Glasgow Short Film Festival unveils 2016 programme

Lydia Lunch presenting the Cinema of Transgression at The Glue Factory, classic Universal horror movies given the 16mm shorts treatment and a focus on the short films of Syria are among Glasgow Short Film Festival's new programme

Feature by News Team | 03 Feb 2016

Today, Glasgow Short Film Festival announced its full 2016 programme, and it’s a doozy. As we already know, proceedings will kick off on 16 Mar with the world premiere of Lost Treasure, which resurrects an unfinished 1956 film by Dawn Cine Group, an ahead of their time, socially committed filmmaking collective. The film was intended to tell the story of the Scottish Highlands and its people, drawing on folk song and personal testimony, but the footage has languished in the Scottish archives for 60 years. Musicians Drew Wright (Wounded Knee) and Hamish Brown (Swimmer One), working with filmmaker Minttu Mäntynen, have created a new piece of music – combining the themes of abandoned projects and rural depopulation – to be performed live with the film.

Festival highlight looks to be a celebration of the Cinema of Transgression presented by Lydia Lunch. The post-punk icon will be running riot at The Glue Factory on 19 Mar for a night of rare 16mm films from that underground 1980s movement. The night will be topped off with a live set from Lunch alongside Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Walter Weasel and a DJ set from Glasgow’s own JG Wilkes of Optimo. Anyone who made it along to the festival’s No Wave retrospective in 2011, in which Lunch was pretty prominent, will know that this night is unmissable.

We’d also urge you to make it along to our own screening on 17 Mar, where we’re proud to present Caustic Gulp, by Bryan M Ferguson, the winner of this year’s Skinny Short Film Competition. Caustic Gulp will screen alongside the world premiere of Flamingo, the film Ferguson made with his prize. Some of our favourite entries in this year’s competition will also screen in the programme.

The country focus at this year's GSFF is Syria. On 20 Mar, a programme of contemporary short work by filmmakers from within the war-torn nation and those in exile will screen, and we’re promised “a startling range of voices that offer a deeper collective understanding of life in the shadow of war.”

We love the sound of The Sum of All Fears (18 Mar), a night featuring abridged 16mm versions of classic Universal horror films. The programme includes The Mummy and Hitchcock’s Frenzy, and GSFF suggest these truncated versions offer an improvement on some of the originals.

A highlight of Glasgow Short Film Festival’s programme is always its retrospectives (Jennifer Reeder, Miranda July and the Court 13 collective have been some of the past artists celebrated at recent GSFFs), and this year German documentarian Jan Soldat is the focus (17 & 18 Mar). We’re told his short work captures human sexuality, casual intimacy and domestic banality; Soldat will be around the festival to lead a documentary workshop exploring his practice (18 March).

We’re also keen to catch Anywhere But the Cities (18 Mar), the tour film from poetry-music impresarios Neu! Reekie!, which captures 30 Scottish poets, musicians and others tackling 16 shows in 22 days across the country. Scottish Ballet are also presenting an electrifying selection of dance on film on 19 Mar.

The heart of the GSFF programme is, of course, its short film competitions. 34 films from across the world will compete for the International Bill Douglas Award while 26 new films from Scottish-based filmmakers present films eligible for the Scottish Short Film and Audience Awards.

It’s a bursting programme, and GSFF director Matt Lloyd doesn’t mince his words with his introduction: “Taking our inspiration from the post-punk cinematic new wave of early eighties New York, Glasgow Short Film Festival declares war on all boring films this year,” he says. “From the conflict zones of Syria to sexual role-playing in suburban Germany; whether reworking Hollywood classics or venturing into the virtual world – we’ve picked films this year which seek to transgress limits of morality, convention or expectation.”

Lloyd promises the five day festival will “foreground short film’s potential to push at the boundaries of cultural expression, to establish new forms of storytelling, to shock but also to thrill, question and offer glimpses of new ways of thinking.”

Glasgow Short Film Festival runs 16-20 Mar. Tickets for Lost Treasure are on sale now from or in person at the GFT Box Office. Tickets for all other GSFF events are on sale from Thursday 4 Feb.