GSFF20 Online Day 5: Red Hawthorn + ALGO-RHYTHM

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And so, the last day of #GSFF20online arrives. We’re trying not to dwell on what would have been a joyous end-of-fest celebration: the Sunday night awards at CCA followed by our closing party at Broadcast.

We had a lot of good stuff in store for today. International guests were to have a whisky tasting tour at Clydeside Distillery, while at Civic House our Sunday Funday was set to kick off with Family Shorts, followed by workshops, live music and tasty food from our pals at Gloss Canteen. Later audiences could choose from our last two Barbed Wire Love screenings, Marie Losier in Revue, the second programmes of Black Spatial Imaginaries and Sorayos Prapapan, and much more. 

We look forward to bringing these and our Scottish and international competition programmes to audiences later this year. Briefly we contemplated asking our juries to view and deliberate on the films remotely, but truthfully all of them deserve to be seen and considered on a big screen. When that time comes, we hope we can share as much of our intended GSFF20 programme as possible. 

For now, please enjoy the last shorts of our #GSFF20online mini-fest, including two extra family shorts here, and keep an eye on our website and socials for more activity soon! 

Artist Florrie James regularly utilises the conventions of narrative fiction in her work, and Red Hawthorn, drawn from Scottish Competition 3: Connections and Disconnections, ostensibly tells the story of a quiet West Highland teenage boy meeting his unrequited love when she makes a brief return visit from the city. Red Hawthorn modestly embodies the two themes that run through this year’s programme, performance and the politics of place. Shot in both colour and b/w Super 8 film, the fascination of this deceptively low-key narrative is in the lead performance. James casts dancer Romany Dear in the role, and her embodiment of an awkward teenage boy in a vast landscape, withdrawn and largely wordless yet never motionless, is a highly compelling watch. 


Some of our favourite shorts of the last year have been experimental music/spoken word collaborations between directors and performers giving voice to their communities, such as in Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca’s Rise and Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena Harold’s Black Bus Stop. Today’s international pick ALGO-RHYTHM fits a similar mould. Director Manu Luksch worked with a number of leading Senegalese hip-hop and graffiti artists to create a stand-out hybrid work that comments on data analytics, consumerism, and democracy through data-driven visualisations, rap battles and activism. References to the Cambridge Analytica scandal are not hard to spot… 


Signing off, we would like to thank those without whom we would quite literally be nothing: our filmmakers and audiences. Every year we are bowled over by an astonishing amount of great shorts from artists all over the world, and we appreciate very single one who sends us their work and lets us bring it in front of Glasgow audiences (the best audiences). And every year our hearts are full when we see new and old faces attend the festival and share their experiences with us. We love you all and the support you have shown us in light of our postponement has meant the world to us. 

We really hope you’ve enjoyed #GSFF20online. Don’t forget to visit our online family shorts too! 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. 

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Finally, although we can’t embed it here, please check out Marie Losier’s Papal Broken-Dance, a joyous 8mm music video for Psychic TV, that was to screen today in Marie Losier in Revue. The great Genesis P-Orridge, who died a week ago, takes on a ring full of skinny boys and girls in a campy slapstick boxing match. Let’s go out on a singalong:

I love you as I fall apart
I love you and your sacred heart
I love you every single day
I love it when I hear you say
Have mercy… Have mercy on me