Glasgow announces opening and closing films

Mid90s and Beats bookend festival

by Amber Wilkinson

Lucas Hedges and Sunny Suljic in Mid90s
Lucas Hedges and Sunny Suljic in Mid90s Photo: Courtesy of Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival has announced it will open its 15th edition on February 20 with the UK premiere of Jonah Hill's directorial debut Mid90s and close on March 3 with the UK premiere of Brian Welsh's Beats.

Hill's coming-of-age comedy drama, which will have its European premiere in Berlin, tells the story of a 13-year-old boy who begins to hang out with a group of older skateboarders in LA. It stars Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges and Katherine Waterston.

Festival co-director Allison Gardner said: “We are honoured and delighted to be opening our 15th edition with Jonah Hill’s thrilling and moving directorial debut. The film is a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that feels authentic, and the young actors give naturalistic and heartfelt performances that stay with you. The Opening Gala sets the ball rolling on 12 days of fantastic film fun and we couldn’t ask for a better start to GFF19.”

Beats
Beats Photo: Courtesy of Glasgow Film Festival
The Nineties also provides the backdrop for Welsh's big screen adaptation of Kieran Hurley's hit stage show Beats. Set in 1994, just as the Criminal Justice Bill attempted to place restrictions on Scotland’s rave culture and the free party movement, Beats is a universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth.It stars young Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduates Cristian Ortega and Lorn Macdonald in their feature film debuts. The film features an original soundtrack from Scottish club legend JD Twitch (Optimo), who will DJ at the official festival after-party for all ticket holders at Argyle Street Arches.

Brian Welsh, director of Beats, said: “We’re thrilled and honoured to be part of the Glasgow Film Festival this year, as the film was largely shot in Glasgow it feels like we are coming home. Many thanks to the programmers for having us and we look forward to being there in March.”

Festival co-director Allan Hunter added: “We are thrilled to close the festival with the UK premiere of the hotly anticipated screen version of Kieran Hurley’s Beats. It is a wildly entertaining, desperately poignant blast of rebellion, romance and bittersweet friendship that beautifully captures the end of an era in 1990s Scotland. Showcasing a wealth of talent on both sides of the camera, it is the perfect closing night film.”

Tickets for Opening and Closing Galas go on sale at 10am tomorrow (January 9) at glasgowfilm.org/festival.

Mid90s will be released in the UK on 12 April and Beats will be released in the UK in May.

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