Scottish Documentary Round-Up @ Glasgow Film Festival

The Glasgow Film Festival is in full swing and if the programme is anything to go by 2016 will be a stellar year for Scottish documentaries. From genre-bending experimental features to storytelling and visual anthropology, the diversity of these docs suggests a healthy and thriving scene in Scotland. We’re very proud of all the films we've helped along the way and can’t wait to see all the others. 

Enjoy our quick round-up of what’s on over the next few days!

Where You're Meant To Be

Director Paul Fegan
UK 2016, 1h15m, N/C 15+
World Premiere 19 Feb (sold out)  
GFT / Wed 24 Feb (13.30) with Q&A

Pop raconteur Aidan Moffat decides to rewrite his country’s oldest songs.

Scottish cult pop raconteur Aidan Moffat, best known for his songs about sex, drugs and male anxiety, decides to rewrite his country’s oldest songs. The only thing standing in his way is Sheila Stewart, travelling folk royalty, and Scotland’s most celebrated balladeer. Moffat believes these songs are ripe for re-working. Sheila does not. The World Premiere on Friday 19 February will take place at the legendary Barrowland Ballroom. Along with a screening of the film, there will be live performances from Aidan Moffat and his band and other musicians featured in the film.

Paul Fegan, the Director, made his first short film, Pouters, with us a few years ago as part of our Bridging the Gap initiative. It screened far and wide internationally, so we were delighted to come on board as Execs for his first feature.

Tickets here

The Colours Of The Alphabet

Director Alastair Cole
World PremiereNew Zealand/UK/Zambia 2015, 1h18m, Soli, Nyanja, Bemba and English with English subtitles, N/C 8+
GFT / Sun 21 (13.15) & Mon 22 Feb (11.00)

With seven national languages and 72 ethnic languages, how does anyone communicate in Zambia?

The official language in Zambia is English, but there are seven national languages and 72 ethnic languages spoken in the country. How does anyone communicate in this living Tower of Babel? Alastair Cole’s lyrical, beautifully-filmed documentary follows a year at a primary school in a village where homesick teacher Annie speaks one language and the pupils speak another. We follow events through the heat of March to the cold of August as the children gradually adapt and a seemingly unbridgeable gap is closed. An inspiring, bittersweet documentary about language, communication and national identity with multi-coloured subtitles reflecting the different languages being spoken.

The Colours of the Alphabet is one of the films selected for our brand new “Make Your Market” programme and was developed through SDI’s Interdoc Scotland programme.

Director Alastair Cole and Producer Nick Higgins will be present to introduce the film and take part in a Q&A after the screening.

Tickets here


Director Robbie Fraser
World Premiere
UK 2016, 1h15m, N/C 15+
GFT / Tue 23 (18.00) & Wed 24 Feb (15.45)                   

Robbie Fraser's highly anticipated documentary on Hamish Henderson.

Trailer here                                                                       

Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) was a colossal figure in Scottish culture, a man of boundless passion and curiosity whose poems continue to elevate and inspire a nation. Robbie Fraser’s highly anticipated documentary pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Henderson’s life as a poet, soldier, intellectual, activist, songwriter and leading force in the revival of Scottish folk music. The film features a new score by award-winning composer and producer Jim Sutherland. The screening on Tue 23 Feb (18.00) will include a musical overture featuring two of Scotland’s most respected singers, Adam McNaughton and Siobhan Miller, in association with Celtic Connections.

Tickets here

16 Years Till Summer

Director Lou McLoughlan

UK/Ireland 2015, 1h20m, N/C 15+

GFT / Sun 21 Feb (20.20) & Wed 24 Feb (11.00)                 

Uisdean wants forgiveness. After 16 years in exile, all he wants is to return home to the Highlands to become a full-time carer to his father and redeem himself. However, both his girlfriend and father find their faith in him tested as his ambitions grow.

Compelling storytelling and cinematic camerawork question the line between the dreams of the heart and rational judgement, in a film that is a hybrid of head and heart; of magic realism and documented tragedy. A film which is ultimately about redemption – interrupted.

