Ten films to see at Glasgow Film Festival 2024

Super-lean siege thrillers, magic-realist comedies, archive documentaries and time-travelling romances – here are ten must-watch films from Glasgow Film Festival 2024

Feature by Jamie Dunn | 23 Feb 2024
  • Glasgow Film Festival 2024

La Chimera

Dir. Alice Rohrwacher

In an Alice Rohrwacher film, myth and fable sit side by side with biting social commentary, and that is certainly the case in her latest, La Chimera. A magic-realist comedy set in 80s Tuscany, it stars Josh O’Connor as a curmudgeonly English archaeologist who specialises in digging up artefacts from ancient burial grounds in the sun-dappled Italian countryside. If Federico Fellini directed Raiders of the Lost Ark, it might have a similar vibe to this wonderfully strange and absurdest skewering of class and ecology. 1 & 2 Mar, Glasgow Film Theatre

Riddle of Fire

Dir. Weston Razooli

Another film where the border between reality and fantasy is distinctly porous, Riddle of Fire is a nostalgia trip spilling over with invention and imagination. It centres on three kids with overactive imaginations as they embark on an afternoon’s odyssey while their mum is holed up in bed with the flu. Playing like a lo-fi, blissed-out version of The Goonies, it features mythical forest creatures, wicked witches and to-die-for blueberry pies. 3 Mar, GFT; 8 & 9 Mar, Cineworld


Dir. Jason Yu

Don’t sleep on this twisty thriller from South Korea. It follows newlyweds Hyeon-Soo and Soo-jin, whose marriage gets off to a bumpy start thanks to Hyeon-Soo’s sleepwalking. Cinema has had a mistrust of somnambulism as far back as The Cabinet of Dr Calagari, and so it proves here as Hyeon-Soo’s initially benign nighttime wanderings turn increasingly menacing. Reportedly, Sleep is so creepy you’ll have trouble sleeping yourself after seeing it. 1 & 2 Mar, Cineworld

The Teachers’ Lounge

Dir. Ilker Çatak

This crackerjack thriller takes us inside the day-to-day workings of a German school where a toxic atmosphere is brewing thanks to a series of petty thefts and some serious student rights violations. Caught in the middle is Clara, an idealistic young teacher who cares too much, tries to do what’s right and ends up pissing off everyone in the process: colleagues, pupils, HR, the school’s student rag. Clara’s nightmarish journey will put you off being a Good Samaritan for life. 1 & 2 Mar, GFT

The Green Border

Dir. Agnieszka Holland

The mighty Polish director ​​Agnieszka Holland continues to be one of our most astute political filmmakers with this devastating drama. Shot in black and white and separated into distinct chapters, Holland’s film follows various people caught up in the European migrant crisis, from the refugees who are treated as political pawns by European leaders, to the border patrol conditioned to dehumanise these displaced people, to the activists trying their best to help. 5 & 6 Mar, GFT

The Beast

Dir. Bertrand Bonello

French director Bertrand Bonello is one of the most original and prolific filmmakers working in Europe, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing so given the erratic distribution of his films in the UK. The Beast, an audacious, decades-spanning sci-fi romance should hopefully bring his brand of arthouse cool to a wider audience. And I’m sure having the gorgeous Léa Seydoux and George MacKay star in the film as lovers across several timelines will help too. 7 & 8 Mar, GFT

Tell Me a Riddle + The Stronger

Dir. Lee Grant

Last year GFF celebrated the fantastic documentaries that Lee Grant made in the 1980s, which collectively told a damning story of the Reagan era. The festival's continuing their Lee Grant appreciation with this screening of her newly restored 1980 debut fiction feature Tell Me a Riddle, which tells the moving story of an elderly couple taking one last road trip together when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Playing in a double-bill with Grant's short film The Stronger. 2 Mar, CCA 

Jericho Ridge

Dir. Will Gilbey

If you’re looking for a late-night film to get your pulse racing, you’d do a lot worse than this sinewy siege movie. It follows county sheriff Tabby as she finds herself pinned down at her secluded station, trying to hold off heavily armed gunmen until the cavalry arrives with only a rusted old revolver as artillery. Oh, and she has a broken leg to contend with. What makes Will Gilbey’s all-American action-thriller debut all the more impressive is that he shot it in Kosovo with a cast of British TV actors. 9 Mar, GFT; 10 Mar, Cineworld

Big Banana Feet

Dir. Murray Grigor

GFF are bringing a few Scottish classics back to the big screen this year, including Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher and Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave. Makes some time, though, for Murray Grigor’s wonderful verité film following Billy Connolly on and off stage as he tours Ireland in 1975. Clearly inspired by DA Pennebaker's fly-on-the-wall Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back, this is a rarely-screen gem that captures the Big Yin while he’s on the brink of becoming a superstar. 3 & 4 Mar, GFT; festival screenings sold out, tickets on sale now for screenings on 10 & 11 May, GFT 

Bill Douglas: My Best Friend

Dir. Jack Archer

The pick of the new Scottish films at the festival looks to be this affectionate documentary celebrating the great Bill Douglas, quite possibly Scotland's greatest-ever filmmaker. The heart of the film is Douglas’s friendship with Peter Jewell, whose memories of living and working with Douglas are brought to life over never-before-seen Super8 films Douglas made with Jewell for a lark. 8 & 9 Mar, GFT

Glasgow Film Festival 2024 runs 28 Feb-10 Mar; full programme at glasgowfilmfest.org

For more on this year's Glasgow Film Festival, listen below to the latest episode of our film podcast, The Cineskinny...