Festival Roundup: Southside Film Festival 2013

The lights go down on another successful Southside Film Festival. Here are our highlights...

Feature by Louise Maughan | 22 May 2013
  • Up There

This weekend may have been drenched by the kind of rain Travis Bickle prayed for, but the Southside Film Festival (SFF) was no washout. Most of the events sold out as pop-up cinema screens illuminated all over the south.

We Are Northern Lights, Scotland’s first mass-participation film, was extremely well received and director Nick Higgins announced the sequel to this crowd-sourced documentary. The project will be heading out on the road again and re-opening for submission from the people of Scotland to tell their stories on film. Check the website for up-to-date details, wearenorthernlights.com.

Ben Wheatley’s deliciously dark comedy Sightseers, about caravanning couple Chris (Steve Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe), played to an intimate audience in the 46th Glasgow Scout Group Hall. The venue added a comically creepy edge to this romantic tour of culture, heritage and bloody violence.

Sticking with sightseeing, the Cinemas of the Southside walking tour explained exactly why the SFF is so important. Ad hoc venues were set up in the late 19th century to bring film to the city before the large cinemas opened, just as SFF is doing in the 21st century in some of the same sites. See www.scottishcinemas.org.uk for details of upcoming tours across the city.

Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin at the Pollokshaws Burgh Hall accompanied by a Wurlitzer organ held the audience in a united awestruck state. The crowd were as silent as the screen, while Gordon and his organ recreated this early cinema experience, complete with an usherette and wee tubs of ice cream.

Southside director Zam Salim’s Up There closed the festival with cast members Kirsty Strain and Paul McCole conducting a Q&A session afterwards. David Brown was announced as the winner of the Southside filmmaker award for A Bird in the Handhis comic take on societal obsessions with physical appearance.

The lights went down south of the clyde, and Karen O’Hare and her hardworking team deserve a standing ovation for another successful festival.

The Southside Film Festival ran from 17-19 May

Follow Southsdie Film Festival on Twitter: @southfilmfest