GFF award winner Arracht
The Glasgow Film Festival just keeps on getting bigger and better, with organisers announcing as it closed tonight that it has had over 43,000 admissions this time around.
It was also a big night for potato Famine-set Irish drama Arracht, which won the coveted audience award. The film, which director Tom Sullivan attributed in large part to star Dónall Ó Héalai - "he nailed it physically and that just raised the bar for everybody" - had been the most talked-about thing at the festival since its first screening on Monday, so this did not come as a big surprise, except to Sullivan himself. "This was completely unexpected and I am honoured. I would like to, from the bottom of my heart, thank everyone at Glasgow Film Festival for believing in our film and all the people who came and voted. Arracht is a film set during the Great Hunger in Ireland. To win the audience award here, in Glasgow, a city that was so influenced by the fallout of that dark period in our history is truly humbling."
Festival co-director Allan Hunter also thanked the fans who made it all possible. "We presented a programme with a diverse, wide-ranging spectrum of cinema experiences," he said, "and audiences have responded magnificently. One of the joys of the Festival is to see the passion for films as diverse as Arracht, Les Misérables and Our Ladies and the warmth of the welcome for a guest list that included Alice Winocour, Celia Imrie, Simon Pegg and Ingvar Sigurðsson. Our audiences are a tonic and an inspiration."