Glasgow Short Film Festival reveals 2017 programme

The tenth edition of Scotland's largest celebration of short film reveals its lineup, from a Virtual Reality strand to a retrospective of Norwegian filmmaker Gunhild Enger to a programme all about vaginas

Article by The Skinny | 01 Feb 2017

With its upcoming edition, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Scotland’s largest and best celebration of short film, moves into double figures. To acknowledge the landmark, some favourites from GSFF's previous nine instalments will be cropping up in the programme this year.

"We’re marking the tenth anniversary with the welcome return of some of our favourite guests and events, alongside some brand new ones,” explains festival director Matt Lloyd. One event we’re delighted they’re revisiting is A Wall Is A Screen. Part city tour, part outdoor cinema, the Hamburg collective’s last visit in 2015 saw over 600 people take to Glasgow's streets to watch the guerilla film night take over neglected spaces, familiar buildings and commercial facades with a sharply curated evening of short film.

A Wall is a Screen - GSFF 2015

This year’s GSFF also looks back to the The Magic Lantern, the much-loved short film showcase that kicked off the festival back in 2008. Original curators Rosie Crerar and Penelope Bartlett will be picking their favourite shorts from the GSFF archives and throwing in more recent films. The press release promises a programme that will “swerve from the silly to the surreal to the sublime, with a strong focus on female directors.”

GSFF's retrospective also marks the ten year return of Norwegian filmmaker Gunhild Enger, who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art a decade ago. We’re told to expect “humane yet caustically satirical films, shot through with her distinctive honesty and humour.”

This tenth edition also sees GSFF looking to the future with Total Immersion: GSFF Does VR, which will allow audiences to don hi-tech headgear and immerse themselves in a showcase of virtual reality shorts, including the premiere of a new VR moving image art project by digital artists Dennis & Debbie Club. “We’re taking a hard look at Virtual Reality and what it might mean for cinema and short form storytelling,” notes Lloyd.

The Comittee (dir. Gunhild Enger)

As our government prepares to invoke Article 50, GSFF also offers up “a timely collaboration with imagineNative, the world's largest showcase of Indigenous-made screen work, and Dokufest, the leading film festival in Kosovo, that explores the physical and cultural notions of sovereignty and nationhood.”

Less sober, we suspect, will be When I Say Vagina…, which GSFF describe as “a (NSFW) programme all about lady bits, muffins, beavers, flowers, tacos, cooches, bearded clams, honeypots, pussies, love boxes, cherries, and pink canoes.” We'll also be first in the queue for a 35mm screening of classic short Jazz Is Our Religion – the screening is followed by a party with live jazz acts and a DJ set from Donna Leake.

Other highlights include the previously revealed An Evening With Bukowski and the premiere screening of John Murray’s Gaelic short story Briseadh Na Cloiche, which is reinterpreted for stage and screen by playwright Iain Macrae and director Duncan MacDonald.

And, of course, there’s the heart of GSFF: its short film competitions. The Bill Douglas Award For International Short Film will be competed for by 32 films from 24 countries, from Palestine to Siberia. Look out for Canadian superstar Peaches’ look at her origins in a Jewish girls’ summer camp folk band, a short where a cross-border committee of Scandinavian commissioners struggle hilariously with competing notions of public art and a film in which a 50 year-old woman gives birth to her 22nd child in an eclectic range of animation, documentary, fiction and artists' films. The Scottish Short Film Award, meanwhile, sees 19 filmmakers in competition.

“Ten years is not too shabby,” says Lloyd, “and it’s thanks to the passion and commitment of our lovely loyal audience, and to the support of countless individuals and organisations in Glasgow and around the world, that GSFF continues to serve up a yearly blowout of boundary-devouring offbeat cinematic visions.”

GSFF runs 15-19 Mar. Tickets go on sale at noon on Thu 2 Feb at