Glasgow Film Festival 2015: Audience Award Shortlist
GFF's inaugural Audience Award focuses on first and second-time directors; we take a look at the ten contenders
This year, the Glasgow Film Festival will be holding its first ever Audience Award. The accolade is exclusively for movies by debut or second time directors, and will be dished out on the festival’s final day (Sun 1 Mar). Matthew Turner and Scott Henderson take a look at some of the contenders
When Animals Dream (Denmark)
Director: Jonas Alexander Arnby
Skilfully blending the likes of Let the Right One In and Ginger Snaps, Arnby's chilling coming-of-age horror stars Sonia Suhl as 16-year-old Marie, whose body is undergoing a strange transformation that threatens the stability of life in her remote Danish fishing village. An atmospheric, starkly beautiful debut with a captivating central performance from newcomer Suhl.
GFT, Thu 19 Feb, 11am; Fri 20 Feb, 6.15pm.
Theeb (Jordan / Qatar / UAE / UK)
Director: Naji Abu Nowar
Set in the Ottoman Empire in 1916, Nowar’s thrilling adventure story stars Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat as Bedouin orphan Theeb, who undergoes a dangerous journey when he helps his older brother (Hussein Salameh) guide a British officer (Jack Fox) across the Arabian desert. With an exciting plot and strong performances, this is further bolstered by stunning location work in southern Jordan.
GFT, Thu 19 Feb, 11am.
Appropriate Behaviour (US / UK)
Director: Desiree Akhavan
Another Sundance 2014 debutant, Akhavan writes, directs and stars in this hipster comedy about a bisexual Persian-American woman in Brooklyn dealing with identity issues, a bitter break-up and other carnage she generally wreaks in her life. Comparisons to Lena Dunham’s Girls be damned, Appropriate Behaviour marks Akhavan as a talent to watch in her own right.
GFT, Thu 19 Feb, 3.45pm; Fri 20 Feb, 11pm.
The Wonders (Italy / Switzerland / Germany)
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Italian writer-director Rohrwacher follows her critically acclaimed debut Corpo Celeste with this mesmerising coming-of-age drama about a young girl (Alexandra Lungu) who enters her unconventional, bee-keeping family in a talent contest. Rohrwacher coaxes terrific performances from her young cast and injects a genuine sense of enchantment, while Monica Bellucci contributes a charming cameo as the show's impossibly glamorous hostess.
GFT, Sat 21 Feb, 8.45pm; Sun 22 Feb, 11am.
52 Tuesdays (Australia)
Director: Sophie Hyde
This one made its debut at Sundance 2014, picked up the World Cinema Best Director award, and has since gone on to win gongs at Berlin and Melbourne. At its core, 52 Tuesdays is a coming-of-age tale in which 16-year-old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) learns that her mother has decided to live her future life as a man. The film tracks their emotional journey through weekly Tuesday meetings between the pair.
CCA, Sun 22 Feb, 8.30pm; Mon 23 Feb, 1.30pm.
Director: Batin Ghobadi
Iraq's official submission for the Oscars centres on brooding police officer Mardan (Hossein Hasan), who's asked to investigate the case of a missing construction worker. Marking an impressive debut by Ghobadi (younger brother of A Time for Drunken Horses director, Bahman Ghobadi), this is a gripping and thought-provoking drama that recalls Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.
GFT, Mon 23 Feb, 6.15pm; Tue 24 Feb, 1pm.
Director: Lynette Wallworth
Wallworth’s uplifting documentary focuses on the Australian town of Port Kembla, where a community group set up a non-profit funeral service for the town's cash-strapped residents. However, the community is hit hard when one member is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Sensitively directed and strikingly shot, the film also features a score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
CCA, Mon 23 Feb, 9pm; Tue 24 Feb, 1.30pm.
Life in a Fishbowl (Iceland)
Director: Baldvin Zophoníasson
Set on the eve of Iceland's economic meltdown, Zophoníasson's second feature cleverly weaves together the lives of three separate characters, each of whom is leading a double life. With assured direction, strong performances and striking photography, this compelling drama was a huge success on its domestic release, becoming one of Iceland's biggest ever box-office hits.
GFT, Tue 24 Feb, 8.15pm; Wed 25 Feb, 11am.
Director: Tom Browne
This moving, blackly comic drama stars Richard Johnson and Gemma Jones as a Cumbrian cottage-dwelling retired couple who clash with their middle-aged son (Daniel Cerqueira) when he arrives to help them deal with the amount of junk they’ve accumulated over 40 years. Debutant Browne kept his budget low by shooting in his parents' house, with impressive results.
GFT, Wed 25 Feb, 8.30pm; Thu 26 Feb, 11am.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (US)
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Described as the ‘first Iranian vampire Western’, Amirpour’s debut feature is set in the fictional ghost town of Bad City, where a hijab-wearing, lonely female vampire (Argo’s Sheila Vand) stalks the townsfolk in glorious monochrome. Believe it or not, this one is an atmospheric love story, which wears its Jarmusch and Lynch influences firmly on it sleeve. Its premise is easily one of the festival’s most unique.
GFT, Fri 27 Feb, 8.30pm; Grosvenor, Sat 28 Feb, 8.30pm.