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Rising stars and veterans attend Glasgow Film Festival

06 February 2015

Glasgow Film Festival is delighted to make a first announcement about guests attending the festival this year. Respected veteran actors Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Sense And Sensibility, the Harry Potter films) and Richard Johnson (The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, The Haunting, Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra) will attend the festival in support of Radiator, the beautiful debut of director Tom Browne, nominated for the GFF’s inaugural Audience Award. At the other end of the spectrum, Karidja Toure and Assa Sylla, the young stars of Celine Sciamma’s multi-award winning Girlhood (Bande de filles), one of the hottest-tipped films on the festival circuit, will walk the red carpet for the film’s Scottish premiere.

Daniel Wolfe, best known as the director behind some of the most cinematic music videos of the last decade, including Duffy’s ‘Mercy’, Plan B’s ‘Stay Too Long’, Sugababes’ ‘Girls’ and the Jake Gyllanhaal-hipster-killing-spree of ‘Time To Dance’, will attend the festival in support of his feature debut, supercool thriller Catch Me Daddy, along with the film’s stars Conor McCarron (NEDS) and Gary Lewis (Outlander, Gangs of New York, Billy Elliot). Peter Mullan (Trainspotting) and Morvern Christie (Grantchester, Lost In Austen) will take part in masterclasses on editing and casting as part of the Behind The Scenes programme strand.

GFF are also delighted to confirm that legendary crime novelist William McIlvanney will attend the World Premiere of the documentary about his life, William McIlvanney: Living With Words. Director Gillies McKinnon and actor Iain Robertson are confirmed to attend the 20th anniversary screening of Small Faces. Alan McKenna, best known as an actor in films like Belle, and as Patrick McGuire in Doctors, will attend for Pressure, his debut feature script as a writer. Award-winning director Yasmin Fedda returns to GFF with her brilliant documentary Queens of Syria. Actor Leo Gregory and director Jane Spencer support dreamy existential comedy The Ninth Cloud, actor/director April Mullen walks the red carpet for her gory revenge thriller pastiche 88.

Guests already announced include New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis, for The Dark Horse, director Carol Morley for The Falling, composer Olfaur Arnalds (The Hunger Games, Broadchurch), Oscar-winning sound designer Glenn Freemantle (Gravity, Paddington, Ex Machina), the band British Sea Power and the comedian Paul Merton.

A complete list of talent attending, including media call opportunities, is available below. Further announcements are expected in the coming weeks.


The Grump: Director Dome Karukoski

“a poignant exploration of loneliness, old age and the pitfalls and pleasures of remaining resolutely stuck in your ways” - Screen

One of Finland's most successful directors, Karukoski has been called the “saviour of Finnish cinema”. His second film, Home of the Dark Butterflies, was chosen as Finland's submission for the 2009 Academy Awards. The Grump follows the misadventures of a stubborn, 80-year old farmer, a light-hearted satirical look at life in modern-day Finland. 

Catch Me Daddy: Director Daniel Wolfe, Actors Connor McCarron & Gary Lewis
Laila, played by Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, is on the run with her Scottish boyfriend Aaron (Conor McCarron from NEDS) from her family and their over-prized sense of honour in this powerfully gripping British drama. We are joined by the director and stars for its Scottish Premiere. The film is is the feature debut of music promo director Daniel Wolfe, who has worked with bands including Chase & Status and Plan B, and stars including Jake Gyllenhaal for The Shoes’ ‘Time To Dance’  Scottish actor Conor McCarron, who plays boyfriend Aaron, is perhaps best known for his role in NEDS (2010), for which he was nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the British Independent Film Awards. We are also joined by renowned Scottish actor Gary Lewis, who has starred in such films as Gangs of New York (2002), Billy Elliot (2000), and Filth (2013) 

Our Extra-Sensory Selves: Director Allison Gibbs
Allison Gibbs’ new film is the result of an exploration on the possibilities of becoming extra-sensory. Based in part on research conducted with the Development Circle for Radical Subjectivity in France, the film shows the group’s journey as they attempt to reclaim their extra-senses and reach a higher state of consciousness.  A graduate from the Glasgow School of Art, Gibbs has screened work at Glasgow International 2014, Intermedia Gallery, and in Berlin. Our Extra-Sensory Selves is the result of her residency with Triangle France, based in Marseille.

