Handsome Devil and Mad To Be Normal Announced as Opening and Closing Night Galas for Glasgow Film Festival 2017 | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Handsome Devil and Mad To Be Normal Announced as Opening and Closing Night Galas for Glasgow Film Festival 2017

05 January 2017

European Premiere of coming-of-age story Handsome Devil will be the Opening Gala for the thirteenth annual Glasgow Film Festival on 15 February

World Premiere of Mad To Be Normal starring David Tennant announced as Closing Gala film - David Tennant will attend the Festival on 26 February

Life of renowned artist and writer John Berger to be celebrated in the Scottish premiere of The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

The thirteenth annual Glasgow Film Festival will open on 15 February with the European premiere of coming-of-age story, Handsome Devil. Directed by John Butler (The Stag), the film stars Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Spectre) alongside rising stars Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine.

Heading up a cast of bright new talent is Fionn O’Shea as gawky, sixteen year-old Ned, a bright, artistic lad who faces his own hell on earth when he is sent to an all-boys Irish boarding school where the manly pursuit of rugby is virtually a religion. He steels himself for the loneliness, ridicule and constant insinuations about his sexuality. Everything changes with the arrival of his new roommate Conor (Nicholas Galitzine), a star player in the rugby team, and inspirational English teacher Dan Sherry (Sherlock and Spectre star Andrew Scott). Ned and Conor bond over a mutual appreciation of cool music and an unlikely friendship blossoms and faces unbearable pressures from a school grimly attached to its narrow macho values.




Eleven days later, the festival will close with the World Premiere of Mad To Be Normal, chronicling the astonishing life of world-renowned Scottish psychiatrist R. D Laing.

Featuring an all-star cast headed by David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) as Laing, alongside Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, High-Rise), Michael Gambon (The Hollow Crown; the Harry Potter series) and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects; In Treatment), the film is directed by Robert Mullan (We Will Sing; Gitel).

There was no more charismatic or controversial a figure during the Swinging Sixties than Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing. Dubbed “the white Martin Luther King” and the “high priest of anti-psychiatry”, Laing was as famous as Dylan. In 1965, he established Kingsley Hall in East London as a medication-free community for those seriously affected by schizophrenia. His methods and theories flew in the face of a medical establishment who considered Laing a dangerous radical. Mad To Be Normal offers a powerful account of Laing’s Kingsley Hall experiment with a stunning performance from David Tennant that really gets under the skin of an utterly compelling figure. Tennant’s nuanced, complex work conveys a sense of Laing’s immense personal charm and the combination of intelligence and arrogance that made him revered and reviled. The film also captures the darker side of a mercurial man who rarely made it easy for those who dared to get close to him, especially his lover Angie (Elisabeth Moss).

Robert Mullan, David Tennant and other cast members to be announced will be in attendance at the Closing Gala on the 26 February.




As a tribute to the late intellectual and storyteller John Berger, the festival has also announced it will host the Scottish premiere of The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger (Friday 24 February, with an additional screening on Saturday 25 February). The result of a five-year project by Tilda Swinton, Colin MacCabe and Christopher Roth in collaboration with the composer Simon Fisher Turner, The Seasons in Quincy is comprised of four essay films, each taking different aspects of Berger’s life in the Haute-Savoie. Combining ideas and motifs from Berger’s own work with the atmosphere of his mountain home, each film exists as an individual work of art but combine to make a multifaceted and multilayered portrait of a great artist.

Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director Allison Gardner said “I am so excited to share the news about our great Opening and Closing Galas. Handsome Devil is a real crowd-pleaser with a joyous spirit that makes it a perfect film to launch the festival. David Tennant gives an absolutely stunning performance as R.D. Laing in Mad To Be Normal and it seems only fitting that Glasgow should have the honour of hosting the premiere of a film about one of the city’s most complex, charismatic figures. We are also privileged to be able to host the Scottish premiere of The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger, a fascinating look at one of our greatest polymaths”.

Cllr. Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said “Glasgow Film Festival is a highlight on the city’s cultural calendar. The opening gala is always an exciting event, heralding the beginning of 11 packed days of film in the UK’s cinema city. It’s particularly great to see that a famous Glaswegian will be depicted on screen for this year’s closing gala film. I’ll look forward to seeing the full programme, which I’m sure will be equally inspiring and inventive, once revealed later this month.”

Tickets for the Opening and Closing Galas go on sale at 10am on Monday 9 January from the Glasgow Film Festival Website.

The full programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2017 will be announced on the 18 January.

Join the conversation on social media with #GFF17 or follow @glasgowfilmfest.

Listings info:
GFF Opening Gala
Handsome Devil
Wednesday 15 February 19:30
Glasgow Film Theatre
D: John Butler; Ireland; 2016; Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott

GFF Closing Gala
Mad To Be Normal
Sunday 26 February 19:30
Glasgow Film Theatre
D: Robert Mullan; UK; 2017; David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Gambon, Gabriel Byrne

About Glasgow Film Festival
The thirteenth annual Glasgow Film Festival will run from 15–26 February 2017. The full programme will be launched on the 18 January, with tickets on sale to GFF members from 10am on 19 January and then on general sale from 10am on 23 January. Tickets for the Opening and Closing Galas will be available from 9 January. GFF Membership is available to buy now for only £10, offering four days of advance booking, and discounts. See Glasgow Film for full information. Existing GFT CineCard members will automatically have GFF membership.

Notable guests visiting the festival in recent years have included Richard Gere, Alan Rickman, Joss Whedon, Terry Gilliam, John C Reilly, Saoirse Ronan, Richard Dreyfuss, Jonathan Glazer, Richard Johnson, Gemma Arterton, Ben Wheatley, Cliff Curtis, David Robert Mitchell, Carol Morley, Gemma Jones, Jason Priestley, Neil Jordan, agnés b., Armando Iannucci, Jack O’Connell, Dexter Fletcher, Peter Mullan, George Sluizier, Peter Capaldi, Ty West, Richard Ayoade, Eli Roth and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The twelfth annual festival, in 2016, opened with the UK premiere of the Coen Brothers' star-studded Hail, Caesar!. Over 42,000 admissions were logged for GFF16, cementing its position as the third-largest film festival in the UK.

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