For the first time, Glasgow Film Festival is presenting two major feature films directed by women for its coveted opening and closing galas. The festival, which runs from February 26th to March 8th (funnily enough, International Women’s Day), is paving the way for UK festivals, aiming to host diverse, audience-focused programming.
The opening night of the festival will excitingly feature the UK premiere of Alice Winocour’s Proxima, a French drama starring Eva Green as an astronaut navigating life as a single mother whilst preparing to take a year-long mission to space. Proxima debuted at Toronto last year, and was shortlisted for the French submission to the Academy Awards for Best International Feature.
Winocour says: “I am incredibly excited that Proxima will have its UK premiere at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival. It is a privilege to be the opening film for the Festival especially as it will be the first time in the festival’s history that the opening and closing films are directed by women.”
To close the festival is another UK premiere – this time Coky Giedroyc’s highly anticipated comedy How to Build a Girl, a British-American feature adapted from the beloved semi-autobiographical novel by Caitlin Moran. Beanie Feldstein stars as Johanna, a 16-year-old from Wolverhampton who reinvents herself as a savage music journalist. The festival expects the coming-of-age tale to be the “home-grown crowd pleaser of the year.”
Giedroyc adds: “It is the greatest thrill of my life to finally unleash Beanie Feldstein as the noble, swashbuckling Sex Pirate Johanna Morrigan at the Glasgow Film Festival – and to have the honour of closing this joyous cinematic explosion means the whole audience can come straight to the nearest pub with me, and celebrate the hotness of Alfie Allen as John Kite. Unless Glasgow’s gone off that kind of thing since last time I was there. Which I doubt.”
Though the festival programme has yet to be announced, Proxima and How to Build a Girl undoubtedly make a big statement about Glasgow Film Festival’s vision for their audience – expect the full lineup to be just as exciting! You can find out more about other GFF strand announcements here.
by Megan Wilson
Megan (she/her) is a northerner and Film Studies graduate now pursuing an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at the University of Manchester. When not wrangling her cats or watching football, she dreams of being a professor and writing endless books on lesbian cinema just because she can. Her favourite films include Carol, Moonlight, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and she’ll always have a soft spot for Matilda. Find her on Twitter.