A Night at the Regal: British Sea Power, Joe McAlinden
On From the Sea to the Land Beyond

“Beautiful, mesmerising… gloriously cosseted with a British Sea Power score… “- Grace Dent, The Independent.

“This wasn’t one to have playing casually. It was a thing to be immersed in, whisky poured, speakers turned up. The alchemy of precisely arranged visuals and sweeping music was mesmeric.”- Jack Seale, Radio Times

A pioneering force in the UK indie scene for over ten years, British Sea Power have carved a reputation as one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking bands out there. They perform their live score to documentary film From the Sea to the Land Beyond

Former frontman of alt-rock hitmakers Superstar, Joe McAlinden's musical career has seen him collaborate with the likes of Edwyn Collins, Teenage Fanclub, and Rod Stewart. He performs his live soundtrack to EDIT, the latest film from artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, fresh from their work on Nick Cave feature 20,000 Days on Earth.

The Dark Horse: Actor Cliff Curtis
“The most deserving cinematic export to emerge from New Zealand in years”
- Variety

“Curtis… brings dramatic heft, a total immersion in the personality of a tortured but gifted man, one with a rank and file of demons in his head and a generous soul. It’s a high wire Curtis walks, with large strides.” - Indiewire

“(Curtis’) performance is mesmerising from the start. If he gets a better role in his career he’ll be lucky” ???? - Sydney Morning Herald

Cliff Curtis is one of New Zealand's most recognisable stars, with leading roles in homegrown projects like Oscar-nominated The Whale Rider, as well as Hollywood blockbusters Sunshine, Three Kings, and upcoming Walking Dead spin-off Cobalt. He will attend the European Premiere of The Dark Horse, marking his immersive portrayal of bipolar chess champion Genesis Potini.

Behind The Scenes: Close-Up on Casting: Director Kahleen Crawford, Actor Morvern Christie

Casting director Kahleen Crawford, who has worked on Filth, Sunshine on Leith and Young Adam, and actor Morvern Christie (currently Grantchester’s Amanda Kendall, also known as Fi Healy, Head of Legacy, in Twenty Twelve, and Jane Bennett in Lost In Austen) give aspiring actors and interested audience members a look behind the scenes the casting process. 

I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run: Director Nick Hall
An experienced editor and director, Nick Hall presents his first documentary feature, a raucous film following the misadventures of former Clash frontman Joe Strummer in Spain, featuring interviews with Strummer's close friends and former bandmates.

Queens of Syria: Director Yasmin Fedda

An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Yasmin Fedda has earned a reputation for her hard-hitting and insightful storytelling. Her film Queens of Syria saw her awarded the Black Pearl fro Best Director at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The film follows the story of fifty Syirian women, forced into exile in Jordan, who came together to perform their own version of timeless Greek tragedy The Trojan Women. 

Pressure: Director Ron Scalpello, Actor/Writer Alan McKenna

Taut, tense, reminiscent of no-escape thrillers like Solaris or 127 Hours, Pressure is the second feature from British director Ron Scalpello, in which four deep-sea divers become trapped in their saturation bell at the bottom of the ocean off the Kenyan coast.

Scalpello, who previously directed such music promo videos as The Prodigy’s ‘Voodoo People’, and first feature Offender, joins us alongside co-writer and actor Alan McKenna. 

