Southside Film Festival, 17-19 May

Just in time for Cannes kicking off, Glasgow's south side gets its own celebration of cinema as the Southside Film Festival returns for its third year. Here's what's on offer...

Feature by Louise Maughan | 13 May 2013
  • The Iron Giant

How can a film festival exist without a cinema? The Southside Film Festival (SFF) has some suggestions. Now in its third year, the festival gets round the south side’s lack of cinema spaces by celebrating the moving image in variety of pop-up venues, from a public baths to a stately home. The event features homegrown directors and work from the south side’s international community, as well as a few classics.

The festival kicks off with We Are Northern Lights, Scotland’s first ever crowd-sourced, mass-participation film. Fifteen thousand members of the great Scottish public contributed over 300 hours of personal footage to create this unique documentary on Scotland’s past, present and future. Director Nick Higgins and editor Colin Moore will hold a Q&A after the screening (17 May).

The famous Govanhill Baths features in We Are Northern Lights and it also acts as a festival venue for a great-looking double feature: Why Poverty and Roma of Govanhill (Sat 18). Why Poverty is a global initiative which asked emerging filmmakers from all over the world to make films to get people thinking about poverty; Roma of Govanhill, meanwhile, is a Hungarian documentary from the point of view of the Roma living in the Govanhill area. Be warned: you will have to wrap up warm as the heating in the baths has been off for some time.

Soviet cinematic masterpiece Battleship Potemkin (Sun 19) is the eye-popping dramatisation of the 1905 mutiny by the crew of the Russian ship of the title and the revolutionary reactions of the people of Odessa. Director Sergei Eisenstein conceived the film as class-conscious propaganda and his groundbreaking use of montage reinforce this concept, highlighting the view of the many over the individual. Considered one of the finest films ever made, the viewing experience is enhanced by a live performance on a Wurlitzer cinema organ.

From Bolsheviks to Bollywood; Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (19 May) is the story of two close college friends of the opposite sex that attempts to prove the theory that relationships between heterosexual men and women can never be platonic. Partly shot in Glasgow and the Highlands, this Hindi-language film makes the ideal choice for the festival's first Bollywood screening.

Fancy dinner and a movie? Find a unique experience at Pollok House, where you can enjoy a screening of Gosford Park and a two-course meal (19 May). This stately home is more than a fitting venue for Robert Altman’s whodunit, which stars Maggie Smith, Kelly Macdonald and Stephen Fry, to name a few. Take in the upstairs/downstairs atmosphere with a slap-up feast in the servants’ quarters, then head upstairs to soak up the best collection of Spanish art in the UK. 

The Southside Film Festival caters for cinephiles of all ages and tastes. The Iron Giant (18 May) at The Glad Cafe follows an animation workshop for children aged 7-11 in the Cathcart Scout Hall and a filmmaking workshop for teenagers in Castlemilk.

There’s a clubnight on Saturday (18 May) with iBop, the south side’s longest running indie night. And, if your boots are still fit for walking, try the historic guided tour of the south side’s cinema buildings the following day.

The last cinema in the south of the Clyde may have closed in 2001, but SFF creates its own cinematic odyssey from 16-19 May. And it’s just up the road.

Full programme details at

Follow Southside Film Festival on Twitter: @southfilmfest