Welcome to #GSFF24! Full Programme Announcement

Our programme has officially landed! This March, we’re back with a packed programme featuring a deep dive into the archives with unseen, live-scored short films from Bill Douglas, rediscovered work by Mexican feminist group Cine Mujer and experimental reappropriation of archive footage by Jyoti Mistry; a retrospective screening and installation by Moroccan filmmaker Randa Maroufi, complemented by contemporary Moroccan artist films; and Towards Liberation, a thematic strand in defiance of oppression, with live performance by British-Palestinian sound artist Kareem Samara and screenings at HMP & YOI Polmont. 

The 17th annual festival will run from 20 – 24 March at venues across the city.

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For our 17th edition, Glasgow Short Film Festival (GSFF) will provoke audiences to reflect on collectivity, liberation and archives, with a special four-programme strand entitled Towards Liberation. Towards Liberation will utilise archive, documentary and fictional short films from across the globe to examine threads around imprisonment, imperialism, representation and resistance. The strand will include a programme of Palestinian short films (Weapons of criticism and dedicated consciousness), which will be followed by a live performance by British-Palestinian musician and sound artist Kareem Samara, whose joining of traditional and contemporary genres explores threads of decolonial possibilities and diasporic identity. 50% of ticket sales from this screening will be donated to Medical Aid for Palestinians. 

Tying in with this year’s programme, we’ve also invited several population groups at HMP & YOI Polmont to watch the 2024 Scottish Competition titles and add their votes to the Scottish Audience Award. The winner of this award will be announced at the award ceremony on the last day of the festival (24 March 2024). They will also be given the opportunity to participate in workshops run by award-winning animator, Ross Hogg, and watch several other festival highlights programmes during the festival week. This programme is delivered in partnership with Glass Performance, with support from the National Lottery Community Fund. 

Other highlights across the packed five day programme include:

  • Opening event, Bill Douglas Unseen Super 8, will debut six early 8mm films by the great Scottish filmmaker Bill Douglas, charting his development as a visual storyteller. This programme will be accompanied by a live score composed and performed by Scottish musician Gerard Black (Babe, Archipel, François & the Atlas Mountains), and introduced by Bill’s lifelong friend, confidante and collaborator Peter Jewell.
  • A spotlight on French-Moroccan filmmaker Randa Maroufi (Bab Sebta, Barbès, Close-Up), who will be in attendance for a retrospective screening and in-conversation event. Born in Casablanca and based in Paris, Maroufi carefully stages and measures moving image works that observe layers of socio-political realities, often focusing on the images and narratives of public spaces and who occupies them, the seen and unseen, interrogating and subverting their conventions. Her films have screened at festivals such as IFF Rotterdam, DOK Leipzig, MoMA’s New Directors/New Films, and FIDMarseille, winning several awards. Randa’s work The Intruders will be exhibited in CCA’s Intermedia Gallery during the festival from Thursday 21 –  Saturday 23 March. Intermedia Gallery is free to enter. Complementing this focus on Randa Maroufi is a programme of contemporary Moroccan artist moving image work, curated by Myriam Mouflih. 
  • GSFF also welcomes Jyoti Mistry, a Durban-born, Sweden-based researcher and filmmaker whose practice revolves around the experimental reappropriation of archive footage to unearth and celebrate representations of and narratives by those historically marginalised and brutalised. The triptych We Come In Peace, They Said, completed in 2023 with the final work Loving in Between (which also screens in the Bill Douglas Award Competition), looks at race, gender and sexuality, and considers how histories that were kept invisible can be reclaimed and reshaped. The works draw from colonial archives, amateur footage and more, and have been made in collaboration with spoken word artists and poets Napo Masheane and Kgafela oa Magogodi. Jyoti’s works have screened at the Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and many others, and she was a member of the International Short Film Jury at the 68th Berlinale. 
  • A collaboration with archive collective Invisible Women, who will present an expanded focus on the rarely seen and boundary-pushing films of 1970s Mexican feminist filmmaking group Cine Mujer, exploring gender roles and domestic labour. Complementing these works is an archive programme in the Until Liberation strand and an artists’ conversation about reframing archive as a political tool, which will include Jyoti Mistry and other filmmakers. 
  • Late night programming includes Følkøric, a two part strand tracing traditional and contemporary visions of folklore on film, spanning decades of classic folk-horror, subversive storytelling and fresh influences on the folklore canon. First programme Sticks and Stones features films by local filmmakers and a classic BBC Ghost Story for Christmas Stigma, while the companion programme, What a Shame She Went Mad, subverts traditionalism through a feminist lens, exposing the worth of archaic rebellion and the evolution of folklore as we know it. Følkøric is programmed by Heather Bradshaw and Grace Feinmann. Thanks to The Skinny for partnering on this programme.
  • Two programmes of Festival Favourites include a selection of big hitters and darlings from 2023’s international festival circuit, including works that started at Cannes, Berlinale, Visions du Réel, Rotterdam, Locarno, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Toronto, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and Venice. 
  • The return of Festival regulars: bust a gut at For Shorts & Giggles and entertain the young ones in your life with the all ages-friendly Family Shorts. In collaboration with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Glasgow Film Theatre, Visible Cinema champions Deaf-led/interest film, whilst new addition Short Stirrers offers late night cult thrills.
  • GSFF will work closely with Glasgow primary and secondary schools on a dedicated learning programme. Family Shorts will screen to primary schools at CCA and Platform in Easterhouse, accompanied by animation workshops, and filmmakers drawn from the Scottish competition will visit several secondary schools to present and discuss their work. This programme is supported by Screen Scotland.