William McIlvanney: Living with Words: Director Maurice O'Brien, Author William McIlvanney
Told in his own words and those of family and colleagues, William McIlvanney: Living with Words is an intimate portrait of the man known as the ‘Godfather of Tartan Noir’ and the inspiration he provided for an entire generation of writers. Legendary author, the creator of Laidlaw (and with it, the genre of ‘tartan noire’) and Docherty (recently voted on of the top ten Scottish novels of all time), Following on from directorial success of Buffalo Dreams and Northern Soul: Keep the Faith (both 2013), Maurice O’Brien presents his latest work and tribute to the literary talents of William McIlvanney, who will be attending the festival in support of the film. 

Margaret Tait Award: Stoneymollan Trail: Director Charlotte Prodger
We welcome Margaret Tait Award winner Charlotte Prodger for the world premiere of 2014 specially-created experimental film, Stoneymollan Trail.  A graduate of Goldsmiths College and Glasgow School of Art, Charlotte Prodger was featured as part of Glasgow International 2014 and has exhibited in Glasgow, London and New York. After winning the Margaret Tait Award in 2014, Stoneymollan Trail is the film she has specially created to be screened as part of GFF15.

Girlhood: Actors Kardja Toure & Assa Sylla

“A work of cinematic art.”
- The Guardian

"Sciamma revels in the risky, reckless exuberance of adolescence and in the sheer joy of filming it.”  ????? - New York Times

“One of the best coming-of-age movies in years” - Indiewire

Girlhood, the latest film from acclaimed director Céline Sciamma, arrives in Glasgow for its Scottish Premiere, having already received prizes at Stockholm, San Sebastian, and Toronto. A nuanced coming of age tale set in the banlieues of Paris, the film’s breakout young stars, Kardja Toure and Assa Sylla, join us for a red carpet and post-screening Q+A.

Margaret Tait Residency: O.K. Rick: Director Florrie James
The world premiere of 2014 Margaret Tait Residency participant Florrie James’ latest work, O.K. Rick features female interpretations of Rick Blain and Victor Laszlo from Casablanca collecting information for the National Census, set to an original score by Dick 50. Having previously screened work at the Intermedia Gallery, CCA and Collective, Glasgow School of Art graduate Florrie James presents her latest work O.K. Rick, after participating in the Margaret Tait Residency with the support of the Pier Arts Centre (Orkney).

Radiator: Actors Richard Johnson & Gemma Jones, Director Tom Browne
“In a powerful reminder of just what a great actor he is, Richard Johnson gives us a Leonard who is by turns tyrannical and petulant, irascible, sardonic, needy, funny, terrified – a fragile bully. He hits all the notes in an understated performance which is also physically vulnerable and brave”
– Screen Daily

A black comedy about an elderly couple of hoarders, this inspirational British feature from first-time director Tom Browne is nominated for GFF’s inaugural Audience Award. Talent in attendance: veteran British actor Richard Johnson, one-time husband of Kim Novak and co-star of Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen in films such as Never So Few (1959), had starring roles in The Haunting (1963), John Gielgud’s Julius Caesar (1970) as playboy detective ‘Bulldog Drummond’ in Deadlier than the Male (1967) and Some Girls Do (1969) and has been a stalwart of screens on boths sides of the Atlantic ever since. A well-loved feature of British film and television since the 1960s, Gemma Jones is perhaps best known for her roles as Bridget’s awful mum in Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), as Mrs Dashwood in Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), and as Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter films.

X+Y: Director Morgan Mathews
A BAFTA-winning documentary filmmaker, Morgan Mathews attends to discus his fictional debut X+Y, inspired by his acclaimed 2007 documentary Beautiful Young Minds. X+Y stars Sally Hawkins, Asa Butterfield and Rafe Spall in a touching, heartfelt story of maths, autism and first love.



The Falling: Director Carol Morley
“A brilliant and very distinctive feature…terrific film-making – enough to bring a rush of blood to the head” ????
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Set in a girls’ school in the late 1960s struck by a fainting epidemic and starring Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, The Falling, director Carol Morley’s distinctive and strikingly photographed follow up to Dreams of a Life, confirms her place as one of the UK’s most exciting directors.



