GSFF 2018: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Don Hertzfeldt and more

Weerasethakul’s short films programme and Hertzfeldt's World of Tomorrow films are just two of the highlights of the eleventh Glasgow Short Film Festival, the programme for which has just been announced

Article by Jamie Dunn | 31 Jan 2018
  • The World of Tomorrow 2

Fancy a short film sleepover? That’s what’s on offer at this year’s Glasgow Short Film Festival as they host an otherworldly overnight screening of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s dreamlike movies. The Thai director, best known for his 2010 Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, is the master of hypnotic cinema, creating beguiling films about ghosts, dreams, nature and memory that should have even more resonance during a somnambulistic all-night screening. We’re told the four programmes of his own short work that Weerasethakul has specially curated for GSFF will weave together elements of horror, soap opera, science fiction and the avant garde. Kicking off at 11pm and running till dawn, pillows and mattresses will be provided.

Another Southeast Asian filmmaker to emerge around the same time as Weerasethakul was Nguyễn Trinh Thi. The Hanoi-based moving image artist will be in Glasgow to introduce three programmes of her work at this year’s GSFF, as well as present a new installation, Everyday’s the Seventies, which will play in CCA’s Intermedia Gallery throughout the festival.

Another highlight will be the chance to see Don Hertzfeldt’s two World of Tomorrow films on the big screen. The genius American animator’s World of Tomorrow, which follows a four-year-old named Emily and her adult clone on a bittersweet journey into the future, screened at the 2015 edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival and was justly proclaimed best international film by the GSFF audience. This year it screens with Hertzfeldt’s newly minted sequel, World of Tomorrow 2. GSFF tell us to expect “another dark and hilarious sci-fi tale drenched in both thought-provoking existentialism and curious naiveté.”

Sticking with another of the foremost indie filmmakers working in the US, GSFF welcome Charlottesville-based Kevin Jerome Everson to the festival. Challenging the concept of what a short film even is, GSFF will be screening Everson's epic documentary Park Lanes. Running eight hours, it patiently examines a working day in a Virginia bowling alley supplies factory, capturing the experience of labour in real time. Everson will also be presenting three programmes of his shorter work.

Another eye-catching programme is Ladies of the Night, which features a selection of offbeat shorts featuring “strong, not-to-be-messed-with women taking the lead”. The line-up includes a tale of female vampires roaming a remote Malaysian village, a documentary on transgender magician Fay Presto, and a sci-fi take on Hansel and Gretel from the mighty Jennifer Reeder.

Some of the liveliest looking events at this year’s festival take place at a brand new venue: Civic House. Located below Speirs Wharf, near Cowcaddens station, the venue will act as a festival hub as well as host screenings, live events and late-night parties. There's a night planned of “boundary-devouring” music videos by some emerging Scottish filmmakers, which will be followed by a set from electropop four-piece Babe. Civic House will also host a screening of cult 1986 doc Big Fun In The Big Town, which immerses audiences in New York’s budding hip-hop scene, with fresh-faced rap pioneers Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J and Run-DMC among those featured. The night also features a selection of hip-hop shorts, followed by a late-night afterparty hosted by all-female rap/grime/trap night Tomboy, featuring DJ sets and a live performance by female grime MC Madders Tiff.

And, as ever, the heart of GSFF are the programmes that make up the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film, as well as the Scottish Short Film Award programmes, which help to support, nurture and showcase the talent close to home. In the former, look out for Rory Stewart’s funny and moving Wild Horses, while in the latter, make sure to catch Duncan Cowles’ hilarious musings on the life of a freelance filmmaker in Taking Stock.

Glasgow Short Film Festival takes place 14-18 Mar; tickets go on sale at 12pm on Thu 1 Feb at