Black Scottish stories to feature prominently at this year's Glasgow Film Festival
- Emma Simmonds
- 3 February 2021
A programme of films and events entitled 'Welcome To' will be available online in March
The line-up for the 2021 Glasgow Film Festival continues to take shape and it's just been announced that this year's event will celebrate Black Scottish films, filmmakers and history with a programme called 'Welcome To'. Running from Thu 4 to Sat 6 Mar, the films and events will be available to watch online at Glasgow Film At Home, Glasgow Film's online viewing platform.
Programmed by Tomiwa Folorunso and Natasha Ruwona, 'Welcome To' comprises six films, some short, some feature-length. It will be divided into two focuses: 'Welcome To: A Focus on Black Women Filmmakers', which includes Ngozi Onwurah's narrative feature Welcome II the Terrordome and Adura Onashile's short Expensive Shit; while 'Lineages of the Landscape' will screen documentaries which illuminate Scottish Black history, like Elly M Taylor's Angelou on Burns. In addition to the public programme, the GFF Industry programme will include a panel discussion, featuring Lorna King and Moyo Akandé, and a masterclass on pitching your film, led by Soul Cognition's Jasmin Morrison.
Natasha and Tomiwa explain the thinking behind the programme: 'Coming into this role, we wanted to celebrate the richness of Black Scottish communities and challenge the belief that they are not/have not been present. Called 'Welcome To', all the films selected have Black and Scottish connections. At the same time, it was incredibly important to us to create opportunities and build on the legacy of Black Scottish work, and we have collaborated with Black contemporary artists and creatives to respond to our programme. We also worked with the GFF Industry team to encourage the wider industry to address and reflect on the lack of Black Scottish films being made and support BIPOC producers. We see this entire programme as one part of a bigger invitation to disrupt, that was started before us, and will continue beyond this moment.'
In response to this lack of significant Black representation in Scottish film, Natasha and Tomiwa additionally asked Black creatives to respond to the themes of the programme and/or the films themselves. Funmi Lijadu has produced a piece of digital art, ButhoTheWarrior has curated a two-hour promo music mix, Fringe of Colour founder Jess Brough has written a response to Angelou on Burns, and Black Scot Pod will create a special podcast.
Head to glasgowfilm.org/festival for more information on this programme and the full GFF line-up. Tickets can be pre-ordered now. The films will be available to view via online platform Glasgow Film At Home during the festival, which runs from Wed 24 Feb to Sun 7 Mar.
To support the development of Black Scottish film networks, a number of GFF Industry passes are available free of charge for Black filmmakers throughout the UK who have not previously attended Glasgow Film Festival. For more information visit glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/industry. The full Industry programme will be announced in the week beginning Mon 8 Feb.