Behind The Scenes: Editing Masterclass
Colin Monie, one of the leading film and television editors in the UK, known for his work on Midnight’s Children, Shetland and Hallam Foe, and Peter Mullan, who worked with Monie as a director on NEDS and The Magdalene Sisters, discuss the editing process.

Warsaw Uprising: Director Jan Komek, Writer Piotr C ?liwowski
Two of the most exciting young talents working in Polish cinema. Warsaw Uprising is a groundbreaking documentary film, entirely cut from archive footage that has been painstakingly restored and colourised frame by frame.

On The Trail of the Far Fur Country: Director Kevin Nikkel
Kevin Nikkel is a Canadian writer and director, whose animated and documentary films have generated an international reputation at numerous festivals. His latest feature documentary, On the Trail of the Far Fur Country, is an intimate portrait of Canada's Aboriginal people, and a chronicle of how life in the North has changed in the last century.

88: Director April Mullen, Writer/Actor Tim Doiron

As an actor, April Mullen has appeared in films like Cavedweller and A History of Violence. Helming Dead Before Dawn 3D made her the youngest and first ever female director to shoot a film in stereoscopic 3D. Doiron has been her writing partner on all of their company, Wango Films’, features. Their new feature, 88, which stars her long-term collaborator Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future), is a glorious, gory homage to cult exploitation revenge thrillers. Part of FrightFest, World Premiere.



The Hoarder: Director Matt Winn
Horror director Matt Winn discusses his new chiller, The Hoarder, which stars Mischa Barton. Part of FrightFest, World Premiere.

Wasted Time: Director David Hayman Jr.

World premiere of debut feature by Scottish director David Hayman Jr, this unique production mixed professional and non-professional actors, some of whom were serving time and have used acting as a road to rehabilitation.

Sea Without Shore: Director/Actor Fernanda Lippi, Director Andre Semenza, Sound Designer Glen Freemantle
Fernanda Lippi and Andre Semenza are best known as the founders of boundary pushing physical performance group Zikzira Physical Theatre, as well as their acclaimed film work on the likes of Ashes of God. Glenn Freemantle is one of Hollywood's most talented sound editors, well-known for his work on recent hits like Ex Machina, Paddington and Theory of Everything, as well as his Oscar-winning sound design for Gravity. World Premiere.

The Treatment: Director Hans Herbots
Belgium’s top-grossing film of 2014 is a shocking serial killer thriller based on Mo Hayder’s novel and directed by Hans Herbots, who also helmed acclaimed TV series The Spiral. Part of FrightFest.

The Woods Movie: Director Russ Gomm
Russ Gomm is in attendance for the world premiere of his new documentary going behind the scenes of The Blair Witch Project, examining its impact and influence as well as looking at how it was made. Part of FrightFest.

Small Faces: Director Gillies Mackinnon, Actor Iain Robertson
The award-winning autobiographical remembrance of growing up in 1960s Glasgow from director Gillies MacKinnon, Small Faces is one of the most vivid coming of age films that Scotland has ever produced. Talent in attendance: BAFTA-nominated director Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky, and Castles in the Sky starring Eddie Izzard, which was nominated for both the Audience Award and the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at EIFF last year) and actor Iain Robertson, whose lead role in Small Faces as a young teenager has lead to lead roles in Rab C Nesbitt and Sea Of Souls, and an award-winning theatre career. We hope to confirm more talent for this event.

The Ninth Cloud
Dreamy existential comedy The Ninth Cloud follows a young American woman around the sees Michael Madsen playing against type as a free-spirited playwright in 1990s London. Talent in attendance: director Jane Spencer (Little Noises) and lead actor Leo Gregory (Green Street Hooligans, Stoned, Tristan + Isolde).