Glasgow Short Film Festival announce 2021 programme

Scotland’s premier short film celebration returns with new programmes and old favourites. Some films directly address the strange times we're living in, while others feature cool dogs and reminisce about messy nights out

Article by Jamie Dunn | 10 Mar 2021
  • Earth Mother, Sky Father: 2030 (dir. Kordae Henry)

The Skinny caught up with Glasgow Short Film Festival for our March issue to get some early intel on the 14th edition of the festival, which will run online 22 to 28 March – check out our interview with Matt Lloyd and Sanne Jehoul here. There is much to get excited about, including some timely programmes like Locked Down, which features inventive shorts made under tight quarantine conditions, and No New Normal, a programme digging into the absurdity of labour and the sinister surveillance we face every day in this capitalist society.

If you’re after an escape from the hellscape, GSFF also plan some shorts that will act as pet therapy in the form of programme Big Dog Energy. Those missing wild nights at the pub or club, meanwhile, should look to Bangers & Mosh. Not only will the programme evoke the sweaty, physical intimacy of a messy night out, it features the world premiere of a new work by Skinny fave James Price, who won the GSFF audience award last year with Boys Night and provided this year’s hilarious GSFF 2021 trailer.

GSFF announced more details of this year's festival this morning. It sounds like the Opening Programme is still being finalised, but it will include some meta-commentary from Jessica McGoff’s essay Screening Rooms, which reflects on the experience of attending online festivals. Barbed Wire Love: Artists, Filmmakers and their North of Ireland Troubles – a big, meaty programme marking half a century since the commencement of Northern Ireland’s Troubles – was due to screen last year and finally gets its moment in the sun later this month. And following on from last year, Natasha Thembiso Ruwona presents a new chapter of Black Spatial Imaginaries, the programme series exploring Black geographies. Glasgow-based DJ Plantainchipps will provide a live set along with the screening.

We previously announced the contenders for the Scottish and Bill Douglas competitions. This year also marks the tenth edition of the Bill Douglas award, and to celebrate the milestone GSFF are revisiting the previous nine winning films. In addition, the winning filmmakers will each be interviewed by a member of the jury that selected their film, and their chats will be presented on GSFF’s new podcast. Look out for instalments of these conversations dropping on the GSFF website before the festival.

We’re also looking forward to Matchbox Cineclub’s latest celebration of the cult Canadian auteur John Paizs with a screening of The Three Worlds of Nick, a trilogy of films Paizs wrote, directed, edited, shot, designed and starred in in the early 80s. There are also the return of perennial favourites Scared Shortless and For Shorts & Giggles, which should sate your hunger for late-night thrills and laughs respectively.

GSFF director Matt Lloyd has high hopes for this year's festival: "To paraphrase our opening commission by Jessica McGoff, we hope this programme provides some relief from the contextual monocultures we all find ourselves trapped in, at home and on our screens." What more can you ask for?

GSFF tickets are available on a pay what you can afford sliding scale, and the films and Q&As are captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences. For full programme details, head to

The Skinny is media partner for Glasgow Short Film Festival 2021