With a goal to be one of Europe’s top audience-focused film festivals, the Glasgow Film Festival is quickly becoming a focal point

An interview with Glasgow Film Festival director Corinne Orton

What sets your festival apart from other festivals?
Over the past 10 years Glasgow Film Festival has become one of the fastest growing audience-focused cinematic events in the UK leaping from 6,000 attendances in 2005 to over 41,000 at our most recent event in 2014.  The secret of the Festival's success is it’s innovative programing experiences and exciting use of different vibrant venues. Our pop-up events have included us taking over a cathedral, a swimming pool, the cargo hold of a ship, a former fish market, a car park and more, in a bid to constantly push the envelope and reach new audiences. Perfectly placed in February for spring and summer releases, GFF has launched some of the best new films to the UK's film press and cinema market. Over the years, many up-and-coming and established filmmakers have looked back on the Festival as the place where their films first reached a receptive audience and the foundations of their careers were built. These filmmakers include Joanna Hogg, Dexter Fletcher, Ben Wheatley and Richard Ayoade.

Kelvingrove Museum image by Neil Thomas Douglas

Kelvingrove Museum image by Neil Thomas Douglas

Do you have a favorite film that has showcased at your Festival?
So many, it's hard to just pick one! Some of our Opening Galas have been fantastic - from the premiere of In The Loop to recently Grand Budapest Hotel. We've also showcased some outstanding British talent such as Richard Ayoade's Submarine and Dexter Fletcher's Wild Bill. I am a huge fan of documentary and we've had some fascinating docs at GFF such as Who is Dayani Cristal?Girl Model, Werner Herzog's Into the Abyss and Kim Longinotto's Pink Saris.

Is there something in particular that you look for in submissions? Or are there multiple factors?
There are multiple factors. Generally it would be something compelling and interesting that makes us want to keep watching. Something of good quality, though not necessarily of big budget. It's also got to be a good fit in with the festival, we have to consider our whole programme and how it fits in with what else we have in the mix, as we like our programme to be as broad as possible.

What is your goal for your festival?
Our goal is to be one of Europe’s top audience-focused film festivals, renowned for an international programme of the world’s best films, alongside a dynamic fusion of inclusive cross-sector events and commissions.

Do you have an interesting story that has taken place during a past festival?
We were delighted to host the premiere of The Raid and had the director Gareth Evans and star of the film Iko Uwais do some back flips and stunts in the cinema to stun the crowd! Most recently we had former backing singer for Tina Turner and Rolling Stones, Claudia Lennear attend the Festival for the screening of 20 Feet From Stardom. She sang acapella in front of a captivated audience, it blew us away. It was also great to host the remastered print of Death Watch, a 70s sci fi film starring Harvey Keitel which was filmed in Glasgow. It got a great reaction and the director was so pleased to return with it.

Draconian Days image by Stuart Crawford

How is your festival received locally?
Wonderfully! The vast majority of our audience come from Glasgow and respond enthusiastically to the Festival. 96% of attendees rate the Festival as good or very good. We take over around 25 venues in the entire city so our spread is far and wide taking in members of all communities.

Where do you see or would like to see your Festival in 5 years?
Still bringing fantastic films and events to Glasgow to the delight of our audiences, with a robust and accessible programme of low-cost events for families as well as an arts and experimental strand and a strong body of commissioned film and music work behind us, as well as global media attention and a great industry presence. 





11th Annual Glasgow Film Festival
February 18, 2015 - March 01, 2015