It may have started out modestly, but the Glasgow Film Festival is now well on its way to becoming one of the biggest events on Scotland's cultural calendar and one of the most important celebrations of cinema in the UK. Last night's press launch saw the announcement that Jean-Pierre Jeunet's MicMacs will be the opening gala film this February, with Legacy to close and a whole lot of exciting things packed in between.
Whether you're a fan of Dr Strangelove or a Star Wars afficianado, the name James Earl Jones is bound to give you a thrill, and the man himself is scheduled to make an appearance to talk to the GFF festival audience. Others stars in attendance will include Thomas Turgoose, star of This Is England and Somers Town, who will be promoting his new film The Scouting Book For Boys and celebrating his 18th birthday at a special party thrown by the organisers of the GFF youth festival.
Directors in attendance will include Tom Harper, Vincenzo Natali and David L Williams, who will be there with his comedy Beyond The Pole along wih executive producer and actress Helen Baxendale. Tim Sullivan will introduce 2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams during the popular Frightfest weekend and Peter Dowling will bring along his underground chiller Stag Night. Frightfest will also feature the European premiere of Frozen, Giallo classic Lizard In A Woman's Skin (which combines the talents of Lucio Fulci and Ennio Morricone) and the intriguingly titled Rejkjavik Whale Watching Massacre.
Other highlights of this year's festival will include a strand dedicated to the best new Japanese cinema, a celebration of Scottish Film and a tribute to the great Cary Grant. There's be several exciting UK premieres, including I Am Love, Life During Wartime and Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans.
This year, the youth festival will run before the main programme, opening on 7 February with Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki's eagerly-awaited Ponyo, the story of a toddler who meets a goldfish princess. The main festival will open on the 18th and run until the 24th. As usual, we'll be bringing you all the latest news, gossip and exclusive features, so watch this space!