Programme Lead (Currents and Spotlight)

Fixed freelance contract

Working period: Mid-July 2024 to mid-April 2025, approx 45 days, flexible working days but must include festival dates 19-23 March 2025
Fee: £7,200
Reporting to: Festival Director
Location: Remote or Glasgow – we welcome international applications. Must be in Glasgow during festival dates – if required accommodation and reasonable travel expenses will be covered

Application Process: Send a one page covering letter and CV to by 5pm on 21 June 2024. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview online during the week of 1 July.

Following the departure of our Programme Director after ten happy years with the festival we are restructuring the core programming team to best support our collaborative approach to festival curation. The Scottish and International competition selection committees will be overseen by the Festival Director and the Programme Manager respectively, and programming of regular comedy, horror and family programmes (the Essentials section) will be undertaken by members of the team. We are now looking for an experienced freelance programmer/curator, to bring their vision to our non-competitive Currents and Spotlight sections as Programme Lead (see below for more info on these sections).

Since 2008 Glasgow Short Film Festival has been the leading short film event in Scotland, hosting an inclusive community of filmmakers and film lovers, showcasing ground-breaking works of visual storytelling. We nurture and promote diverse forms of cinematic expression, in Scotland and around the world. In all our activity we aim to reflect the following values:

Collaboration – we seek to learn from and be challenged by partner individuals and organisations, and to work with them in fairness and mutual respect. We encourage and enable collaboration between talents, both within Scotland and internationally.

Enquiry – we question everything, in order to programme with rigour and curiosity, and to ensure constant organisational change and development. We champion filmmakers who challenge formal conventions and ask difficult questions.

Inclusion – we foreground accessibility, diversity and equality within our organisation, partnerships and programme. Everyone is welcome, and we strive to ensure that everyone is represented.

Solidarity – our activities and governance reflect our commitment to social justice, and our responsibility to our audience, staff, volunteers and to the artists who entrust their work to us.

The Programme Lead (Currents and Spotlight) will work with the Festival Director and Programme Manager to devise themes, strands and filmmaker focuses to explore in 2025. Curation of these sections will be shared between the Programme Lead, external curators and other members of the team; the Programme Lead will be responsible for coordinating these sections, supported administratively by the Programme Manager.

A programme budget will be agreed with the Festival Director, and the Programme Lead will be responsible for identifying potential funding sources for any activity they wish to deliver outwith the scope of the budget. The Festival Director will work with them to submit funding applications.

The Programme Lead may also be required to represent GSFF at one or more international festivals, if their attendance is considered useful for delivery of the GSFF programme. In this event all expenses will be covered.

During the festival week the Programme Lead will deliver programme introductions and Q&As in addition to guest hosting duties and supporting the festival team in event delivery. After the festival they will be required to deliver a post-event report, alongside other project completion/handover tasks.

The Programme Lead is also invited to serve on the International Competition selection committee – this would be subject to separate arrangement and payment.

This section includes several thematic strands consisting of retrospective or contemporary titles responding to current socio-political systems, events or challenges. In 2024 the Currents section comprised the following strands:
Cine-Mujer – two programmes of work by the 1970s Mexican feminist filmmaking group, exploring gender roles and domestic labour
Følkløric – two programmes tracing traditional and contemporary visions of folklore on film
Towards Liberation – four programmes utilising archive, documentary and fictional short films from across the globe to examine threads around imprisonment, imperialism, representation and resistance, accompanied by a discussion event

This section more commonly focuses on the work of a single filmmaker, group or nation, or on a very specific situation or context. In 2024 the Spotlight section comprised the following programmes:
Randa Maroufi – a screening of works by and discussion with the Moroccan filmmaker, accompanied by a moving image installation, and a second programme of new works by other Moroccan artists
Jyoti Mistry – a screening of the South African artist’s recently completed trilogy We Come in Peace, They Said
Govanhill, A Community Portrait – a new 30 minute collaborative work by local filmmaker Felipe Bustos Sierra, with accompanying discussion

Job Duties:

  • Attending regular meetings with Festival Director and/or Programme Manager (online or in person)
  • Devising the Currents and Spotlight programme structure and themes in collaboration with Festival Director and Programme Manager, in line with the festival’s values and mission
  • Agreeing programme budget with Festival Director; identifying sources of additional funding for any activity not covered by the core budget and supporting the Festival Director in applying for this funding
  • Curating programmes and strands; recruiting and overseeing external curators; always working to agreed budgets and meeting the requirements of key stakeholders
  • Proposing special guests and jury members
  • Maintaining records in festival database and liaising with Programme Manager and other members of the team on licensing information, screening elements and promotional materials; meeting deadlines to provide information and materials
  • Writing catalogue and web copy; collating copy from external curators
  • Contributing to the industry programme, particularly discussion events to accompany strands within the Currents and Spotlight sections
  • Representing GSFF at other festivals and events
  • Introducing programmes, and chairing Q&As and other live events; hosting festival guests at receptions and dinners
  • Evaluating and reporting on the festival; handover duties

This is not an exhaustive list of duties. GSFF is delivered by a small tight-knit team, and the Programme Lead may be called on to support team members with other tasks.

Person Specification (Essential/Desirable):

  • At least three years experience of curating short film and/or artists’ moving image, including working within a festival context (E)
  • A demonstrable familiarity with the international short film sector, including its networks of distribution and exhibition (E)
  • The ability to multi-task and meet multiple deadlines (E)
  • Fluent written and spoken English; a confident writer and public speaker (E)
  • Experience of using Filmchief database (D)
  • An understanding of the Scottish film sector (D)

Glasgow Short Film Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are an inclusive organisation and do not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, sex, race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We actively encourage applications from candidates from under-represented groups.

Please contact with any questions about this post.