Out of the west

Allan Hunter

Allan Hunter, co-director of the Glasgow Film Festival

2008 Glasgow Film Festival programme launched

On the day the 2008 Oscar nominations were announced, the stars and main players of Scottish film and media gathered at Glasgow Film Theatre’s Cinema One to hear some much more significant film news. On Tuesday 22 January the programme for the fourth Glasgow Film Festival was launched. Co-directors Allison Gardner and Allan Hunter were on hand to introduce film clips and discuss the GFF's rising popularity, having overtaken the Cambridge Film Festival in admissions last year to become the third biggest event (after London and Edinburgh) on the UK film calendar. Hunter told The List: ‘The festival recorded a massive 70% increase in audience figures in 2007. We hope to build on that with a programme that includes around 100 films over 11 days and features new works from some of the great masters of world cinema, from Michael Haneke to Woody Allen, Wong Kar-wai to Ermanno Olmi.’

Like any good director Hunter hopes this will be the best year yet: ‘This was the first year that we opened the festival to submissions and I was pleasantly surprised, both by the quality of the films we received and the far flung corners of the globe from which we appeared. A healthy number of features and documentaries were accepted, including Iraq war homecoming drama Body Of War, prize-winning British feature Unrelated and documentary An Unlikely Weapon, about photojournalist Eddie Adams.’

Hunter also has no intention of forgetting that this is a Scottish festival for people who live in Scotland: ‘The Festival is committed to supporting Scottish filmmaking talent both old and new. The old comes in the shape of Glasgow-born Frank Lloyd who was the first Scot to win an Oscar. We're screening his 1922 version of Oliver Twist. The new includes Charles Henri Belleville with his low-budget feature The Inheritance and Zam Salim who has made some great shorts. Screen International has chosen him as a ‘Star Of Tomorrow’, there has already been a retrospective of his work in Turkey, and recognition in Scotland seemed well overdue.’

Glasgow Film Festival, Thu 14 Feb–Sun 24 Feb. www.glasgowfilmfestival.org.uk

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