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Kristen Stewart tops bill for Glasgow Film Festival 20th anniversary

Kristen Stewart’s movie Love Lies Bleeding will feature at the Glasgow Film Festival (Doug Peters/PA)
Kristen Stewart’s movie Love Lies Bleeding will feature at the Glasgow Film Festival (Doug Peters/PA)

Glasgow Film Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a special programme of events coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the city’s arthouse cinema.

The famous Glasgow Film Theatre opened in 1974 after it developed from its first incarnation as Scotland’s first-ever purpose-built arthouse cinema – which opened in 1939.

The cinema’s annual celebration of independent filmmaking, Glasgow Film Festival, launched in 2005 and is now celebrating 20 years of captivating audiences with film from around the world.

The festival will run from February 28 to March 10 at Glasgow Film Theatre as well as venues such as the Barras Art and Design, with 11 international premieres, 69 UK premieres and 15 Scottish premieres.

75th Cannes Film Festival
Kristen Stewart stars in Love Lies Bleeding (Doug Peters/PA)

It will open on February 28 with the UK premiere of Love Lies Bleeding, starring Kristen Stewart as Lou – a reclusive gym owner who falls for an ambitious bodybuilder from a criminal family.

Highlights include The Teachers’ Lounge, shortlisted for an Oscar for Best International Film, about an idealistic young teacher in Germany who gets involved when one of her students is suspected of theft.

Special screenings will include The Wizard Of Oz at Cottiers Theatre in Glasgow’s West End, and Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction in 35mm, as well as Female Trouble, from 1974, with a live drag show, at Barras Art and Design.

Retrospectives of films from throughout the history of the GFT are free and are screened at 10.30am.

This year’s festival will also feature a special focus on films from the Czech Republic, including Daisies, a radical feminist film once banned for its stance on communism and patriarchy.

The festival will close on March 10 with the world premiere of Janey, a documentary about Glaswegian comedian Janey Godley, interweaving stories from her life with footage from her Not Dead Yet tour in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis which came after a scandal involving offensive language.

Allison Gardner, CEO of Glasgow Film and director of GFF, said: “I am extremely proud to have been here for every one of Glasgow Film Festival’s 20 editions. My thanks goes to everyone who has helped us to get this far. Many people have worked extremely hard to make this the friendliest film festival in the world.

“One of my highlights of GFF is our Audience Award, this year sponsored by MUBI. The Audience Award supports emerging talent and it’s a joy to see these films play in front of our dedicated audiences. Over the years, at Glasgow Film Festival, we have supported Scottish films and talent, something that we are very proud to have done and this year is no exception.

“We also champion Scottish films from our past and this year we have some fantastic anniversaries to honour. Our motto is ‘Cinema For All’ and we strive to bring the best films from around the world to Glasgow. My advice is to choose films you know nothing about and take a chance, you might discover a hidden gem that will stay with you forever. Here’s to the next 20 years.”

Isabel Davis, executive director of Screen Scotland, said: “Screen Scotland is thrilled to support this very special anniversary edition. This year’s outstanding programme richly demonstrates GFF’s dedication to the best in cinema from Scotland and around the world.”

Ben Luxford, director of UK audiences at the BFI, said: “The Glasgow Film Festival is delivering another fantastic programme in venues across Glasgow, plus elements which reach far beyond the city’s borders.”

Glasgow Life chair Bailie Annette Christie said: “Glasgow Film Festival is one of the most popular annual highlights of our city’s cultural events programme. It is always greatly anticipated by audiences from near and far, as well as industry professionals, and is internationally renowned as a carefully curated showcase of the best of world cinema.

“This 20th edition of the festival offers an extensive, exciting programme featuring an incredible and diverse range of contemporary and retrospective film across all genres, special screenings, and other events.

“I’ve no doubt we can look forward to another hugely successful festival that will reinforce Glasgow’s standing as a great destination for cinema, and a city in which our passion for film is matched by our talent and expertise in the film, TV and creative industries.”

Tickets to the Opening and Closing Galas go on sale at 11am on January 25.

Tickets to all events go on sale to GFT Cinecard holders at 11am on January 26, and on general sale at 11am on January 29.