Director Lou McLoughlan will be present to introduce the film and take part in a Q&A after the screening. The film is up for the GFF Audience Award!  SDI helped develop the film and Lou is a graduate from Edinburgh College of Art, where we are based.     

Tickets here           

I Am Belfast

Director Mark Cousins
UK 2015, 1h24m, N/C 15+
GFT / Tue 23 (15.30) & Sun 28 Feb (13.30)Mark Cousins' love letter to his home city.

As a director, Mark Cousins has captured everything from the history of film to the desires of  D H Lawrence. Now he ventures back home with a portrait of his native Belfast, depicted here as a copper-haired woman (Helena Bereen) who has survived times of violence, despair and elation. Cousins’ playful dialogue with her unfolds around archive footage, interviews and images, finding great beauty in the familiar and mundane. Cousins doesn’t avoid the bitter conflicts of the past, but travels beyond the divisions to find humanity, hope and the indomitable spirit of the city. A love letter straight from the heart.

Director Mark Cousins will introduce the film on Tue 23 Feb (15.30).

Tickets here

LUX Scotland presents…..

LUX Scotland’s aim is to support and promote film here in Scotland. LUX Scotland focus on supporting artists who choose to work with moving-image and along with its sister organisation, LUX, it aims to archive as much material relevant to them as possible and now holds the biggest collection of its kind in Europe. From LUX associated films you can expect genre boundary pushing, experimentation and originality.

Margaret Tait Award: Evolutionary Jerks & Gradualist Creeps (N/C 8+)

Director Duncan Marquiss

Cast Niles Eldredge

UK 2015, 30m, N/C 8+

GFT / Mon 22 Feb (19.30) - Free tickets available from GFT Box Office on the day, max 2 per person.

A new film by 2015 Margaret Tait Award winner Duncan Marquiss.

Excerpt from Marquiss’ earlier film ‘Search Film’:

Named after acclaimed Scottish experimental filmmaker Margaret Tait, Glasgow Film Festival’s annual award is supported by Creative Scotland and LUX, and recognises Scottish artists and Scotland-based artists who work within film and moving image in an experimental and innovative way. This screening is the world premiere of a new film by 2015 winner Duncan Marquiss, which features an interview with the paleobiologist Niles Eldredge. Focusing on Eldredge’s revolutionary theory of evolution named ‘punctuated equilibrium’, the film expands into a discussion on cultural evolution.

Join Duncan on Sun 21 Feb (15.30) for a presentation of contextual material related to his film.

Tickets here

Eglantine Presented By LUX Scotland

Director Margaret SalmonUK 2015, 1h15m, N/C 8+
GFT / Sat 27 Feb (13.30)

A special Director’s Preview of Margaret Salmon’s intimate, vivid account of a young girl’s real and fantastical adventure in a remote forest one evening. This film is a contemporary tribute to classic children’s films (Ray Ashley’s Little Fugitive, Jean Renoir’s The River, Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon), and to celluloid nature studies of the past, such as Mary Field’s Secrets of Nature series. Filmed by Salmon on 35mm, Eglantine combines a range of cinematic genres and techniques, from carefully-observed wildlife documentary to narrative drama, hand drawn animation, live musical performance and interpretative sound.

Director Margaret Salmon will be present for a Q&A following the screening. Additionally on Sat 27 Feb (17.00) Salmon will host a Director’s Lab, where participants can learn about producing a first feature.

Tickets here

The Host

Director Miranda Pennell
UK 2015, 1h, N/C 12+
CCA / Thu 25 Feb (18.45)    

A picture of a 20th century colonial encounter.

While investigating her late parents’ involvement with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as BP), Miranda Pennell comes across the letters of a petroleum geologist in Iran in the 1930s, who would later embark on a search for the origins of civilisation. The film sets out on its own exploration, to decipher signs from the fragmented images buried in the BP archive. Interweaving stories drawn both from personal memory and from the records of an imperial history, Pennell gradually builds a picture of a 20th century colonial encounter. The Host is about the stories we tell about ourselves and others, the facts and fictions we live by – and their consequences.

Miranda Pennell will be present to introduce the film and take part in a Q&A after the screening.

Tickets here