Scottish Film Events: October 2021

October brings a brand new cinema to Edinburgh (kinda), and more festivals than you can shake a stick at

Article by Jamie Dunn | 04 Oct 2021
  • Taipei Story

The leaves are starting to turn, and that signals it’s about to get pretty fucking bleak outside. But never fear, there’ll be plenty of heat coming off our cinemas and laptop screens this autumn thanks to the surfeit of film festivals that arrive on the scene around this time. We discuss three of them – SQIFF, Africa in Motion and Scotland Loves Anime – elsewhere on the website, but that trio is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival ushers in its eighth edition, a hybrid affair consisting of in-person (until 10 Oct, Filmhouse & the French Institute) and online screenings (14-17 Oct) of 21 feature films and eight shorts. Proceedings kicked off with The Hive (1 Oct, Filmhouse), in which a group of childhood friends reunite at a country house for a hen do, but quickly realise time has recalibrated their friendships. If you’re in the mood for a classic, the festival will also be marking the centenary of great Spanish filmmaker Luis García Berlanga with a screening of his blistering black comedy The Executioner from 1963 (7 Oct, Filmhouse). View the full programme at

Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh also returns as a hybrid. The festival screens two environmental docs at GFT to mark the runup to COP26 – Ke Chin-Yuan’s Sacred Forest (25 Oct) and Huang Jia Jun’s Whale Island (30 Oct). Online there’s the chance to catch some Taiwanese classics, including two masterpieces of the New Taiwanese Cinema wave of the 1980s: Edward Yang’s Taipei Story and Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Dust in the Wind. View the full programme at

And if that wasn’t enough, the London Film Festival comes north of the border with an embarrassment of riches to be screened at GFT and Filmhouse, including the new films from Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria) and Céline Sciamma (Petite Maman). LFF is also bringing with it inflated London ticket prices – to Glasgow, at least – so beware to not waste your money on some screenings that are glorified previews of films out in October anyway (see Last Night in Soho and The French Dispatch). Head to the GFT and Filmhouse websites for details.

We’re also excited to welcome a new cinema space to Edinburgh. Well, it’s not really new. Summerhall has decked out its Red Lecture Theatre with a fresh sound and vision kit and rebranded it Summerhall Cinema, which will have a regular cinema programme mixing new releases with specially curated films and regular events. Coming up in October, you’ve got the chance to see second runs of some of the finest films of the summer, including First Cow, Our Ladies, Limbo, Annette and The Sparks Brothers. We can't wait for this great space to become a lively cinema hub for Edinburgh southsiders. Full details at