Glasgow Short Film Festival announces full programme

2021 addition will be entirely online

by Amber Wilkinson

Strange Says The Angel will screen as part of the celebration of the Bill Douglas Award
Strange Says The Angel will screen as part of the celebration of the Bill Douglas Award
The Glasgow Short Film Festival has announced the full line-up for its 14th edition, which will run from 22 to 28 March. Due to the pandemic, this year's festival will be entirely online and accessible to anyone in the UK.

Alongside the previously announced GSFF21 Scottish Short Film Award and the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film, the festival will reflect on the last year spent in lockdown, with new programmes No New Normal, Big Dog Energy and Locked Down aiming to spearhead conversations about the subject. The Opening Programme will include Screening Rooms, a specially commissioned film by Jessica McGoff, (one of Sight & Sound’s video essayists of 2020), reflecting on the experience of attending online festivals.

Matt Lloyd, GSFF Director, said: "It’s been a challenge to devise a whole new festival programme in only six months, under lockdown conditions, but our team has been fantastic – my heartfelt thanks to all of them, some of whom I have yet to meet in person. To paraphrase our opening commission by Jessica McGoff, we hope this programme provides some relief from the contextual monocultures we all find ourselves trapped in, at home and on our screens."

Barbed Wire Love: Artists, Filmmakers and their North of Ireland Troubles, curated by Peter Taylor (Director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival) and artist and filmmaker Myrid Carten, initially scheduled to screen at the cancelled 13th edition, is presented in the centenary year of Irish partition. Natasha Thembiso Ruwona presents a new chapter of Black Spatial Imaginaries, a programme initiated in 2020 and exploring Black geographies. Accompanying Black Spatial Imaginaries Pt. 2 will be a live set by Glasgow-based DJ, Plantainchipps.

Regular GSFF collaborators, Matchbox Cineclub, will present a trio of works by cult Canadian auteur John Paizs.

Regular GSFF strands will also return. A new selection of European Film Academy nominated films brings critically acclaimed titles from across Europe to UK audiences, while GSFF’s Family Shorts is expanding into two programmes for 2021: one suitable for all ages and one suitable for over sevens.

Sanne Jehoul, GSFF Co-director, said:

We’re excited to present a programme that is more suitable to the online viewing context, both in terms of presentation and content, and offers ways of engaging beyond the computer screen. We have struck a tonally varied balance of addressing the year gone by, bringing together topical and interconnected themes of labour, community, care, surveillance, other worlds and lockdown, while also keeping space for our recurring favourites. We’ve even sprinkled in some pet therapy, and reminisce about the value of a gloomy night out."

This year marks the tenth anniversary of GSFF’s Bill Douglas Award and the festival will revisit the previous nine winning films, including Strange Says The Angel and Shipwreck, alongside new interviews between each filmmaker and a member of the jury that selected their film. These interviews will be available on Glasgow Short Film Festival’s podcast, to be released in instalments before and during this year’s festival.

All the programmes, including Q&As, are captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences and GSFF will continue to implement a Pay What You Can sliding scale for passes with the aim of improving access and inclusion. More information about the programme along with passes can be found at the official site.

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