Glasgow Film Festival 2012 announces programme as it becomes ‘month-long celebration of cinema’

Your Sister's Sister: movie with  Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt is opening main festival
Your Sister's Sister: movie with Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt is opening main festival

Glasgow Film Festival 2012 has announced next month’s programme of premieres, special guests and unique events – with its preceding short film and youth festivals meaning that film-lovers can look forward to a packed month of attractions.

The main festival runs from 16th to 26th February in 16 venues across the city. Meanwhile the Glasgow Youth Film Festival takes place from 5th to 15th February, and the Glasgow Short Film Festival takes place over the weekend from the 9th to the 12th.

The main festival opens on Thursday 16th February with the UK premiere of Your Sister's Sister, the latest feature from Humpday creator Lynn Shelton, who was recently chosen by Variety as one of their ‘10 Directors to Watch in 2012’.

Arriving in Glasgow after its Sundance screening, Your Sister's Sister stars Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass in a “painfully funny and utterly captivating tale” of bad timing, broken hearts and the healing power of love.

The festival's closing gala on Sunday 26 February is Le Havre, the latest deadpan delight from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki which won the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc in France and a host of international awards. Kaurismäki regular André Wilms plays a warmhearted shoeshine who befriends a young African immigrant on the run from the authorities.

GFF co-director Allison Gardner said: "I think the superb quality and international credentials of the opening and closing galas reflect the very special programme of films and events that we have put together for the 2012 festival.

"The festival goes from strength to strength and the whole team are very focused on satisfying the great expectations that now attend the event."

The 2012 festival will host 239 films and events in a programme that includes a record number of UK and European premieres.

Among the many films receiving their first British screening at Glasgow are the eagerly awaited Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, romantic comedy The Decoy Bride co-starring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald, acclaimed American independent drama In the Family, period drama Bel Ami starring Robert Pattinson, award-winner Cloudburst with Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker, controversial documentaries Better this World and How to Die in Oregon and animated feature Wrinkles (Arrugas).

Co-director Allan Hunter explained: "The guiding philosophy at Glasgow has always been to showcase the very best of world cinema without any prejudice or snobbery.

"This year's programme is a rich and diverse selection of prize-winners and premieres from around the globe and around the corner. We bring the best films we can to Glasgow and provide a platform for the finest Scottish films to engage the world."

The Scottish work within the programme ranges from a world premiere of the documentary No One But Me on legendary jazz singer Annie Ross, to the UK premiere of Zam Salim's debut feature Up There, Scots writer/director Simon Arthur's inspired American indie drama Silver Tongues, inventive low-budget features Electric Man and Night is Day and a rare revival of the 1976 documentary Big Banana Feet in tribute to director, cinematographer and stills photographer David Peat, the 2011 recipient of the BAFTA in Scotland craft award.

The film festival will also screen Alexander Mackendrick’s The Maggie in the unique surroundings of The Tall Ship on the River Clyde.

Of February’s packed timetable, Hunter added: "The notion that Glasgow would become a Festival of Festivals has really flourished this year with both the short film festival and youth film festival rightly achieving such a level of popularity that they needed to stand alone and find more room to grow.

"Both festivals have excellent programmes this year, and of course the festival itself still has many different events under the one umbrella."

Further highlights within the 2012 programme include a bumper crop of ghoulish delights from FrightFest with UK premieres of Aussie chiller Crawl and Gareth Evans’ much admired The Raid.

Fashion and Film promises high fashion and high heels with a must-see documentary on our obsession with shoes, and portraits of icons Vivienne Westwood, Diana Vreeland and Ozwald Boateng.

Last year’s fantastically successful Superheroes in Glasgow returns in the form of Kapow!@GFF. Dedicated to all things comic and superhero it’s once again curated by Scottish GFF ambassador and comics star Mark Millar. Glasgow Music and Film Festival returns with cutting-edge documentaries and live appearances from US art rockers High Places and Umberto.

The Festival has previously announced that the 2012 retrospective will honour Gene Kelly in the year that marks the centenary of his birth. Dedication to vintage cinema at the festival continues with the Out of the Past strand, a showcase for new and restored prints of cinema classics.

Highlights this year include a digital restoration of Death Watch (La mort en direct) (1980), Bertrand Tavernier's tale of reality television's corrosive excesses. Shot in Glasgow and starring Harvey Keitel, Romy Schneider and Harry Dean Stanton, the film has long been unavailable in the UK, a situation that will be remedied by Glasgow-based distributor Park Circus who plan a cinema re-release in 2012.

Bertrand Tavernier has confirmed his attendance at Glasgow and leads a list of confirmed festival guests that includes Andreas Dresen, Dexter Fletcher and Irvine Welsh.

New programme addition Crossing the Line explores the crossover between cinema and visual art and includes works by Ben Rivers, Jan Svankmajer and the unique commission from 2011 Margaret Tait Award-winner Anne-Marie Copestake, And Under That.

The country focus in 2012 is Welcome to Germany, a stunning selection of new features showcasing the very best of contemporary German cinema. Developed in partnership with the Goethe Institut, the bill includes Maggie Peren's Toronto discovery Colour of the Ocean (Die Farbe des Ozean), Andreas Dresen's Cannes triumph Stopped on Track (Halt auf freier Strecke), Ulrich Kohler's  Berlin prize-winner Sleeping Sickness (Schlafkrankheit) and the award-winning Vincent Wants to Sea (Vincent will Meer).

Some old-fashioned glamour is introduced by Weimarvellous, a weekend of entertainment and experiment inspired by the cabaret movement of Weimar Republic Germany, curated and sponsored by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Cinema Spectacular and GFF.

GFF 2012, funded by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Creative Scotland and EventScotland, is one of the first major events in the Year of Creative Scotland.

Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our support for Glasgow Film Festival as it enters its eighth year.

“The festival has grown from small beginnings to become one of the most highly regarded film events in the UK and a real standout in the city’s cultural calendar.”

He added: “In addition, the festival celebrates one of the city’s most vital creative industries.

“Glasgow’s reputation as a first-class filming destination has never been more apparent and it is a real credit to the city that productions are increasingly choosing to locate here.

“Glasgow Film Festival plays an integral role in that success, positioning the city on the global film festival stage and highlighting our passion and expertise in the broadcast industry.”

Caroline Parkinson, creative director of Creative Scotland, commented: “Glasgow has long established itself as a major centre for film and cinematic culture and the outstanding growth of Glasgow Film Festival is testament to this.

“Delivering another fantastic programme, the festival showcases the very best of Scottish and international work, once again shining a spotlight on Scottish talent and celebrating and promoting Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Creative Scotland is proud to have invested in the festival, one of the first major events to take place in the Year of Creative Scotland.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Glasgow Film Festival is a key date on Scotland’s cultural calendar, and it is one of the first major international events in 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the strength of the GFF programme is testament to that fact, with Glasgow Short Film Festival and Glasgow Youth Film Festival contributing to a month-long celebration of cinematic talent.”

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