Today was the industry screening for Gas Attack, a film about biological terrorism against Kurdish immigrants living in Glasgow. It has become something of a talking point recently, after a Kurdish man was murdered in Glasgow, and Glasgow City Council met to discuss whether the film should be allowed to be shown. Thankfully, they did and it will be screening at the Glasgow Film Theatre later this week. Although the film is simplifies the issues and is not without its flaws, there is no doubt that it is a powerful piece of drama which is all too close to real life.
The Scottish actor Alan Cumming, always a favourite with the public, was in town for the premiere of his directorial debut, The Anniversary Party, which also stars co-director Jennifer Jason Leigh. He held a press conference earlier in the day and answered questions on why he decided to make the film (he wanted to make a film about the things he wanted most in life) and explaining how he ended up working with Jason Leigh (they met whilst appearing on Broadway). One impressive statistic of this DV shot movie is that it took only 19 days to shoot - which is miniscule by Hollywood standards.
The party de jour was sponsored by Sony, who are showing off their CineAlta24P digital cameras which, having seen a very impressive demo, look almost indistinguishable from film. Unfortunately, your diarist didn't actually make it along, choosing instead to lap up some of the Fringe. There's been a number of interesting film events: the Pleasance have been playing comedy cinema classics from Buster Keaton to Chicken Run; the Underbelly has an interesting video art installation; and a film-making group from the University of Nevada are screening a number of their works at the Garage Contact Gallery. If you want to catch the latter, their last three shows at venue 81 are from 10.15 - 11.45am on the 24-27th.
And finally... also arriving in town today is Sean Penn, who's in town for the premiere later this week of The Pledge which stars Jack Nicolson. Penn will also be talking about his directorial work in a Reel Life event so watch out for more on the reformed bad boy of Hollywood later this week!