Glasgow Film Festival 2020 day planner
- Julia Kajdi
- 26 February 2020
Can't decide what to catch at this year's GFF? Here's our guide to the films we think are worth checking out
Returning for its 16th edition from Wed 26 Feb to Sun 8 Mar, Glasgow Film Festival once again offers a dazzling and rich selection of national and international pieces from heartwarming documentaries, to chilling horror films; from directorial debuts to nostalgic classics. The major UK festival celebrates cinema with special events, numerous Q&As, various talks and workshops while the screenings take place as part of various different themed strands.
With such a diverse and striking list of films it is easy to feel overwhelmed but fear not; we've created a day-to-day schedule with some of the most promising and exciting movies screening at the festival in 2020.
WEDNESDAY 26 FEBRUARY
Opening Gala: Proxima
Following in the footsteps of Handsome Devil, Isle of Dogs and Mid90s, this year it is Alice Winocour's powerful drama that opens the festival. Proxima follows an astronaut (played by Eva Green) who struggles to find the balance between her professional and personal life. From time to time, she is forced to take a step back from being a mother to her eight-year-old girl and focus on her year-long mission on the International Space Station. She has to face the emotional challenges within her family as well as everyday sexism within her professional team. Proxima debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last year with positive reviews and with an extremely strong cast made up of Green, Matt Dillon, Sandra Hüller, Zélie Boulant, and Lars Eidinger, it's no wonder that the film was a finalist in the race to be France's nomination for the Academy Awards in 2020.
GFT, Wed 26 & Thu 27 Feb
THURSDAY 27 FEBRUARY
Multi-award winning Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz is back with a stunning and heavy drama adapting Martha Batalha's 2016 novel of the same title. The film is set in the 50s in Rio de Janeiro and follows two sisters. Struggling in the patriarchal system, both women live their life in the false notion that the other lives a better life half the world away. Both Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler shine in this nuanced melodrama that is heavily influenced by the likes of R. W. Fassbinder and Douglas Sirk but still manages to stay strong and meaningful on its own merit. Brazil submitted Invisible Life to compete for the Best International Feature Film but ended up not being selected.
GFT, Thu 27 Feb; Cineworld Sat 29 Feb
Also recommended: The August Virgin, Out in the Open, Blow the Man Down, In the Name of Land, Patrick, Out Stealing Horses, Vivarium
FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY
True History of the Kelly Gang
From director Justin Kurzel who brought us the highly lyrical and visually breathtaking Macbeth comes a new adaptation; this time from 1870s Australia. Peter Carey's novel and the film follows the story of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly and his violent gang. The Australian outlaw had a rapid rise in the mid 19th century only to die at the age of 25. He is portrayed by George MacKay who is featured in this fast-paced and action-packed western alongside Essie Davis, Nicholas Hoult, Charlie Hunnam, and Russell Crowe. The film earned favourable reviews upon its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
GFT, Thu 27 & Fri 28
Also recommended: While at War, Isaac, Sulphur & White, Echo, Martin Eden, Blow the Man Down, Out Stealing Horses, Our Mothers, Vivarium
SATURDAY 29 FEBRUARY
You Will Die at 20
Amjad Abu Alala's directorial debut tells the harsh reality of Sudan's fight for democracy with a beautiful metaphor. Muzamil (played by Moatasem Rashed and Mustafa Shehata) lives his life in fear and in the shadow of a childhood prediction that says he will die at the age of 20. In the midst of this incredible pressure, his father leaves the family, his mother becomes overly protective while everyone else is prepared to mourn him when the time comes. How can someone appreciate what's given when they know it will all be taken away too soon and unjustly early? Alala's both narratively and visually powerful piece won an award at the Venice Film Festival in 2019.
CCA, Thu 27 & Sat 29 Feb
Also recommended: While at War, Isaac, Echo, Martin Eden, Gutterbee, I Want My MTV, Always in Season
SUNDAY 1 MARCH
Escape from Pretoria
Daniel Radcliffe portrays Tim Jenkin, South African author and activist who was sent to a maximum security prison in the late 1970s for being a 'terrorist'. His novel and Francis Annan's adaptation of it tells the incredible true story of how Jenkin and Stephen Lee managed to escape from Pretoria with the use of handmade wooden keys. This thrilling and suspenseful drama showcases human willpower and hope while also reflecting on modern society's injustices.
Cineworld, Sat 29 Feb & Sun 1 Mar
Also recommended: The Death of Dick Long, Lost Transmissions, The Capote Tapes, Kontora, The Painted Bird, Run, And the Birds Rained Down
MONDAY 2 MARCH
Goya Award-winning Argentinian actor Ricardo Darín teams up once more with writer Eduardo Sacheri; the pair brought us one of the best thriller-like dramas in the 21st century, The Secret In Their Eyes. Their new collaboration has a slightly lighter tone but nonetheless remains critical to today's corruption in Buenos Aires. A retired footballer (played by Darín) persuades a group of friends in a sleepy and small town to invest in a co-operative. The heist-flavoured film follows them robbing a depository that holds their money previously stolen by their bank manager and white collar criminal lawyer. A truly entertaining tale of the small men fighting against a crooked system.
