Glasgow Film Festival: Pop-up Screenings return in 2024

Glasgow Film Festival reveals the first programme details for its landmark 20th edition, including a bunch of pop-up screenings and their annual free morning retrospective

Article by Jamie Dunn | 08 Dec 2023
  • Female Trouble

Glasgow Film Festival’s special pop-up screenings are legendary. Who can forget watching The Thing on a snowy ski slope in Braehead, or driving out to an airport hangar to watch Con Air? And what about that time they took us into Glasgow’s underground system to watch The Warriors, or led us on a treasure hunt for a screening of Dawn of the Dead? Best of all, these events were also affordable – similar events from a popular clandestine movie group in London are astronomically expensive.

These types of one-off events, are, as you might expect, a logistical nightmare, and have been largely off the menu at Glasgow Film Festival ever since COVID struck. But with Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow Film Theatre, and the building in which GFT is housed all celebrating milestone birthdays this year, these creative screenings are back with a vengeance as a way of celebrating these milestones.

Pop-up screenings of The Wizard of Oz and Female Trouble

One screening will celebrate the 85th birthday of the Cosmo cinema, now the GFT, which opened in 1939 and has been central to Glasgow’s cultural scene ever since. This anniversary will be marked by a special event centred on Victor Fleming’s 1939 technicolour masterpiece The Wizard of Oz. The screening's details are still to be confirmed, but we’re told “movie fans can click their ruby red slippers together three times to be transported to a magical screening”. Colour us intrigued.

The second milestone being celebrated is Glasgow Film Theatre replacing the Cosmo 50 years ago, in 1974. That same year, John Waters released his wild crime film Female Trouble, and this grotesque gem will screen to celebrate. Again, GFF are tight-lipped about the nature of the event and the venue, but expect something similarly outrageous – we're sure the Pope of Trash himself will approve.

'Our Story So Far' retrospective

And in 2024 it’s also the 20th anniversary of Glasgow Film Festival, which has grown to be the biggest celebration of film in Scotland and one of the biggest film festivals in the UK. All three anniversaries are reflected in the festival’s wildly popular morning retrospective, which this year is titled Our Story So Far. 

These free screenings take place every morning of GFF, and will include four films from 1939 (Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Only Angels Have Wings and Wuthering Heights), three from 1974 (The Godfather Part II, Young Frankenstein and Foxy Brown) and three released in 2004, the year GFF was born (Brick, Walk the Line, and Wolf Creek).

Each year the festival also chooses a country for a retrospective focus, and this year it's the rich cinema of Czechia. Titled Czech, please!, this retrospective will take in Czech classics like Věra Chytilová's once-banned Daisies, right up to new titles like dystopian sci-fi Restore Point and Brothers,  Czechia’s official submission to the 2024 Academy Awards for the Best International Film.   

MUBI announced as Audience Award sponsors

The festival have also revealed that MUBI will be the official sponsor of their annual Audience Award, which is given to an outstanding feature film by a first or second-time director and voted on by GFF's paying audience. As an exhibitor and as a streaming platform, MUBI also love to showcase emerging talent, so it seems like a perfect match. 

The shortlist for the GFF24 Audience Award will be announced with the full programme on Wednesday 24 January. Tickets go on sale on Monday 29 January. Tickets for The Wizard of Oz and Female Trouble special events go on sale on Wednesday 13 December at 1pm at