Glasgow Short Film Festival 2019: full programme announced!

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Glasgow Short Film Festival is delighted to announce the line-up for our twelfth edition. Highlights include art collective Soda_Jerk with the Scottish premiere of their revisionist satire on Australian history TERROR NULLIUS, a trawl through the archives of Scottish short film scheme First Reels, which marked the big breaks of Peter Mullan and David Mackenzie, the world premiere of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music artist in residence Richy Carey’s live film symphony Accents, and US producer Tara Razavi introducing a hand-picked selection of the jaw-dropping promos she has created for the likes of Tyler, The Creator, SZA and Jay-Z.

The festival opens on Wednesday 13 March with the Scottish premiere of Australian art collective Soda_Jerk’s TERROR NULLIUSThe controversial revisionist history of Australia is told via a seamless mash-up of its big screen icons, from Mad Max to Black Sheep. Soda_Jerk will be in attendance at the festival, which will also host an installation of their on-going multi-channel video cycle Astro Black, comprised entirely of samples from film and music sources to spin an alternate history of political resistance and music, via Afrofuturism, avant-garde jazz, German electronic music and hip-hop. 

Other highlights across the five day festival include:

My Winnipeg director Guy Maddin and Evan and Galen Johnson use footage repurposed from hundreds of films and TV shows shot or set in San Francisco to fashion an extraordinary parallel-universe remake of Hitchcock’s Vertigo in The Green FogFeaturing actors as diverse as Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Sharon Stone and Chuck Norris standing in for James Stewart and Kim Novak, and with a haunting soundtrack performed by the Kronos Quartet, this borrowing from other sources is paradoxically quite unlike any other cinematic experience.

A series of screenings marking the 20th anniversary of the end of First Reels (1991–1999), the first of the short film production schemes introduced by the Scottish Film Council (later Scottish Screen), in partnership with Scottish Television. It was launched with the aim of giving aspiring filmmakers the means to embark on – or complete – their first project. The scheme gave big breaks to big names like Peter Mullan and Outlaw King director David Mackenzie alongside a remarkably diverse range of other talents who were given freedom to experiment in all genres and forms of filmmaking, with over a third of the films directed by women. GSFF is delighted to bring some of the 130+ films produced through the scheme back to the big screen, most of them for the first time in over twenty years. This event is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network as part of Changing Times: Women’s Histories.

The world premiere of Accents, a free live performance event at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall from Glasgow UNESCO City of Music artist-in-residence Richy Carey. Accents will bring together communities from across the city to sing a live soundtrack to a film exploring the sounds of identity and place. Using the film itself as the score, Accents is about the everyday music in our voices, asking questions around how we listen and speak with each other, the sound between our individual and collective identities. Everyone is very welcome to participate in the singing, no experience necessary! An informal open workshop will take place at 11am on the day of the performance on Saturday 16 March for participants to learn the score.

33 international short films from 26 countries across the world compete for the prestigious Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film, named in honour of one of Scotland’s greatest filmmakers. The selection showcases the rich mix in global short film, from a visit to an African-American farming community in North Carolina to a Mumbai family terrorised by an ill-advised pet rooster via burgeoning queer identity played out in the context of the repressive nationalist politics of 1990s Pakistan and people stalking the motorway verges of Finland in search of edible roadkill. 

Meanwhile, 2018’s Bill Douglas Award winner Shalimar Preuss will attend the festival to present a programme of her strange and beautiful magical realist tales. Shalimar works with non-actors to draw mysterious narratives out of mundane settings. Shalimar’s attendance is supported by the Alliance Française Glasgow.

21 new Scottish films compete for the Scottish Short Film Award, sponsored by major Glasgow-based production company Blazing Griffin and carrying a cash prize of £1500. The award honours inspiration and innovation from the best in homegrown filmmaking, from animation to documentary.

GSFF joins forces with the University of the West of Scotland Creative Media Academy and digital studio ISO Design to present the latest in VR experiences from across the globe. Unlike traditional two-dimensional films, the virtual world invites audiences to move, interact and feel their way through an experience. So powerful in fact can the experience be, that participants can begin to question the very nature of what they encounter. Presented variously in a VR Cinema and as individual experiences, the works in this programme explore questions of reality.

Amina MWRC and Scottish filmmaker Raisah Ahmed curate Reclaim The Name, a strand of films from around the world that showcase the voices and talents of female Muslim filmmakers. Focusing on a range of themes, genres and approaches, this programme does away with pigeonholing and lifts stereotypes through honesty, humour and bravery. The screening will be followed by a short performance of spoken word poetry and an open discussion on how we can overturn false and dated narratives.

A focus on indigenous or marginalised voices on screen, including urgent new cinema from Brazil telling the stories of those currently under constant threat from its extreme right-wing leader; Colombian filmmaker Laura Huertas Millán visiting Glasgow for a screening of three works that explore the spaces where documentary, anthropology and fiction intertwine; new cinematic voices emerging from the minority communities of the French banlieues; and Anti-Ethnography, a selection of video works examining the violence inherent in the ethnographic impulse, and unveiling the absurd fetishism underpinning the discipline.

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Cosmic jazz musician Sun Ra is the subject of Points On A Space Age, a rare screening of artist-filmmaker Ephraim Asili’s short free-form documentary on the Arkestra, accompanied by the brand new Kamasi Washington short As Told To G/D Thyself, which just premiered at Sundance and was directed by The Ummah Chroma (Bradford Young, Terence Nance, Jenn Nkiru, Marc Thomas and Washington himself). 

A hand-curated programme introduced by Tara Razavi – whose creative agency Happy Place Inc has created award-winning visuals for the likes of Tyler, The Creator, SZA, St. Vincent, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez and Aminé – will showcase the company’s incredible work.    

GSFF team up with Matchbox Cineclub to present Two Weirds Is Too Weird, the strange and hilarious short film collaborations between Prevenge director-writer-star Alice Lowe and Jacqueline Wright under their Jackal Films banner. 

Festival director Matt Lloyd says: “In a time in which information comes to us in ever more distorted forms, and authenticity has become a currency to be traded in, GSFF19 explores notions of manipulation and truth, from the revisionist mash-ups of Soda_Jerk to the films emerging from the French suburbs, from voices of resistance in crisis-hit Brazil to the inclusivity of First Reels, a project that attempted to forge a new Scottish cinema. Thanks as ever to Screen Scotland and to our wonderfully supportive regular sponsors Blazing Griffin and Merchant City Brewing, as well as new partners ibis and Biggar Gin. Make Glasgow short again this March!”

Tickets and passes go on sale here at midday on Thursday 7 February. The festival brochure can be downloaded below.

Download Gsff19 Brochure PDF (4.59 MB)