Due to the current continuation of local restrictions and lockdowns, the 17th edition of Glasgow Film Festival will be taking place entirely digitally via the new viewing platform Glasgow Film At Home. However the lineup still has plenty to be excited about, including 8 World premieres, 3 European premieres and 48 UK premieres.
The festival, which runs from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 7, opens with Lee Isaac Chung’s autobiographical drama Minari, starring The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun, and closes with Suzanne Lindon’s debut feature Spring Blossom.
Some of this year’s notable entries include Kevin Macdonald‘s legal thriller The Mauritian, Bryan Fogel’s gripping documentary The Dissident and Eammon Ashton-Atkinson’s festival hit Jumbo. FrightFest also returns to Glasgow Film Festival with six thrilling new titles for horror film fans.
Here are my personal top five picks from this year’s digital offerings…
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Scooping both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival 2020, Chung’s semi-autobiographical drama will be having it’s highly anticipated UK premiere at the festival.
The film charts the journey of a Korean American family, who move to rural Arkansas in the 1980s with the dream of a fresh start. Starring The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun and newcomer Alan S Kim, there’s plenty of awards buzz surrounding this feature.
2. Riders of Justice
Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Jensen returns to Glasgow Film Festival with his next feature film which blends black comedy with shocking violence. Starring the ever eclectic Mads Mikkelsen, Riders of Justice charts a vet’s path to revenge following a tragic accident.
Hot off last year’s festival circuit with Another Round, Mikkelsen is back complete with an almost unrecognisable transformation, including a magnificent beard(!) Described as a moving tale to mend broken lives, this is certainly one to watch.
3. Black Bear
Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
Featuring the double header of Aubrey Plaza AND Christopher Abbott, it’s best to enter Levine’s drama thriller with little to no details of the plot so you can fully immerse yourself in the mind-bending narrative.
Following the initial buzz from it’s premiere at Sundance Film Festival back in 2020, with the always fantastic Plaza gaining plenty of praise, this should definitely be at the top of your watchlist if you love a bit of a bonkers film which will leave you guessing right to the very end!
4. Vicious Fun
Director: Cody Calahan
Following Black Fawn Film’s fantastic festival hit The Oak Room, director Cody Calahan returns with a completely different, yet still twisted, tale.
If you’re a fan of 80s synth slasher horror, with a dash of self referential comedy, this one will be right up your street. The film documents the journey of a horror film critic as he accidentally stumbles into a secret underground self-help group for serial killers – will he survive the night?!
Director: Eammon Ashton-Atkinson
Ashton-Atkinson’s uplifting documentary charts the rise of the world’s first gay rugby team, The Kings Cross Steelers.
Featuring an in-depth look at the journey of the Australian rugby team, along with highlighting individual stories of the players, this will undoubtedly be an emotional feature showcasing the power of overcoming prejudices and fighting stereotypes.
Tickets for the programme are now on sale at www.glasgowfilm.org/festival.