2011 Glasgow Short Film Festival showcases Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase
Festival dedication to imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi
Returning for its fourth year, the Glasgow Short Film Festival presents a packed weekend of local and international films, workshops, panel discussions and parties with a special emphasis on bringing undiscovered and rare work to the fore.
New York’s punk scene is explored in No Wave Cinema, a collection of underground films made between 1976 and 1984, an event that festival director Matt Lloyd is particularly proud of. ‘Guest curator George Clark has done a massive job of seeking out 16mm prints from various libraries and archives in New York and elsewhere, and this will be a unique opportunity to see these films in the UK,’ he says.
Another highlight is the focus on Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase (pictured). At the age of 27, she became the youngest ever winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes. Her unforgettable short films capture her immediate world with rare beauty and sensitivity. There will be two programmes of films by Kawase – the first exploring her relationship with the great aunt who raised her and the second about the father whom she never knew.
Alongside these special focuses run eight competition strands showcasing short films from across the globe, including award-winning Romanian work The Cage. There will also be a screening dedicated to Digicult, the short film scheme which has been giving Scottish filmmakers a foot up into the film industry for ten years.
The festival has gained a reputation for its laid-back vibe. Lloyd refers to it as having the air of a ‘three day continuous party’ with an ‘informal and inclusive atmosphere’. The DJs and live acts lined up (including LuckyMe, Optimo and Wounded Knee) are a testament to the festival’s celebratory spirit, although this year it’s accompanied by a poignant reminder of the political power of film. Lloyd has decided to dedicate the festival to Iranian director Jafar Panahi who was recently sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for attempting to make a film that was believed to be critical of the Iranian government. ‘It was less a considered decision than an instinctive response to the news of his imprisonment,’ he says. ‘We had already programmed his short film The Accordion, so it would have seemed blinkered, immoral even, not to make some kind of gesture of solidarity. We can do our bit to support an international movement to raise awareness of this appalling abuse of the right to freedom of expression.’
Glasgow Short Film Festival, CCA, Glasgow, Fri 18–Sun 20 Feb.