Young love

GFF Day 1: Youthful antics, Populaire, Pollyanna McIntosh and John C Reilly.

by Jennie Kermode

It opened on Valentine's Day with the César-nominated love story that's been winning fans all over the world. Playing to a packed audience, Populaire won everyone's hearts and kicked off what looks likely to be another fantastic festival.

Régis Roinsard with his wife and the GFF directors. Photo by Stuart Crawford.
Régis Roinsard with his wife and the GFF directors. Photo by Stuart Crawford. Photo: Stuart Crawford

We're getting ahead of ourselves. Before the main Glasgow Film Festival began, The Youth Festival gave film fans the chance to enjoy a selection of films chosen by and for younger audience members. From international hit Kauwboy (the story of friendship between a boy and a bird) to cute anime Wolf Children, playfully dark farce The Deflowering Of Eva Van End and politically potent coming of age tale Otelo Burning, the films were sure to make an impression. There was a special preview of Oscar nominee Wreck-It Ralph with star John C Reilly popping in to say hello. He stuck around in the city to play a gig with his band and to explore his recently discovered Scottish roots.

There was also a treat for those looking back on youth from a distance, with a screening of Ferries BUeller's Day Off attracting longstanding fans as well as enthusiastic newcomers. The youth festival closed with a special outdoor showing of Girl Walk/All Day, with the organisers dancing all the way down Buchanan Street to giant screens at the bottom. Despite a lack of cooperation from the weather, they were joined by a handful of enthusiastic strangers along the way, and the crowd watching the film was considerable.

Pollyanna McIntosh enjoying a drink. Photo by Stuart Crawford.
Pollyanna McIntosh enjoying a drink. Photo by Stuart Crawford. Photo: Stuart Crawford

The UK Populaire prèmiere was attended by the film's director, Régis Roinsard, and by a host of celebrities including Scotland's own Pollyanna McIntosh, star of The Woman, and Harry Potter alumnus Sean Biggerstaff. MSP Patrick Harvie, who has previously supported the GFT's Green Film Festival, was also present. The screening was followed by a party with free beer and cocktails, which lasted well into the night. There was live music from Les Bof, performing pop tunes with the lyrics in French, so energetic attendees could dance while others sat around in the cinema's bars discussing the films they're looking forward to over the next week.

As always, we'll be bringing you the inside track on what's going on at the festival, so watch this space.

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