Glasgow Film Festival 2017: Local Heroes

GFF's Local Heroes celebrates home-grown talent and salutes those filmmakers producing outstanding work!

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Glasgow Film Festival 2017: Local Heroes
About Glasgow Film Festival 2017: Local Heroes

‘Here’s to the ones who dream - foolish as they may seem’. These are the words that Emma Stone sings so beautifully in La La Land and they seem appropriate to introduce a strand of the festival that salutes homegrown talent and some of the nation’s beautiful dreamers. Among other issues, the struggle for finance and mountains to climb are enough reasons to convince yourself that making a movie is an impossible fantasy. Here we celebrate the people who just get on with it, creating small miracles. We welcome back the inspirational Mark Cousins with his city symphony valentine Stockholm, My Love, celebrate the life and work of artist, painter and critic, John Berger in The Seasons In Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger and we proudly present the first Scottish screening of Hope Dickson Leach’s eagerly awaited and awardwinning feature debut The Levelling. You can even have a birl with The Wee Govan Pipers. Here’s to all the dreamers.


GFT / Wed 22 (20.30) & Thu 23 Feb (11.00)
Frequently described as the greatest boxer that Scotland has ever produced, Benny Lynch became the flyweight champion of the world. It was a sweet triumph for the man from the Gorbals, who had been raised in extreme poverty. Archive footage, animated sequences and the admiring comments of modern boxers combine to celebrate Benny’s remarkable achievements and to put his life in context. Lynch was only 33 when he died in 1946, overwhelmed by the chronic alcoholism he had been unable to defeat. Benny is an affectionate salute to the people’s champion.

Local Heroes / Director Andrew Gallimore
UK 2017, 1h10m, N/C 12+

Bodkin Ras

GFT / Fri 24 (18.15) | CCA / Sat 25 Feb (15.45)
Winner of the Fipresci Award at last year’s Rotterdam Film Festival, Bodkin Ras is ethereal storytelling, blending documentary and fiction to transcribe a tale of a man running from his mysterious past. Set in the remote Scottish town of Forres, Kaweh Modiri’s powerful debut feature paints a fractured portrait of a man suspicious of himself, in a town whose identity is no more assured. A beautiful and haunting work which evokes the tone of For Those in Peril, with a powerhouse performance by Sohrab Bayat.

Local Heroes / Director Kaweh Modiri Cast Sohrab Bayat, Lily Szramko, Eddie Paton
UK / Netherlands 2016, 1h17m, N/C 18+ Thanks to Mokum Film Distributie

The Chamber

GFT / Sun 19 (20.40) & Mon 20 Feb (13.15)
If you have the slightest fear of being trapped in a dark, dank confined space then prepare to be terrified by The Chamber. Ben Parker’s claustrophobic thriller is set beneath the Yellow Sea, off the coast of North Korea. An American special ops unit has commandeered a mini-submarine and its pilot to undertake a classified rescue mission. When an explosion leaves the vessel upside down at the bottom of the ocean, a desperately tense fight for survival ensues. A terrific cast is headed by Charlotte Salt and Force Majeure’s Johannes Kuhnke.

Local Heroes / Director Ben Parker Cast Johannes Kuhnke, Charlotte Salt, James McArdle
UK 2016, 1h28m, N/C 12+ Thanks to StudioCanal

A Change in the Weather

GFT / Mon 20 Feb (20.15)
A Change in the Weather is the latest work from director Jon Sanders (Back to the Garden). In an attempt to revisit a creative collaboration and revive his marriage, a theatre director brings together a group of performers to spend a week with him and his wife in an isolated, mountainous part of southern France. As the work progresses, fiction and reality become blurred and there is a constant tension between the characters’ emotional lives and the nature of the work. An investigation into the changing nature of love, this is a finely crafted and compelling drama.

Local Heroes / Director Jon Sanders Cast Meret Becker, Bob Goody, Anna Mottram
UK 2016, 1h38m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Verve Pictures

End of the Game

CCA / Mon 20 (18.30) & Tue 21 Feb (15.45)
David Graham Scott (Iboga Nights, GFF14) returns with an entertaining, provocative documentary in which he puts himself in the firing line as he befriends big game hunter Guy Wallace. An unrepentant relic of the colonial era, Wallace has been a soldier, a mercenary and a tracker. He now lives in splendid isolation on the Caithness moors but has one remaining ambition - to return to Africa and kill a Cape Buffalo. Scott is vegan but accompanies Wallace in a film that explores the ethical issues around hunting and the unlikely bond that develops between the two men.

Local Heroes / Director David Graham Scott
UK 2016, 1h5m, N/C 12+ Thanks to Hopscotch


GFT / Sun 19 Feb (15.30)
Bill Forsyth’s haunting, rigorously unsentimental adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s novel is one of his greatest achievements. Set in the wintry landscapes of the Pacific Northwest during the 1950s, it captures the special bond between two sisters and their longing for normality from a world that only seems to offer the unpredictable. Abandoned by their mother, the girls grow apart as they are entrusted to the tender mercies of their eccentric, irresponsible Aunt Sylvie played by a captivating Christine Lahti. This is a rare opportunity to see Forsyth’s beautifully observed, bittersweet classic.