GFT, Sat 29 Feb & Mon 2 Mar
Also recommended: Violet Evergarden, Arracht, Moffie, And the Birds Rained Down
TUESDAY 3 MARCH
Highly acclaimed and brilliant Swedish director Roy Andersson is back with yet another peculiar, absurd yet honest reflection on modern society. Following his huge success in 2014, he was once again awarded in Venice; this time his human drama got him the Silver Lion. About Endlessness explores how people disregard what's truly important and relevant while focusing on ridiculous banalities. Do we just let our life and time fly by without even registering what makes it special and unique? Heavy questions in the well-known Andersson-esque setting; sarcastic humour with surprising actions or the lack of them. The film highlights what matters to humanity and what should matter.
Cineworld, Mon 2 & Tue 3 Mar
Also recommended: Les Miserables, The Truth, Marona's Fantastic Tale, Arracht, A White, White Day, Son-Mother
WEDNESDAY 4 MARCH
You wouldn't be able to tell that actor-turned director Craig Roberts has only made one film before deciding to tell the story of Jane, a woman suffering from schizophrenia. This sensitive and heartwarming romantic drama features two time Oscar-nominated actress Sally Hawkins in the lead role, who once again brings a dazzling performance to the screen. The nuanced film focuses on the everyday struggles and giving up hope just when life offers something unexpected: love. Hawkins is joined by David Thewlis and Billie Piper. As the director put it in our interview with him: '...it's not A Beautiful Mind, not about a genius who has been forced into this state of mind. It's just about a person who is living her life.'
GFT, Wed 4 & Thu 5 Mar
Also recommended: James Vs His Future Self, Because We Are Girls, A White, White Day, The Ascent, Balloon, Agnes Joy
THURSDAY 5 MARCH
Awarded in Cannes and directed by Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho, this Brazilian-French co-production gives a painful and cruel insight into modern Brazil and the legacy of colonialism. Set in the not-so-distant future, Teresa visits her hometown for her mother's funeral. But Bacurau is not the same place she remembered from her childhood; its native citizens have been sold and are now used as bait for hunters coming from abroad to have a 'little fun'. With the reappearance of the young girl, the town decides that it's time to resist and fight back. A clever, deep, disturbing and visually unique genre-mixture with flawless performances by Bárbara Colen, Udo Kier and Sonia Braga.
GFT, Tue 3 & Thu 5 Mar
Also recommended: Patrick, Running to the Sky, Lillian, Synchronic, Song Without a Name
FRIDAY 6 MARCH
Measure for Measure
When it comes to Shakespeare, no number of adaptations are enough: this time it's Paul Ireland who directs a modern version of a well-known story. The film is set in Melbourne with Duke being an all-powerful crime boss living in a huge estate that reflects the multicultural population of the entire country. With Hugo Weaving leading the cast as the dangerous crime lord, this contemporary take on an old classic makes it a must see. Explore how human nature never changes, neither for better, nor for worse.
GFT, Thu 5 & Fri 6 Mar
Also recommend: ZANA, The Garden Left Behind, Deerskin, The Long Walk, Radioactive
SATURDAY 7 MARCH
Calm With Horses
After directing several acclaimed short films, Nick Rowland is ready with his first feature film. The BAFTA-nominated filmmaker has put together a heartbreaking thriller (not an easy thing to do!) set in rural Ireland about a man torn between his family and his best friend. Ex-boxer Arm works as an enforcer while being a devoted dad to his young son and trying his best to win back his ex-girlfriend. His friend however, relies on his help way too much to let him go pursue a better life. With strong performances from Niamh Algar and rising star Barry Keoghan, the film is about love, friendship and loyalty.
GFT, Sat 7 Mar
Also recommended: Out In the Open, In the Name of the Land, The Death of Dick Long, Over the Sea, Two of Us
SUNDAY 8 MARCH
Fresh, bold and highly entertaining; Michael Caton-Jones' nicely balanced mixture of comedy and drama flies the audience back to 90s Scotland for an adventure similar to Pitch Perfect yet nothing like Pitch Perfect. A group of Catholic school girls are training for a choir competition in Edinburgh but when they arrive in the capital, their priorities quickly shift away from singing to drinking, partying and meeting with guys. Hilarious and deep with impressively talented young actresses whom we had a chat with not that long ago.
GFT, Fri 28, Sat 29 Feb & Sun 8 Mar
Also recommend: The Two of Us, Make Up, Rocks
CLOSING GALA: SUNDAY 8 MARCH
How to Build a Girl
Hilarious coming-of-age film with the hugely talented and ever so charming Beanie Feldstein in the leading role. Caitlin Moran adapts her semi-autobiographical bestseller with the help of John Niven and puts it in the good hands of director Coky Giedroyc. The result is a laugh-out-loud comedy about a teenager who reinvents herself as a sexy, confident and fast-talking music critic and moves to London to earn enough money to help her family out. A witty, smart, funny and intelligent piece with knock-out performances. Feldstein is joined by Emma Thomson, Alfie Allen, Chris O'Dowd and Jameela Jamil.
Glasgow Film Festival, various venues, Glasgow, Wed 26 Feb–Sun 8 Mar. Full programme available at glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).
Glasgow Film Festival
Since 2005, Scotland's fastest-growing film festival has become a force to be reckoned with in the movie world. The 2021 festival will be presented in a new online format.
Wed 2 Mar 2022
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