Glasgow Film Festival 2023: Scottish Highlights

Glasgow Film Festival (1-12 March) has announced its 2023 programmme, featuring 70 UK premieres, 6 World premieres, 16 European/International premieres and 6 Scottish premieres.

We’ve selected some standout Scottish films that feature in the line up, showing at Glasgow Film Theatre and venues across the city.

The festival’s opening gala places Scottish film front and centre, with the UK premiere of Adura Onashile’s Glasgow-shot Girl. The bond between Grace (Déborah Lukumuena) and her daughter Ama (Le’Shantey Bonsu) is challenged as they struggle to build a new life in a strange and, at times hostile, Glasgow. Screening fresh from its world premiere at Sundance, the opening gala has sold out, with an extra screening added due to high demand. Find tickets here.

The “Springburn Scorsese”, Glaswegian director James Price makes a return to the GFF for the world-premiere of the feature version of his BBC drama, Dog Days. Musically talented Zoso (Neds star Conor McCarron) is living rough and busking on the streets of Dundee, until an encounter with music lecturer Grace (Lois Chimimba) changes the course of his path. Price’s shorts Chibbed and Concrete and Flowers have previously screened at Glasgow Short Film Festival. Dog Days charts the search for hope and the powers of redemption with Price’s characteristic humour and energy. Tickets for this screening are Pay What You Can.

Frightfest descends on GFF once again, this time presenting Christopher Smith’s horror Consecration, as Grace (Jena Malone) heads to a convent on the Isle of Skye to uncover the truth of her priest brother’s mysterious death.

The Scottish premiere of Glasgow director Andrew Cumming’s debut feature The Origin brings more scares to the line-up, presenting a Stone Age-set horror shot during the pandemic in the Scottish Highlands. He has crafted what GFF are describing as a ‘visionary survival horror’ with a cast who speak in a fictional language created specifically for the film – for which he earned a BIFA nomination for Best Director.

For documentary fans, Edinburgh-based filmmaker Mark Cousins leads the way with two premieres: the Scottish premiere of The March on Rome, using archive footage to examine the roots of European fascism, and the UK premiere of My Name is Alfred Hitchcock, which sees the infamous director rewatch his own films with a modern-day perspective, his musings impersonated by Alistair McGowan.

Two notable Scottish documentaries will have their world premieres at GFF23. I Am Weekender, Chloé Raunet’s exploration of Wiz’s controversial 1992 film about the UK acid house scene, features a host of talking heads including Bobby Gillespie and Irvine Welsh. Welsh himself said “without Weekender there would have been no Trainspotting.” Stuart Cosgrove’s book following Muhammed Ali’s journey to heavyweight champion gets the big screen treatment in feature documentary Cassius X: Becoming Ali, which features archive footage and comment from those who knew him.

In another world premiere, Scottish film curator Jo Reid uses archive footage to explore how women used the bicycle as a means of emancipation in The Freedom Machine. The film was supported by Film Hub Scotland and was curated to coincide with the UCI Cycling World Championships 2023.

GFF features the UK premiere of two Scottish gems: Glasgow artist Stephen Skrynka and his decades long ambition to create his very own Wall of Death in a listed warehouse on the Clyde in The Artist and the Wall of Death, and Scottish favourite James Cosmo as a reclusive widower who finds he may just give love a final chance in My Sailor, My Love.

For tickets and more information, please visit the Glasgow Film Festival homepage.

Join our GFF Exhibition Day, Tuesday 7 March, to network with fellow exhibitors, hear about the latest funding opportunities and find out about new releases for your 2023 programmes. Register your interest here.

GFF Press and Industry Passes give you access to workshops, networking events and exclusive Industry screenings. We are offering FHS members a discounted pass for £70. To claim yours, click here.