Glasgow Short Film Festival Unveils It’s 2023 Line Up

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March maybe the month the Glasgow Film Festival takes place, the city will host another film festival. The third week of March will see the Glasgow Short Film Festival, today the festival unveiled it’s 16th line up.

This year’s festival will shine a spotlight on Lebanese short cinema, in collaboration with Beirut Shorts International Film Festival, illuminating the country’s historical, cultural and geographical positioning across two programmes of shorts and a live performance. Highlights include a screening of the Sundance-winning Warsha in the presence of director Dania Bdeir, who will deliver a masterclass, and starring renowned gender-defying queer dancer and musician Khansa. Delivering  a rare UK live performance following the screening, followed by DJ sets including Hiba, a Glasgow-based Lebanese DJ and selector who uses club spaces to celebrate Arabic culture and heritage.

Opening event OMOS, a new moving image work from director Rhys Hollis and production company Pollyanna, that pays homage to Scotland’s untold Black history and celebrates Black performance in Scotland. Filmed in Puck’s Glen and Stirling Castle, this artwork is a collaboration between Hollis (also known as Rhys’ Pieces), mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, dancer Divine Tasinda and pole artist, Kheanna Walker. Following the screening, Rhys and Andrea will perform live.

A retrospective of artist duo Bárbara Wagner (Brazil) and Benjamin de Burca (Germany/Ireland), whose hybrid musical documentary collaborations with diverse subcultural groups cross continents and span a decade. Alongside two programmes of their work, Benjamin de Burca will be live in conversation, returning to the city for the first time since studying as an undergraduate at Glasgow School of Art two decades ago.

Rise of the Empathy Machines, a two-programme strand presented by experimental film platform ALT/KINO, foregrounding an eclectic range of films made about, by and in collaboration with algorithms, machine learning, and A.I. Can A.I. make a Godard film? Can you train your digital avatar to perform physical feats impossible in real life? And can we find the human similarities in algorithmic flaws? A programme of concern and fun alongside cinematic existential questions.

Camino To COP26, following two very different journeys to the climate conference in Glasgow in 2021. In The Ghost Rainforest indigenous leaders and activists from the Amazon make an emotionally charged journey to the last remnant of a lost ecosystem- a desperately rare temperate rainforest habitat on the West Coast of Scotland, while Of Walking on Thin Ice documents over a thousand walkers as they trekked from London to Glasgow in 56 days. Audiences are invited to re-trace the last part of their walk along the Clyde to arrive at the screening and share a meal.

The very welcome return of Australian collective Soda Jerk with the Scottish premiere of Hello Dankness, which uses entirely sampled footage drawn from mainstream cinema to construct a rogue commentary on recent American politics.

Welcome To The Multiverse, a late night screening of the weirdest and wildest world-building that animation has to offer, from humble humanoids to animal hybrids. Followed by a very special live set of audio-visual oddities and dancing with Round Earth Theory.

Islands That Come and Go, presented by Alchemy Film & Arts, explores India’s caste system, disappearing ice sheets, Scottish coastlines, the Black Atlantic, the Gobi Desert, the Suriname-French Guyana border, and the film strip.

Spatial Hunger, two programmes that examine violence and trauma on a personal and collective level, through alternative, non-gratuitous and anti-voyeuristic manners of visualisation and storytelling. Presented in collaboration with Scottish Documentary Institute and Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

And of course the festival regulars: a chance to get Scared Shortless with a night of horror shorts, bust a gut at the For Shorts & Giggles comedy shorts special and entertain the young cineaste in your life with the all ages-friendly Family Shorts. This ever popular selection of new animations from around the world will also travel to community venues outside the city centre. Thanks to support from Glasgow Life, families in the north and east of the city will be able to enjoy these films for free.

Glasgow Short Film Festival has two prestigious annual competitions, awarded at the close of the festival. The Scottish Short Film Award honours inspiration and innovation in new Scottish cinema, and 20 new films compete, including 5 World Premieres. Named in honour of the legendary Scottish filmmaker, the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film promotes cinematic storytelling that places sound and image centre stage. 28 documentary, animation and fiction shorts from Iran, Colombia, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and across the world compete, half of them screening in the UK for the first time at GSFF.

Matt Lloyd, Festival Director commented: “Welcome to the 16th edition of Glasgow Short Film Festival! This year’s programming team, led by Sanne Jehoul, have come up with a fascinating, challenging, multilayered edition that never forgets to provide plenty of fun. Massive thanks as ever to our funders Screen Scotland, and to loyal supporters Film Hub Scotland and Film City Glasgow. This is a challenging time for arts funding, so we’re particularly thrilled and grateful that the British Council and Glasgow Life have chosen to support the festival for the first time this year. We’re fiercely proud to be Glasgow Short Film Festival; it means so much to be recognised by the city at this point in our journey, and we’re excited to be taking short films to parts of Glasgow where we’ve never screened before – venues in Milton, Cranhill and Easterhouse will all host our Family Shorts animation programme – not to mention walking our audience across the city, from Rutherglen to Cowcaddens, for the Camino to COP26 event. Finally, thanks to our regular venue partners Glasgow Film Theatre, CCA and Civic House, all of whom go out of their way to welcome our wonderful audiences, filmmakers and guests from around the world.”

The 16th edition of the Glasgow Short Film festival will run 22-26 March. Tickets for all events are now on sale.