Glasgow Short Film Festival has two annual competitions, awarded at the close of the festival. The Scottish Short Film Award, sponsored by Blazing Griffin (cash prize of £1500), honours inspiration and innovation in new Scottish cinema, with twenty new films selected. Named in honour of the legendary Scottish filmmaker, the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film (cash prize of £1000) promotes cinematic storytelling that places sound and image centre stage, and this year includes twenty eight documentary, animation, fiction and experimental shorts from Haiti, Sudan, Kosovo, Brazil, Egypt, Thailand, and more. 

The GSFF24 audience will have the opportunity to choose their favourites to win the International Audience Award, sponsored by Shorts TV+ (cash prize of £1000) and the Scottish Audience Award, sponsored by Savalas (in kind prize of studio time) whilst the Bill Douglas Award is selected by an international jury including Céline Roustan, programmer and film critic for SXSW and Short of the Week; Jonathan Ali, programming director at Third Horizon Film Festival and programme consultant for Locarno Open Doors, Alchemy Film & Arts, and others; and Randa Maroufi, the subject of our filmmaker focus. The Scottish Short Film Award, sponsored by Blazing Griffin, is awarded by a jury consisting of Jason Anderson, international short film programmer at Toronto International Film Festival and programme director at Aspen Shortsfest; Niels Putman, artistic director of Kortfilm.be, co-founder/chief editor of Talking Shorts and freelance curator; and Glasgow-based screenwriter/director Raisah Ahmed.

The Young Scottish Filmmaker Prize also returns for a third year, with two competition categories dedicated to showcasing talented Scottish filmmakers aged 18 – 25. Each winner will receive £1500 in funding, and all shortlisted filmmakers will receive £250 in addition to continual support and guidance. The Young Scottish Filmmaker Prize is delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow Film, Eden Court, supported by BFI Film Academy, National Lottery funding and designed in consultation with Short Circuit and GMAC Film.

The full GSFF24 industry programme will be unveiled in the next coming weeks. 

Matt Lloyd, Festival Director said:

Welcome to the 17th edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival! This year’s programme – sadly the final one to be delivered by our outgoing Programme Director Sanne Jehoul – is as challenging, curious and diverse as we’ve come to expect from her. Plunging into the archive, from the early film experiments of Bill Douglas to the work of artists like Jyoti Mistry and curators Invisible Women, we consider how repurposed archive film can challenge our contemporary context in ways big and small. I’m thrilled that the strand Towards Liberation, devised by Sanne with Festival Coordinator Oisín Kealy and exploring themes of imprisonment and oppression, is accompanied by the realisation of her long-held ambition to offer some of the festival programme to Scottish prison populations. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund for supporting this collaboration with Glass Performance and HMP Polmont. Huge thanks as ever to our funders Screen Scotland, Film Hub Scotland and Glasgow Life. We’re really grateful to be working with award sponsors Blazing Griffin, Shorts TV+ and Savalas this year, along with our stalwart venue partners Glasgow Film Theatre, CCA and Civic House, Platform in Easterhouse and a host of primary and secondary schools across the city. And finally of course, a personal heartfelt thank you to Sanne, who after ten editions of the festival leaves an indelible stamp on its identity, values and purpose. She’ll be irreplaceable.”

Glasgow Life Chair, Bailie Annette Christie, said: Glasgow is renowned as an outstanding destination for cultural events, and our internationally acclaimed, much-loved film festivals contribute so much to the city’s reputation as an innovative hub for the arts and creative industries. They demonstrate Glasgow’s appreciation of great cinema and our recognition of its life-enhancing, inspirational importance.  We are proud to be the host of Scotland’s leading event celebrating short films – which are so often an under-celebrated form of visual storytelling. This 17th edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival features a dynamic, diverse programme that will appeal to a broad range of audiences, and we look forward to welcoming them to what will, I’m sure, be another fabulous city festival celebrating great world cinema.”

Glasgow Short Film Festival is delivered with support from Glasgow Life and Film Hub Scotland, and funded by the National Lottery, through Screen Scotland.

Image Credits

GSFF24 Creative by Martin Bailie

Still from film Suddenly TV by Roopa Gogineni

Still from Chasing the Sun: El Shatt by Ana Bilankov

Still from The Sound of the Wind by Maria Pankova

GSFF23: Young Scottish Filmmaker 1 & 2. Photo by Erika Stevenson

GSFF23 Opening Night: Omos. Photo by Ingrid Mur