GSFF20 Online Day 3: Cloud Forest + Jealous Alan

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Friday is industry day at GSFF, and this year it was to kick off with a gaggle of international festival programmers introducing themselves to emerging Scottish filmmakers. We’d planned micro-panels on valuing filmmakers’ labour and positionality in programming, whilst five selected filmmakers would be preparing to pitch their projects to an international panel, hoping to win the Production Attic Short Film Pitch Award. We were looking forward to welcoming back Madeleine Molyneaux, producer to artists such as Kevin Jerome Everson and all round wonderful person, to deliver Do the Right Thing, a workshop considering the practical, legal and ethical issues of independent filmmaking.

Later audiences would have had an impossible choice to make: should they attend the first programme of Peter Taylor and Myrid Carten’s fantastic five-part strand Barbed Wire Love: Artists and their North of Ireland Troubles, embark on a double-bill of early Nobuhiko Ôbayashi works courtesy of Matchbox Cineclub, or witness the live performance of Operation Jane Walk, a city walking tour through the post-apocalyptic New York City streets of online shooter Tom Clancy’s The Division?

No such dilemma for you, just two exceptional shorts. In Cloud Forest, Dutch filmmaker Eliane Bots films five teenage girls as they recount memories of a war they never experienced, the conflict in Yugoslavia that their parents fled. Their accounts combine facts and imagination, vague memories and detailed impressions, transferred from parent to child through conversations both direct and overheard, news footage on YouTube, or silence. These disparate impressions create the scattered image of a conflict present on the horizon of one’s life. 

We first screened Cloud Forest in a programme we curated for Document Film Festival in October, but we felt its unique, fairytale approach to visualising history earned it a place in our international competition.


Martin Clark’s Jealous Alan belongs to the suburban new towns that birthed Gregory’s Girl and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Alongside its period details, utterly authentic but rarely ostentatiously so, and the pitch-perfect score by Veronica Falls vocalist Roxanne Clifford, Jealous Alan‘s masterstroke is its casting: the actors are all slightly older than their characters. This brings a strange, charming innocence to a film which grows richer on repeated viewings.


We can’t possibly thank everyone who contributed to this year’s festival in these five blogs, however we are taking the opportunity to single out a few people. Today we’d like to give shout-outs to the team in our office – indefatigable Guest Coordinator Sara Shaarawi, doing battle right now on several fronts with multiple airlines; Festival Assistants Lily Cameron, who doggedly pursued filmmakers for their screening files whilst performing feats of experimental baking, Heather Bradshaw, who whipped up all our social media imagery and conducted a wealth of filmmaker interviews which have yet to see the light of day, and Agustín Ormaechea Azpiazu, tirelessly crunching data to ensure our catalogue and website were as complete as possible; Natasha Ruwona, our Film Hub Scotland New Promoter, who put together a fantastic strand of screenings, discussion and live performance which we look forward to finally unveiling in August; and Volunteer Coordinator Jasmine Lindemann, who stepped into the role this year with an unwaveringly positive attitude. All six of them are safe in their homes this week of course, and we miss them.

We really hope you are enjoying #GSFF20online. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please get in touch via social media or at And please consider donating to GSFF at the link below – any amount at all will make a difference in bringing back our programme this summer. Catch up with the latest day of #GSFF20online here.