Announcing our 2020 programme exploring the politics of place


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From an interactive walk through an online shooter game environment to a focus on intimate, humorous, playful and radical stories which subvert stereotypes of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, ideas of place run throughout this year’s programme. 

Considering the current context of ceaselessly contested socio-political landscapes, both at home and internationally, we have chosen to explore how the histories and realities of the spaces we live in and move through impact us, from an uncompromising examination of Black communities’ relationships to landscapes, to Sorayos Prapapan’s subtle critiques of a corrupt and militaristic Thai society.

Here are some of this year's highlights:

Barbed Wire Love:
Artists and their North of Ireland Troubles
Fifty-two years since the commencement of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, this programme strand presents intimate tales from Northern Ireland which disrupt the well-worn media narratives of fear, violence and victimhood. The films in this section offer glimpses into, around and beyond a contested place and its social politics, including two feature-length screenings: Trouble (2019), Mariah Garnett’s gender-swapped retelling of her estranged father’s interfaith love story, which Sight and Sound described as “one of the best documentaries of the year”; and Maeve (1981), the pioneering, deeply feminist debut feature by director Pat Murphy (Nora), filmed at the height of the Troubles when the only other camera crews in Belfast were chasing ambulances. Filmmaker Simon Aeppli discusses creating a decade-long filmmaking practice with a distinctly Northern Irish voice, and there are two programmes of short films – from portraits of Northern Irish ravers to Belfast's playground songs – made by filmmakers who understand and subvert the stereotypes of a place and its conflicts.

Curated by Myrid Carten, an artist and filmmaker from Northern Ireland and Peter Taylor, the Director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival.

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 clout and influence do not escape unscathed either. GSFF is delighted to be able to welcome him to Glasgow, to discuss his short films in detail. 

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Operation Jane Walk live 
Using the blockbuster multiplayer shoot-em-up computer game Tom Clancy’s The Division as a backdrop, Austrian artists Robin Klengel and Leonhard Müllner take the audience on a live tour through the game’s digital version of post-apocalyptic New York. Accompanied by two audience members, our deadpan tour guides take an incisive and absurdly humorous walk through the battleground, evading the gunfire while lecturing on architectural history and urbanism. 

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. These screenings deal with environmental racism, gentrification, queerness, and the importance of community, and will include Solange’s When I Get Home as well as films by Alberta Whittle and Dana Inkster. This two part programme includes a live performance on Saturday and a responsive discussion on Sunday.
Programmed by artist and curator Natasha Ruwona, through the New Promoter scheme supported by Film Hub Scotland.

Second Sight
Exploring the legacy, methods, aesthetic strategies and histories of the UK Black Film Workshop Movement which developed throughout the 1980s, the Independent Cinema Office presents four new moving image commissions from artists Ayo Akingbade, B.O.S.S. Collective, Morgan Quaintance and Rehana Zaman. A key film of the UK Black Film Workshop Movement, Martina Attille’s award-winning Dreaming Rivers (1988), will also screen, alongside two films by Glasgow based artist, filmmaker and programmer, Tako Taal.
In association with LUX Scotland.

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Matchbox Cineclub presents Nobuhiko Ôbayashi
Known in some quarters as Japan’s Steven Spielberg, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi entered the mainstream, via a decade directing innovative, iconic television commercials, with the hilarious, shocking horror feature Hausu (House), a deranged, phantasmagoric response to Jaws plotted by his 13 year old daughter. 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.

Marie Losier in Revue
To accompany the previously announced screening of Marie Losier’s ingenious portrait of Felix Kubin, this programme samples from nearly two decades of Losier’s wildly imaginative filmography. Best known for film portraits that transcend the documentary form, dazzlingly integrate elements of performance and music and reflect long-term creative friendships, this survey features Losier’s collaborations with the likes of Alan Vega, Genesis P-Orridge and Tony Conrad, while articulating the formal range and poetic vision that make her one of the most intrepid voices in artists’ cinema today.
Introduced by Marie Losier, and curated for GSFF by Sophie Cavoulacos, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Family Shorts + Sunday Funday
GSFF’s ever-popular family programme brings the most exciting, daft, silly, sad, spooky and uplifting new animation from around the world to Glasgow. After the screening GSFF and Civic House Kitchen co-host a Family Funday of delicious child-friendly vegan food, live music and free drop-in animation and fake news workshops, suitable for all ages.

And not forgetting the previously announced opening event My First Film, featuring Zia Anger, and the UK Premiere of Marie Losier’s film portrait of German musician Felix Kubin, Felix in Wonderland, followed by the man himself live in concert, supported by Babe.

Massive thanks go to Screen Scotland, Film Hub Scotland, Glasgow Film and to Film City, who we’re delighted to announce as our Scottish Audience Award sponsor.

Many thanks also to our returning partners ibis Glasgow and Merchant City Brewing for another year of celebrating short film. And we are thrilled to be working with nextbike UK, who are offering GSFF industry pass holders free membership and unlimited 30-minute bike rentals during the festival dates.

Tickets go on sale at midday Friday 14 February - in the meantime the festival brochure can be downloaded here:

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