral work it does in celebrating young talent and creativity and providing new opportunities.

Looking back at the festival's first decade, GYFF coordinator Sarah Emery is proud of what they have achieved. 'Over the years, GYFF has welcomed a number of inspiring guests – including John C Reilly, Kate Dickie and This Is England star Thomas Turgoose, who celebrated his 18th birthday at the festival – and has screened a number of high-profile titles including Taika Waititi's Boy in 2011, The Muppets in 2012, Disney's Wreck-it Ralph in 3D in 2013, Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises in 2014 and The Witch in 2016.'

This year's anniversary lineup will be particularly special. Opening the festival is the Scottish-based zombie musical Anna and the Apocalypse, followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew of the film. Another focal point is a special screening the young programmers have been working on which promotes inclusivity at the festival. Emery explains: 'Working with Glasgow Film Theatre's public engagement coordinator, Jodie Wilkinson, the team have curated a special dementia-friendly screening of the Elvis Presley classic, Jailhouse Rock. This screening will take place at the newly opened Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema in Maryhill.'

On the Saturday, the programme is jam-packed with Scottish premieres. Highlights of the day include Sundance London's hit Never Goin' Back from director Augustine Frizzell. It features up-and-coming actresses Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone as high school dropouts. Another is the much-anticipated Skate Kitchen, directed by Crystal Moselle, that has been racking up praise from the critics. The drama examines the life of an all-girl skate crew in New York City and stars Jaden Smith. After the film, there will be a Q&A with Moselle and some of the cast.

Glasgow Youth Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary

Skate Kitchen There's also a special family gala at Blythswood Hall and a family-friendly screening of classic The Mask of Zorro. At the Glasgow Film Theatre, the young programmers have selected a series of short films – Shorts: Journey to Stardom – from young people across the world as part of the BFI Film: A Language Without Borders programme. Richard Linklater's classic School of Rock will close the festival. But that's not all; after the film, there will be a real-life battle of the band's competition with groups from local schools competing against each other to stick it to the man.

Paul Bush, director of events for VisitScotland, who are supporting the festival, says: 'The young programmers have created a brilliant programme of screenings and workshops to mark the festival's 10th anniversary while gaining valuable hands-on experience in the world of film. It is fantastic to see GYFF inspiring young people's love of film and cinema, both behind the scenes of the festival as well as in the audience, and giving them the opportunity to make their creative ideas come to life.'

Glasgow Youth Film Festival, various venues, Fri 14–Sun 16 Sep.

Glasgow Youth Film Festival

The Glasgow Youth Film Festival is different to other film festivals. Not only is it aimed at teenagers, it’s also the first film festival in Europe that is curated by 15–19 year olds. This novel approach prevents GYFF being a well-meaning but ultimately condescending collection of movies selected by adults based on what…

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