First events announced for Glasgow Film Festival 2020

the country iceland

The first events have been announced for Glasgow Film Festival 2020. The 16th annual festival takes place from 26 February to 8 March, showcasing the best new films from Scotland and around the world.

Some Highlights Glasgow Film Festival 2020

The focus of three special strands


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Are We There Yet? – A Retrospective of the Future, screens dystopian classics from Planet of the Apes to Brazil.

The always-popular Retrospective strand offers free morning screenings of modern masterpieces and cult classics that have hundreds of delighted festival-goers queuing around the block. For 2020, the festival will reappraise some vintage big screen visions of dystopian life and ask Are We There Yet? Ralph Fiennes has a lucrative side-hustle illegally selling bootleg virtual reality-like recordings that allow users to experience the emotions of others in Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days (1995), while Michael Anderson’s Logan’s Run (1976) sees a hedonistic, decadent lifestyle within a protective domed city turn very bad when the inhabitants hit the big 3-0. From Terry Gilliam’s retro-futurist fantasia Brazil (1985) to Charlton Heston discovering the horrifying twist of Planet of the Apes (1968), via a US vs Russia nuclear apocalypse in The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) and finding out exactly what makes Soylent Green (1973) so moreish – were these gems eerily prescient or way off the mark? Grab your popcorn and decide!


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Iceland steps into the spotlight with a Country Focus strand dedicated to the brightest filmmaking talent from the land of fire and ice.

The filmmaking talent of Iceland will step into the spotlight as the star of 2020’s Country Focus. We’ll screen The County, a humanistic look at a small farm and the eagerly-awaited follow-up from Grímur Hákonarson, director of the phenomenal hit Rams (2015). Iceland’s most famous songstress Björk and a host of Icelandic musical talent will be celebrated with a screening of 2005’s look at the island’s rich music scene Screaming Masterpiece and a Björk Club night. New UK premieres include Echo, a look at a fragmented society at Christmas time told across 56 scenes, and mother-daughter drama Agnes Joy. Talented young documentary-maker Yrsa Roca Fannberg’s new feature The Last Autumn looks at a family living on the very edge of the world – Glasgow Film Festival is delighted to welcome her to the festival to introduce the screening. The strand will also see the Scottish premiere of A White, White Day starring Ingvar Sigurðsson as a widowed cop becoming increasingly obsessed by his wife’s death – a heartbreaking performance which saw him recently nominated for Best Actor in this year’s European Film Awards.

industy passes

Industry Focus

Passes also go on sale from Tuesday 12 November, 2019 for the festival’s expanded Industry Focus.  The vibrant five day event features keynote speakers, invaluable professional advice, and networking for the local and global filmmaking community.

The fifth edition of GFF’s Industry Focus programme will see the event expanded over five packed days, from Monday 2 to Friday 6 March, 2020 thanks to additional support from the BFI Audience Fund. Featuring speakers, unique network opportunities, topical panel discussions and diverse professional development, the event is suitable for those at all stages of their career, from students eager to make their first steps into the industry to seasoned professionals wanting to stay fresh on the latest developments and best practice. Some of the areas of focus in 2020 will be sustainability in production, working practice and wellbeing, distribution, and music in film and television.

Special Early Bird Passes for Industry Focus priced at £60 (conc) / £100 full price go on sale at 10am on Monday 11 November from Standard Pricing tickets at £75 (conc) / £120 (full price) will go on sale from 21 December.

Tickets for the Are We There Yet? – A Retrospective of the Future films are free and available on the day of the screening from GFT Box Office. The full programme will be announced on 29 January 2020.

Tickets for all Country Focus films go on sale with the full programme on 30 January to GFF members and Cinecard holders, and on 3 February to the general public.

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) is one of the leading film festivals in the UK and run by Glasgow Film, a charity which also runs Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT). GFF is made possible by support from Screen Scotland, the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery, Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland.

Glasgow Film Festival takes place at Glasgow Film Theatre and other venues across the city.

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Glasgow Film Festival Co-director Allison Gardner said:

“This year we are delighted that our country focus is Iceland, a country that punches well above its weight in making a broad range of fantastic films. We will be hosting a selection of feature films and documentaries including the UK Premieres of The County by Rams director Grímur Hákonarson and Echo by Sparrows director Rúnar Rúnarsson. We are honouring Iceland’s most famous songstress Björk and a host of Icelandic musical talent with a screening of Screaming Masterpiece and a Björk Club night, and hosting a 20th Anniversary screening of the seminal Icelandic film 101 Reykjavik”.

Glasgow Film Festival Co-director Allan Hunter said:

“The Glasgow Film Festival retrospective for 2020 invites viewers to go back to the future with a collection of dystopian classics that offer bold, distinctive visions of the way ahead for humanity. Are We There Yet? features startlingly prescient films that gazed into a future where artificial intelligence might eclipse human capabilities, resources would become scarce, climate change could threaten our survival and apes might rule the planet. How did filmmakers know all of that? As is traditional, the retrospective is screened free of charge each morning and open to everyone. I look forward to audiences watching firm favourites like Planet of the Apes and Westworld on the big screen as well as discovering less familiar titles like Soylent Green, Stalker and The Day the Earth Caught Fire.”

Are We There Yet? A Retrospective of the Future Full Titles List:

Brazil (1985) D: Terry Gilliam

Children of Men (2006) D: Alfonso Cuaron

District 9 (2009) D: Neill Blomkamp

Logan’s Run (1976) D: Michael Anderson

Planet of the Apes (1968) D: Franklin J. Schaffner

Soylent Green (1973) D: Richard Fleischer

Stalker (1979) D: Andrei Tarkovsky

Strange Days (1995) D: Kathryn Bigelow

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) D: Val Guest

Westworld (1973) D: Michael Crichton

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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