Further to their initial announcement of hotly-anticipated opening and closing galas – Alice Winocour’s Proxima and Coky Giedroyc’s How to Build a Girl – Glasgow Film Festival have revealed their full 12-day programme for the 2020 edition, with over 100 feature films making their UK debuts. Staging 19 World and European premieres, as well as a host of red carpet guests, it is safe to say that GFF 2020 will be a spectacle for the press and public alike.
One major highlight of the programme is that director Haifaa al-Mansour will be in attendance, presenting her fourth feature film The Perfect Candidate. The film was selected as the Saudi Arabian entry to the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards, and tells the story of a doctor named Maryam who controversially runs for city council in a bid to improve the road surfacing that prevents patients from accessing her clinic. Al-Mansour locates her film in Saudi Arabia for the first time since Wadjda, the feature debut that made her the first Saudi feature filmmaker.
On home turf, Scottish director Lucy Brydon makes her feature debut at GFF with Body of Water, a compassionate exploration of a mother’s struggle with a chronic eating disorder and its impact on her relationship with her teenage daughter. Fellow Scots director Anthony Baxter also returns to the festival with his documentary Flint, which follows the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Meanwhile Michael Caton-Jones’ Our Ladies sees a group of teen girls in Edinburgh have a riot at a Catholic choir competition, which SQ called “moving, charming and bittersweet.”
The full programme is bursting with stories from all around the globe, across a diverse range of genres, styles, and forms of filmmaking. The festival has also excitingly disclosed that as the programme closes on International Women’s Day, every film screened that day will either be directed or written by a woman, or featuring a female lead.
Speaking on the unique range of films boasted by the programme, GFF co-director Allan Hunter says: “The Festival’s celebration of Icelandic cinema is our biggest Country Focus ever, and the epic documentary Women Make Film is an exciting game-changer that rewrites the history of world cinema. Inspirational films to raise the spirits of any audience.”
Echoing this focus on diversity, fellow programme director Allison Hughes emphasises that “There really is a film for everyone in the feast of film that is GFF20.”
Check out the full programme 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.