The programme for 2021 is fully stocked with queer and Scottish stories 🎥

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

Back for a 12-day-long run, Glasgow Film Festival is boasting a super queer programme for 2021, with plenty of Scottish stories sprinkled on top for your viewing pleasure. The programme this year includes an impressive seven world premieres, three European premieres and 49 UK premieres. There’s literally something for everyone. 

Taking place online only to adhere to lockdown guidelines in Scotland, all of the titles will be available through the new viewing platform, Glasgow Film At Home. Opening 24 February and running until 7 March, you’d be a fool to miss out on any of the films we’ve listed for you below. We couldn’t fit them all though, so the full list of films on offer at Glasgow Film Festival is available here. 

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said: In a challenging year, the festival has shown incredible creativity and flexibility to bring a fantastic range of films to the widest possible audience. It’s developed new partnerships with cinemas across the UK that – although might not come to fruition for the 2021 edition – will stand it in good stead for any future tour and in the years ahead. The new streaming site will mean it can welcome new audience members, as well as old friends, to enjoy the delights of the festival from their own home. The programme is loaded with fantastic films from around the world, as well brilliant new Scottish and UK releases.”

DIVA’s Top Picks

Sweetheart

“Marley Morrison’s knockout debut feature is a sharply observed coming-of-age story that will make you wince and laugh in painful recognition of universal truths. 17-year-old AJ (Nell Barlow) is not one of life’s shiny, happy people. A family holiday at a caravan park in Dorset is her idea of hell. A moody misfit, she dresses for concealment and lets everyone know that she would rather be anywhere else. Then she spies flirty, free-spirited lifeguard Isla (Ella-Rae Smith) who might just be the girl of her dreams. Can AJ dare to take a first step on the road to happiness?”

Cowboys

“Anna Kerrigan’s award-winning debut shows a rare understanding of the complexities and challenges of modern family life. Troy (Steve Zahn) is on a camping trip with his transgender son Joe (Sasha Knight), an 11-year-old with a passion for cowboy yarns and the great outdoors. As they travel through the majestic beauty of the northern Rockies, television news reports emerge claiming that Joe is missing. As detective Faith (Ann Dowd) investigates, we see a bigger picture involving Joe’s conservative mother Sally (Jillian Bell) and her inability to let go of the little girl she loves.”

Underplayed

“Shining a light on gender inequality in the electronic dance music scene is the main focus of director Stacey Lee’s uplifting documentary. Beautifully shot, Underplayed is an intimate and revealing look at the personal journeys of many talented and vibrant women making their mark within an industry that has long undervalued female musicians, technicians and producers. Filmed over the summer festival season, the film offers a look through the lens of these female pioneers who are championing change and providing a diverse pool of role models for generations to come.”

Jumbo 

“Love is where you find it in Jumbo, a quirky charmer of a debut from Zoé Wittock, ‘inspired’ by a true story. Awkward, painfully shy Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) lives with her blowsy mother (Emmanuelle Bercot) and works as a cleaner at an amusement park. Out of the blue, she finds happiness with Jumbo – the park’s newest ride. Every touch of cold metal or oil oozing from this mighty inanimate object fuels her infatuation, convincing her that her feelings are reciprocated. Can Jeanne find love and understanding with her fairground attraction?”

Big Vs Small

“Big Vs Small is an energetic and inspirational documentary that profiles Joana Andrade, Portugal’s first female big wave surfer, known to many as ‘Tiny Fighter’. Fiery, athletic and constantly breaking barriers in her quest to improve as an extreme competitor, Joana seeks help from celebrated freediver, Johanna Nordblad, in order to face her demons and overcome the thunderous waters of Nazaré, Portugal. From the churning tides to the silent ice of Finland, this is a story of two elite females at the top of their game sharing their talents with each other in a journey of self-actualisation.”

Black Bear 

“Lawrence Michael Levine’s disturbing, darkly comic tale constantly surprises as it brutally blurs the boundaries between life and art. Filmmaker Allison (Aubrey Plaza) heads to an idyllic lakeside retreat in search of relaxation and inspiration. There she meets Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and his pregnant partner Blair (Sarah Gadon) who could not be more welcoming. After a meal and a few drinks, truths are shared and secrets revealed as playful bickering turns to blatant flirtation. Everything is turned upside down in a second act that views the dynamics of the evening in an entirely different light.”

Tickets for the full programme are on sale here with all titles available to view between 24 February and 7 March online here. 

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