Glasgow Film Festival 2020 – Short Film Festival Programme

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18 – 22 March, 2020

Glasgow Short Film Festival announces 2020 programme and explores the politics of place

Glasgow Short Film Festival,  the festival’s first as an independent charitable organisation. GSFF is, of course, a celebration of short film, although in typically contrary fashion.  This year’s edition opens with a feature-length live performance, and there are no less than three feature films dotted about the programme.

The programme is exciting and extensive including:  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.

You will find a timely showcase of some of the best films being made in contemporary Europe, live music events, screenings and workshops for children and families.

There are two programmes of competition screenings taking in over fifty short films, and 180 films screening in total. The festival, which was last year named one of MovieMaker’s ‘Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World’, packs a phenomenal amount into a five-day programme.

Guests at GSFF 2020

International filmmakers Zia Anger, Marie Loisier and Sorayos Prapapan, and cult electronic musician Felix Kubin are among the guests attending the festival.

Focus on Ideas of Place

Given the current political climate, audiences might recognise a focus on ideas of place throughout the programme this year. As GSFF Co-Director Sanne Jehoul explains:

“In our first year as an independent organisation, and in a ceaselessly contested socio-political landscape, putting together a programme exploring how the histories and realities of the spaces we live in and move through impact us felt like the right thing to do. We hope Glasgow audiences will find a lot to respond to and engage with in the programme, from intimate accounts of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, an uncompromising examination of Black communities’ relationships to landscapes, in a live tour through a dystopian replica of New York City, and in Sorayos Prapapan’s gentle critiques of a corrupt and militaristic Thai society. We’re also proud to present some of the best new Scottish short films, as well as a fantastic selection of fresh work from around the world, with 23 countries represented in our International competition.”

GSFF is pleased to share that its Scottish Competition, alongside a number of other programmes, will be captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences, with BSL interpreted Q&As.

GSFF will also for the first time implement sliding scale ticket pricing, following in the footsteps of other film festival peers in the city, with the aim of improving access and inclusion.

felix kubin

Selected Programme Highlights

Barbed Wire Love: Artists and their North of Ireland Troubles

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March | various times | CCA

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 practise with a distinctly Northern Irish voice, and there are two programmes of short films showing very different portraits of the country – from its ravers to its playground songs – made by filmmakers who understand and subvert the stereotypes of a country 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

Saturday 21 March (17.15) & Sunday 22 March (17.45) | CCA

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.

Operation Jane Walk Live

Friday 20 March | 20.00 | Civic House

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. Klengel and Müllner’s original short film, Operation Jane Walk, will screen in the Urban Palimpsests programme on Saturday.

Black Spatial Imaginaries 1 & 2

Saturday 21 March (16.30) | Civic House & Sunday 22 March (15.45) | CCA Cinema

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 ofBlack 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 AlbertaWhittle 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.

EFA Shorts

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March | various times | CCA

Every year twenty European festivals each nominate a short film to send to the European Film Academy awards. GSFF has selected twelve of those nominees for a three-programme showcase of the most critically acclaimed contemporary European shorts.

Second Sight

Thursday 19 March (21.00) | Friday 20 March (19.00) | CCA

As part of the 2020 national film tour Second Sight, exploring the legacy, methods, aesthetic strategies and histories of the UK Black Film Workshop Movement which developed throughout the 1980s, theIndependent 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 WorkshopMovement, 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.

Matchbox Cineclub presents Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Girl In The Picture: The Youth Films of Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

Friday 20 March | 20.45 | CCA

Hausu (House)

Friday 20 March | 22.45 | CCA

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.

my first film

Previously Announced

Opening gala: My First Film

Wednesday 18 March | 20.30 | GFT

GSFF 2020 opens with artist and filmmaker Zia Anger’s radical, interactive “live expanded cinema performance”.

Felix in Wonderland

Saturday 21 March | 20.45 | GFT

Felix Kubin live + BABE

Saturday 21 March | 22.30 | The Glue Factory

A screening of Marie Losier’s genre-defying audiovisual collaboration with cult electronic musician Felix Kubin, followed by a rare chance to hear the man himself playing live, accompanied by Glasgow dreampoppers BABE.

A full press release on the previously announced events is available to download here.

Marie Losier in Revue

Sunday 22 March | 15.45 | Civic House

To accompany the 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

Sunday 22 March | 11.30 | Civic House

GSFF’s ever-popular family programme brings you the most exciting, daft, silly, sad, spooky and uplifting new animation from around the world. Stick around after the screening for delicious child-friendly vegan food, live music and free drop-in animation and fake news workshops, suitable for all ages.

Competition Selection 

 There are two competitions at GSFF: the Scottish Short Film Award honours inspiration and innovation in new Scottish cinema, whilst the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film showcases new cinema from around the world. This year each award carries a cash prize of £1,000. Each competition is judged by an international jury of filmmakers and curators, whilst the audience has the opportunity to choose their favourites to win the Scottish and International Audience Awards. This year’s Scottish Audience Award is sponsored by Film City, and the winner will receive a commission to make the GSFF 2021 trailer.

The full programme, including both competition selections, is available to view at Downloa PDF of Brochure.


Matt Lloyd, GSFF Director, said

“The GSFF team want to offer our sincerest thanks to Glasgow Film, for shepherding us through unfamiliar waters, to Screen Scotland for their support, especially in this new phase, to Film Hub Scotland for their support across many aspects of the programme, and to Film City, who we’re pleased to welcome to the GSFF family 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 pleased 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 are on sale from midday on Friday 13 February 2020.


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