Including Karen Gillan's directorial debut, the Best Screenplay winner at Cannes Film Festival and a brutal revenge drama
This year's Oscar nominations include a female in the best director category, which is unusual enough to have made headlines. In fact Greta Gerwig is only the fifth woman to be nominated for best director in Oscar history, and we're in year 90. Hence why we've selected some of the most exciting films at Glasgow Film Festival by female directors. Ranging from a lesbian rom com, to brutal revenge dramas and the fight for Swiss suffrage, it's a cornucopia of cinematic innovation.
You Were Never Really Here (dir. Lynne Ramsay)
Glasgow-born Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin) presents her hotly anticipated next feature. You Were Never Really Here is an adaptation of Jonathan Ames' novella about Joe (Joaquin Phoenix), a hammer-wielding avenger who rescues young women who have been kidnapped into the sex trade. Featuring a thrilling electronic score by Jonny Greenwood. The film has already won Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. GFT, Fri 23 Feb, 8.45pm & Sat 24 Feb, 1pm. Lynne Ramsay introduces the screening on Fri 23 Feb.
You, Me and Him (dir. Daily Aitkens)
A lesbian romantic comedy about a couple at different points in their lives: high-powered lawyer Olivia (Lucy Punch) is nearly 40 and wants to start a family but her free-wheeling younger partner Alex (Faye Marsay) doesn't share her urgency. What happens next involves recently-divorced neighbour John (David Tennant) and creates a tangled web of consequences, and pregnancies. GFT, Sun 25 Feb, 6.15pm & Mon 26 Feb, 3.15pm. Director Daisy Aitkens and actor David Tennant attend the screening on Sun 25 Feb.
The Divine Order (dir. Petra Volpe)
This February in the UK we honour 100 years since (some) women were granted the right to vote. In Switzerland it is less than 50 years since women have been able to vote. The Divine Order is the story of housewife Nora, who would require her husband's permission to get work. Fighting such an outmoded notion, she starts campaigning for women's suffrage. It was selected as the Swiss entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. GFT, Thu 22 Feb, 6.15pm; Fri 23 Feb, 1pm.
Faces Places (dir. Agnès Varda/JR)
Oscar-winning Agnès Varda has been making films for over 60 years. In Faces Places she is joined by photographer and muralist JR. The pair travel to small communities and villages, discovering that everyone has a story to tell. They take images of people and create glorious big murals on buildings and structures. Cineworld, Sun 25 Feb, 6.15pm & Mon 26 Feb, 1pm.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (dir. Mouly Surya)
A revenge drama set in the wild, wild east. Marlina (Marsha Timothy) is a young widow living alone in a remote farmhouse when a gang of marauders arrive and demand her money, livestock and body, but quick thinking Marlina has a very different idea of how the encounter will play out. Timothy won best actress in a leading role for this movie at Sitges Film Festival in Germany. GFT, Sat 24 Feb, 8.30pm & Sun 25 Feb, 4pm.
Let the Sunshine In (dir. Claire Denis)
Part of the CineMasters strand is French filmmaker Claire Denis' latest film, a wry romantic drama about a recently divorced woman (Juliette Binoche) living in Paris. Her new life leads her to dalliances with an angry banker, a self-absorbed actor and a stranger she meets on the dance floor. Featuring a soundtrack courtesy of Stuart Staples (Tindersticks). GFT, Sat 24 Feb, 6pm & Mon 26 Feb, 3.45pm
Village Rockstars (dir. Rima Das)
Rima Das shot her sophomore feature on location in north east India with non-professional actors. Ten-year-old Dhunu dreams of having her own rock band and one day playing a real guitar. Tearing about with her gang of boys she is admonished for her supposedly 'unfeminine behaviour' in a film that captures the spirit of youthful dreams alongside themes of female empowerment and self-belief. GFT Fri 2 Mar, 6pm & Sat 3 Mar, 3.45pm. Director/producer Rima Das will attend the screening on Fri 2 Mar.
The Party's Just Beginning (dir. Karen Gillan)
Already a very established actor (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) Karen Gillan presents her first feature as writer/director. The Party's Just Beginning is set in Inverness and stars Gillian in the lead role as Lucy, a young women trying to numb the pain of her best friend's suicide with excessive drinking, joyless sex and chips. Surrounded by bittersweet memories of her friend and plagued by survivor's guilt she struggles to find someone to talk to. GFT, Sat 24 Feb, 8.30pm & Sun 25 Feb 1.15pm. Karen Gillan and cast attend the screening on Sat 24 Feb.
Having launched in 2005, the Glasgow Film Festival has grown and grown: during that debut year, 6000 cinephiles passed through the doors, while 42,000 attended in 2016. Of course there are top-notch premieres, retrospectives and special guests (past visitors have
included Richard Gere, Joss Whedon and Alan Rickman) but…