Kelly Macdonald and Paul Mescal films to be screened at Glasgow Film Festival

This year’s Glasgow Film Festival will feature premieres featuring stars such as Kelly Macdonald, Paul Mescal and Emily Watson.

The 19th annual festival will host over 250 screenings and events at the Glasgow Film Theater (GFT) and other venues around the city.

The festival will open on March 1 with the UK premiere of Glasgow-based writer and director Adura Onashile’s full-length feature debut, Girl, which tells the story of a mother and her 11-year-old daughter as they try to build a new life in Glasgow.

The festival will feature 70 UK premieres, 22 world, international and European premieres and six Scottish premieres, organizers announced as they unveiled the program on Wednesday.

Glasgow Film Festival

Allan Hunter, left, will retire after this year’s festival (Eoin Carey/PA)

These include the UK premiere of Typist Artist Pirate King, which stars Kelly Macdonald and Monica Dolan, and tells the story of true outsider artist Audrey Amiss, whose “extraordinary” body of work was only discovered after her death.

Other highlights include Paul Mescal and Emily Watson in God’s Creatures, set in a close-knit Irish community torn apart by allegations of sexual assault, while Nicolas Cage plays a seasoned buffalo hunter in Gabe Polsky’s Western Butcher’s Crossing.

Allan Hunter, co-director of GFF, who will retire after this year’s festival, said: “It’s always exciting to raise the curtain on the GFF programme.

“The range of handpicked gems for 2023 range from brilliant new works from homegrown talent to the very best that world cinema has to offer.”

Mr Hunter said: “A girl and a polite society are just two icings on the cake of the festival, which is full of goodness.”

He added: “If you love movies, where else would you like to be in March?”

World premieres include The Freedom Machine, in which Scottish film curator Jo Reid uses archival footage to explore how women used the bicycle as a means of emancipation, while James Price, the man nicknamed Springburn Scorsese, returns with Dog Days, which explores history a musically gifted, homeless man from Dundee.

Glasgow Film Festival 2023 will end on March 12 with the British premiere of the full-length feature debut of the creator of We Are Lady Parts, Nida Manzoor, Polite Society.

As part of Country Focus 2023, the festival focuses on Spain, presenting a collection of eight contemporary films from this country.

Amid flashbacks, in the In the Driving Seat segment, women take control of their lives with free screenings of titles including Bonnie and Clyde, It Happened One Night, Pierrot Le Fou, and Thelma and Louise.

Almost four out of 10 (39%) feature films at this year’s festival are directed by women, not counting the free retrospective and the Gloria Grahame season.

Allison Gardner, co-director of the GFF, said the festival is in a good place and “runs a different model” to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which shut down after being summoned by administrators last year.

She said: “Over the years I’ve been very strict about how we spend our budget, we work on a balanced budget, that’s how we do things so we know what income we have and then we look at spending.

“So we’re in a good place and it’s really exciting for us to launch GFF23 after some tumultuous years where we were completely online in 2021, 2022 and weren’t quite sure where we were going.”

She added: “We’re just looking forward to 2023, so yes, we’re in a good position.”

Tickets for the entire GFF23 program will go on sale on Monday 30 January at 12:00 noon at the GFT box office, online at and by telephone on 0141 332 6535

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