Announcing GSFF20 Online

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We’re delighted to announce our revised 2020 programme. This special online-only event – our 12th and a half edition – does not include the full programme we intended to present back in March. Instead we are placing our competition selections – the six programmes of the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film and one of our strongest ever Scottish Short Film Competition lineups – under the spotlight. Each programme includes exclusive filmmaker interviews, bringing context to our cross-section of the most vibrant new cinema from Scotland and across the world. The online festival will also include a focus on Thai filmmaker Sorayos Prapapan, thematic programmes Black Spatial Imaginaries and Urban Palimpsests, the early shorts of Japanese auteur Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, and so much more.

We are supplementing the programme with discussion events and a specially-curated opening programme showcasing the UK premiere of In the Company of Insects, a brand-new film by one of our favourite filmmakers, Duncan Cowles. We are collaborating with Short Waves Festival in Poland on two industry panels and a spotlight on animator Tomasz Popakul, whose unique visions of alienation seem particularly well suited to our times.

This online edition provides the perfect opportunity for viewers unfamiliar with short film to get to grips with the format. The Skinny’s Best of the Decade programme is a great primer of contemporary Scottish filmmaking, whilst our selection of award-winning European Film Academy titles brings critically acclaimed titles from across Europe to UK audiences. Meanwhile our comedy and horror programmes should satisfy your hunger for late-night thrills, and our ever-popular family animation programme will be accompanied by an exclusive online animation workshop by Kate Burton.

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Here are some of our programme highlights:

Filmmaker focus: Sorayos Prapapan

Thirty-three year old Thai filmmaker Sorayos Prapapan’s social critiques have won him numerous awards both at home and internationally. He sets his sights on the hierarchical structure of Thai society, corruption and military influence, but the West and its influence do not escape unscathed either. GSFF is delighted to present nine of his short films, alongside an exclusive interview conducted by Gail Tolley.

Black Spatial Imaginaries 

How are Black people excluded/included within spaces and how does this relate to the wider context of their identities? Black Spatial Imaginaries explores the fluidity of Black communities through the concept of Black Geographies. This revised programme will include two new films from Alberta Whittle responding to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19. Programmed by artist and curator Natasha Ruwona through the New Promoter scheme supported by Film Hub Scotland, the screening will be accompanied by a live streamed performance by DJ/Rapper/Producer Nova Scotia The Truth and a live discussion with arts educator and cultural producer Tanatsei Gambura.

Urban Palimpsests

When the realities and futures of urban spaces are largely determined by capitalist motives and commodification, how can we reclaim them for collective life and community, reconsider cities as co-created environments that belong to everyone, and find space for our own visions and imaginations of the city? As we begin to repopulate our city streets post-lockdown, two screenings take the viewer on tours through gentrified, reclaimed and virtual cityscapes. Includes films by Austrian collective Total Refusal, artist Ana Vaz and Brazil-based duo Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca alongside UK premieres of new films from Austria, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic. 

Matchbox Cineclub presents
Girl In The Picture: The Youth Films of Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Known in some quarters as Japan’s Steven Spielberg, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi entered feature filmmaking after a decade directing innovative, iconic television commercials. The experimental films he made in the early to mid-60s, though, are assured, rich and startling in their own right. This mini-focus, including films screening with English subtitles for the first time anywhere, foregrounds Ôbayashi’s fascination with youth, family and ripping convention to shreds.

Short Waves presents
Tomasz Popakul 

Tomasz Popakul is one of the most exciting young Polish animators. His signature style and unique approach to storytelling have won him numerous international awards. Fish-humans, isolation in space and an underground rave road movie are served up in this spotlight screening curated for us by Short Waves Festival, Poznan.

Competition Selection

There are two competitions at GSFF: the Scottish Short Film Award honours inspiration and innovation in new Scottish cinema, whilst the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film showcases new cinema from around the world. This year each award carries a cash prize of £1,000. Each competition is judged by an international jury of filmmakers and curators, whilst the audience has the opportunity to choose their favourites to win the Scottish and International Audience Awards. This year’s Scottish Audience Award is sponsored by Film City, and the winner will receive a commission to make the GSFF 2021 trailer.

Since their selection for GSFF, several films in competition have won prestigious awards and nominations from BAFTA, the European Film Academy, the Royal Television Society, the Grierson Awards and international festivals such as Palm Springs, Go Short and Vienna Shorts.

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Public registration for the GSFF Online hub will open at midday on Tuesday 12 August and industry accreditation is available now here. Subscribe to GSFF’s newsletter for updates.

We’re pleased to share that all our programmes, including Q&As, are captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences. GSFF Online will implement a pay-what-you-can sliding scale for passes with the aim of improving access and inclusion.

Our thanks to all filmmakers, distributors, festival partners and funders for supporting and working with us as we all learn to navigate these new circumstances. We want to particularly thank Screen Scotland and Film Hub Scotland for their support, Dennis Pasveer at Filmchief, the GSFF Board of Trustees, Matchbox Cineclub for their captioning work, Short Waves Festival in Poland and all partners who have confirmed continuing their support for GSFF in the future.

Glasgow Short Film Festival is funded by Screen Scotland, the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland.