Ten films to look out for at Glasgow Film Festival 2021
Glasgow Film Festival is back up and running from 24th February to 7th March, but things are a little different this year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the screenings will be moving to Glasgow Film At Home, a dedicated online platform – which means you don’t need to travel to the Scottish city to see any of the programme’s wonderful selection of features. Here are just a small handful of our picks from this year’s line-up, which champions new filmmakers from around the globe.
Minari (24th – 27th February)
Minari, which has earnt the honour of opening GFF21 with its UK premiere, is an intoxicating semiautobiographical drama from writer-director Lee Isaac Chung. In the 1980s a Korean family immigrate to rural Arkansas in the hope of growing and selling Korean vegetables. Their American dream, however, manifests itself as a run-down trailer in the middle of a muddy field, with their situation made more complicated by the arrival of grandmother Soon-Ja (Jung Youn). Funny, touching and wholly powerful, this film is simply unmissable.
Creation Stories (24th – 27th February)
With a screenplay co-written by Irvine Welsh and starring the always-wonderful Ewen Bremner, Creation Stories tells the story of notorious Glaswegian music icon Alan McGee. The founder of Creation Records, McGee was responsible for launching the careers of artists like Oasis, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine (and many more). His lack of business sense caused his label to collapse, while a fondness for partying immortalised him as a music legend. Catch the world premiere at this year’s festival.
The Woman with Leopard Shoes (5th – 8th March)
A striking debut from first-time French filmmaker Alexis Bruchon, this modern twist on retro Noir cinema follows a thief (Paul Bruchon) who is sent to steal a box from a house by a mysterious woman. However, when guests start to arrive the intruder is forced to hide in the study. From here, events take a sinister turn when a shocking discovery is made. A claustrophobic thriller with a twist, this is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Limbo (3rd – 6th March)
The second feature from UK filmmaker Ben Sharrock, Limbo is a heart-warming deadpan comedy about a Syrian migrant (Amir El-Masry) who runs away from his home and family, fleeing to a remote Scottish island. Suspended in a state of limbo while he awaits his fate to be decided, he’s faced with both hostility and friendship by those around him. Critically praised for its poignancy, wit and artistic skill, Limbo is shaping up to be a huge hit.
Wildland (4th March – 7th March)
After the death of her mother, teenage Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) is taken in by her estranged aunt (Sidse Babett Knudsen). At first all is well, and Ida is in a loving home. That is until she realises what her aunt and her three sons do for a living. Forced with difficult moral choices, the family dynamic quickly shifts in this gripping crime drama by Danish filmmaker Jeanette Nordahl.
Da Capo (27th February – 2nd March)
If you’re a fan of riotous, feel-good musicals, then Da Capo is the film for you. The feature, South Korea’s answer to School of Rock meets Sing Street, follows struggling musician Tae-il (Hong Isaac) as he returns to his hometown to reconnect with his former bandmate, Ji-won (Jang Haeun). Now teaching at a music school, Tae-il aids his friend in helping a student rock band prepare for a local competition, re-igniting his passion for music in the process. A delightful outing for music fans, Da Capo is one title to look out for.
Jumbo (27th February – 2nd March)
Jumbo, a classic story of the love between a woman and a fairground attraction, is the quirky feature debut from Zoé Wittock. Starring Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Noémie Merlant as introverted fairground worker Jeanne, the picture tracks her growing infatuation with the park’s newest addition. The protagonist is convinced that the titular ride reciprocates her affections, but will this odd couple be able to find happiness?
Vicious Fun (6th – 9th March)
This euphoric horror-comedy, screening as part of the festival’s annual FrightFest segment, sees neurotic film critic and horror enthusiast Joel (Evan Marsh) inadvertently stumble upon a secretive self-help group for serial killers. In this self-aware throwback to 80s horror, Joel must find a way to outwit the bloodthirsty group and survive the night. The screening will also be accompanied by the short film Eye Exam.
A Brixton Tale (6th – 9th March)
A modern Romeo and Juliet tale set in the heart of modern London, A Brixton Tale is the feature debut from directors Darragh Carey and Bertrand Desrochers. It’s the story of star-crossed lovers Leah (Pin Cushion’s Lily Newmark), a white middle-class filmmaker, and the shy Benji (Ola Orebiyi), a shy black boy who Leah has chosen to be the subject for her latest documentary. A relationship between the pair soon blossoms, but is Leah using Benji simply to further her own career?
Handsome (28th February – 3rd March)
Luke White’s documentary, Handsome, is a deeply moving portrait of brotherhood that revolves around Nick and his brother Alex, who has Down’s Syndrome. Now in his 20s, Nick begins to question whether he has the ability to become a full-time carer for his sibling. To find answers to these questions, the pair set out on a journey that takes them across the globe to meet others who’ve had a similar experience.
Tickets for Glasgow Film Festival are on sale now. More screenings and further details on how to access them can be found on the festival’s website.