Over 34,000 people watched films at Glasgow Film Festival 2024

Glasgow Film Festival 2024 Eoin CareyGlasgow Film Festival 2024 wrapped up on Sunday 10 March by celebrating a bumper year of ticket sales and local and international talent.

GFF24 admissions increased to 34,817, a 4% rise from GFF23. The festival also cemented its reputation as a major meeting point for the UK and international filmmaking sector, with 650 delegates from across the globe visiting Glasgow (an increase in 56% from 2023) and over 3000 admissions to its Industry Focus events.

From an unparalleled 397 film submissions, the GFF programme showcased 121 feature films at 241 screenings and events over 12 days at Glasgow Film Theatre, CCA, Cineworld, Glee Club, BAaD, Cottiers Theatre, Civic House, Adelaide Place, Doubletree Hilton and the Arc. GFF also partnered with nine cinemas across the UK, including Barbican, BFI Southbank, Broadway, Chapter Cardiff, DCA, Eden Court, Showroom Sheffield, Watershed and Tyneside.

GFF continued to prioritise making the festival and cinema accessible to the city as a whole, with its daily free morning retrospective screenings, captioned and audio described screenings and Take 2 screenings where each child attending receives a free ticket for themselves and two free tickets for their accompanying adults.

Glasgow Film Festival 2024 Eoin CareyThe 20th edition of GFF opened with the UK Premiere of Kristen Stewart’s hotly-anticipated neo noir Love Lies Bleeding, which sold out in a record-breaking 6 minutes, and closed with the gala World premiere of John Archer’s documentary Janey – all while welcoming a host of famous faces onto the red-carpet including Viggo Mortensen, Emily Hampshire, George MacKay, Maxine Peake and Dale Dickey.

The Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen visited Glasgow Film Festival for the UK premiere of his new film The Dead Don’t Hurt and an In Conversation event talking about his five decades-long Hollywood career as an actor and director. Following the sold-out event at Glasgow Film Theatre, three-times Oscar nominee Viggo was presented with the festival’s inaugural Cinema City Honorary Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cinema. This new annual award has been launched as part of Glasgow Film’s Year of Celebrations with 2024 marking 85 years since the cinema was built, 50 years since Glasgow Film Theatre was founded and the 20th edition of Glasgow Film Festival. Of the Festival, Mortensen said: “It was the best place I’ve seen my movie and the best place I’ve heard it. I’ve learned that Glasgow is not only a film loving place but a cinema loving place so I’m very happy to have come here and premiered The Dead Don’t Hurt at Glasgow Film Festival.”

The festival celebrated the return of its popular Special Event screenings with two sell-out anniversary showings of The Wizard of Oz, complete with yellow brick road, and John Waters’ Female Trouble with live performances from two of Scotland’s top queer drag acts, Sgairre Wood and Puke. For the first time ever GFF curated some top post-film entertainment at GFF After Hours, including Movie Karaoke, a GFF ceilidh and an International Glasgow Film Festival 2024 Eoin CareyWoman’s Day club night DJ’d by Radio Buena Vida. Dipping into the archives, GFF showcased love is sweet oh! a programme exploring love stories through the lens of Black people and people of colour; What Will The Men Wear? explored the star power of three of Hollywood’s most subversive female stars of the 1930s; Gestures of Memory interrogated and re-imagined archival practice; and Wild Flower, Flaming Star bought rarely-seen gems starring Hollywood’s first Mexican leading lady Dolores del Rio back to the big screen.

Czech cinema old and new were celebrated at this year’s Country Focus, while the festival welcomed a host of international filmmakers including Senegal’s Ramata-Toulaye Sy (Banel & Adama), Canada’s Jonas Chernick (The Burning Season), USA’s Samyuktha Vijayan (Blue Sunshine), Ireland’s Gary Lennon (I Dream in Photos), Sri Lanka’s Ilango Ram (Tentigo) and Italy’s Federico Zampaglione (The Well), joining top UK behind-the-camera talent including Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace), Rose Glass (Love Lies Bleeding), and Kevin Macdonald (High and Low: John Galliano).

Glasgow Film Festival 2024 Eoin CareyThe power was in GFF audiences’ hands as they voted on the prestigious Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award, crowning The Home Game as 2024 winner. The crowd-pleasing underdog Icelandic football documentary sat alongside strong contenders such as Viggo Mortensen’s The Dead Don’t Hurt and Aylin Tezel’s Isle of Skye-shot romance Falling Into Place yet won by a landslide, netting the highest score in the award’s 10 year history.

Allison Gardner, CEO of Glasgow Film and Director of GFF, said: “Myself and the whole team at the festival are thrilled with how GFF24 went. From our critically and publicly acclaimed programme highlighting emerging talent to the friendly and warm reception by our wonderful audiences to the talented guests that came to Glasgow from across the world, our 20th edition was a perfect reflection of everything Glasgow Film Festival stands for: Cinema For All.

“We were particularly delighted to host so many sold out screenings, from our opening film Love Lies Bleeding selling out in a record-breaking 6 minutes, to two packed-out Cinema 1 showings of Glasgow Film Festival 2024 Eoin Careythe new Big Banana Feet restoration and extra screenings of Glasgow filmmaker Ciaran Lyons’ debut Tummy Monster added due to phenomenal demand – Glasgow Film Festival is the film festival for audiences and in 2024 our audience came out in their droves to support their festival”.

Glasgow Film Festival will return from 26 February to 9 March 2025 with the full programme revealed in January 2025. A selection of films from GFF24 will screen at GFT throughout 2024 with GFF Surprise Film Drive Away Dolls, plus Disco Boy and Banel and Adama screening this month.

Mary Munoz
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