Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl to close Glasgow Film Festival

This UK premiere starring Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein will be joined by French drama Proxima, starring Eva Green, which will open the festival

Article by Jamie Dunn | 09 Jan 2020
  • Beanie Feldstein in How to Build a Girl

Eleven months ago, the Glasgow Film Festival opened with Mid90s, the directorial debut from Jonah Hill. That family connection continues at GFF this year, with it being announced this morning that Hill’s sister Beanie Feldstein will help bring this year’s event to a close on 8 March with her starring role in How to Build a Girl.

Based on Caitlin Moran’s riotous autobiographical bestseller of the same name, the film follows Wolverhampton teen and Moran surrogate Johanna Korrigan (Feldstein) from life in her suburban home where she gets inspiration from the heroes on her wall (Sylvia Plath, Karl Marx, David Bowie) who talk to her, to life working as a “hip young gunslinger” for a cool music magazine in London which bears a striking resemblance to the NME.

Moran penned the script alongside Scottish author and screenwriter John Niven (Kill Your Friends) and it’s the first feature film in 20 years from Coky Giedroyc (Stella Does TricksWomen Talking Dirty). Alongside Feldstein, the cast includes Paddy Considine, Alfie Allen, Chris O’Dowd and Emma Thompson with cameos from Sharon Horgan, Lily Allen, Jameela Jamil, Lucy Punch, Alexei Sayle, Michael Sheen, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc (the director's sister) and Gemma Arterton. GFF co-director Allison Gardner called the film “hilarious and moving… I loved every minute of it.”

It’s fair to say Moran it pretty excited about bringing her film to GFF. “It’s the greatest thrill of my life to finally unleash Beanie Feldstein as the noble, swashbuckling Sex Pirate Johanna Morrigan at the Glasgow Film Festival,” said the writer and columnist. “To have the honour of closing this joyous cinematic explosion means the whole audience can come straight to the nearest pub with me, and celebrate the hotness of Alfie Allen as John Kite. Unless Glasgow’s gone off that kind of thing since last time I was there. Which I doubt."

Proxima to open GFF 2020

GFF’s opening film Proxima, which kicks off the festival on 26 February, promises a different pace. It comes from award-winning French writer-director Alice Winocour (Augustine, Disorder) and stars the brilliant Eva Green, said to give one of her most nuanced and heartfelt performances playing a woman torn between her professional ambitions and the demands of motherhood. Green is astronaut Sarah Loreau, who we find getting mentally and physically prepared for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.

Word is this is more of a gallic take on The Right Stuff than a full-blown space adventure like Gravity or Interstellar, with Winocour’s film concerned with the nuts and bolts of preparing for space travel and the emotional trauma endured by a female space adventurer forced to leave her young daughter behind.

“We are delighted to be opening and closing the 2020 Glasgow Film Festival with work from hugely talented female directors,” said GFF co-director Allan Hunter. “What better way to start that celebration than opening the Festival with the UK premiere of Proxima, the latest film from writer/director Alice Winocour. The film’s growing tensions between her professional ambitions and personal responsibilities will strike an emotional chord with every parent.”

Tickets for Opening and Closing Galas go on sale at 12pm on Mon 13 Jan from and GFT Box Office (0141 332 6535)
The full programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2020 will be announced on 29 Jan