Local Heroes / Director Bill Forsyth Cast Christine Lahti, Sara Walker, Andrea Burchill
USA 1987, 1h56m, PG Thanks to Sony / Park Circus


GFT / Sat 25 (20.45) & Sun 26 Feb (11.00)
This much-anticipated British boxing drama was written by star Johnny Harris, who relied on Barry and Shane McGuigan to get him into fighting shape. Youth champion Jimmy McCabe (Harris) could have been a serious contender until life decided otherwise. Now he’s back at his old boxing club, fighting his demons and seeking a shot at redemption with the only team who ever believed in him - gym owner Bill (Ray Winstone), corner man Eddie (Michael Smiley) and promoter Joe (Ian McShane). Paul Weller provides the soundtrack to a do or die tale of second chances.

Local Heroes / Director Thomas Q Napper Cast Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane
UK 2016, 1h31m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Vertigo

Lady Macbeth

GFT / Sat 18 Feb (18.00)
Florence Pugh confirms the promise of The Falling with a powerful central performance in a stunning period drama that marks an auspicious film debut from theatre director William Oldroyd. Nikolai Leskov’s novel is transported to rural England in the 1860s where the marriage of Katherine (Pugh) to the older Alexander (Paul Hilton) is more of a business opportunity than a love match. At the mercy of an oppressive male household, Katherine finds an ally in her maid Anna (Naomie Ackie) and the possibility of escape in a reckless affair with stable hand Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis).

Local Heroes / Director William Oldroyd Cast Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton
UK 2016, 1h29m, N/C 15+ Thanks to Altitude

The Levelling

GFT / Tue 21 (18.15) & Wed 22 Feb (10.45)
Hope Dickson Leach’s haunting debut feature tells the moving tale of a father and daughter forced to confront past grievances in the wake of a family tragedy. Game of Thrones’ Ellie Kendrick is a compelling presence as Clover, a young vet who returns to the family farm in Somerset after the death of her brother. Her gruff father Aubrey (David Troughton) blithely carries on with business as usual. Neither seem inclined to share their feelings or address their sense of guilt. Told with remarkable poise and maturity, The Levelling marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in British cinema.

Local Heroes / Director Hope Dickson Leach Cast Ellie Kendrick, David Troughton, Jack Holden
UK 2016, 1h23m, N/C 12+ Thanks to Peccadillo Pictures

A Quiet Passion

GFT / Thu 23 Feb (18.00)
Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion offers a sumptuous, deeply felt reflection on the life of poet Emily Dickinson. Almost unknown in her lifetime, Dickinson (a luminous Cynthia Nixon) grew increasingly reclusive in her later years, looking inwards for her creative inspiration. Davies captures a sense of a stubborn, fiercely independent woman too sensitive for an age that seemed determined to stifle her hopes and crush her spirit. Graced by memorable performances from Jennifer Ehle as Emily’s sister Lavinia and Catherine Bailey as her friend Miss Buffan, this is an elegant portrait of an artist.

Local Heroes / Director Terence Davies Cast Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Keith Carradine, Catherine Bailey
UK / Belgium 2016, 2h5m, N/C 12+ Thanks to Soda Pictures

The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger

CCA / Fri 24 (15.30) & Sat 25 Feb (20.45)
A fascinating collective effort, The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger is a frank exploration of four different insights into John Berger’s life, thoughts and writing. The focus varies between an analysis of his thought processes, politics, passions, right through to his form of interacting with people. Filmmakers, such as Tilda Swinton and Colin MacCabe, compose a personal and intimate portrait of the reclusive artist, painter and critic who passed away in January 2017. Tied together with a meditative score from Simon Fisher Turner, The Seasons in Quincy is a loving snapshot of an avant-garde icon.

Local Heroes / Directors Colin MacCabe, Christopher Roth, Bartek Dziadosz, Tilda Swinton
UK 2016, 1h30m, N/C 12+ Thanks to Icarus Films

The Slab Boys

GFT / Sun 26 Feb (13.15)
John Byrne’s beloved The Slab Boys is one of the great, joyous landmarks of Scottish theatre. Twenty years on since Byrne directed the exuberant cinema adaptation, GFF is celebrating with a special screening that will be attended by John Byrne and members of the cast and crew. Paisley 1957 is the setting, and three working-class lads from the local carpet factory are looking forward to a staff dance and the rock’n’roll fuelled promise of sweet escape from the daily drudgery of their lives. An amazing cast of weel-kent faces includes Barbara Rafferty, David O’Hara and Ford Kiernan.

Local Heroes / Director John Byrne Cast Robin Laing, Russell Barr, Bill Gardiner
UK 1997, 1h45m, 15 Thanks to Park Circus / Film Four

Stockholm, My Love

GFT / Sat 25 Feb (15.30)
Mark Cousins and cinematographer Christopher Doyle follow I Am Belfast (GFF16) with a heartfelt love letter to the Swedish capital. Blurring the boundary between documentary and drama, Stockholm, My Love marks the acting debut of Neneh Cherry. Gripped by post-traumatic depression architect Alva (Cherry) wanders the streets of Stockholm, reflecting on her relationship with her father, the city’s history as a refuge for migrants and the tragedy that haunts her. Cherry also performs new songs as part of a soundtrack that features artists ranging from Benny Andersson to Franz Berwald.

Local Heroes / Director Mark Cousins Cast Neneh Cherry
Sweden / UK 2016, 1h28m, English and Swedish with English subtitles, N/C 15+ Thanks to BFI

Trespass Against Us

GFT / Tue 21 Feb (20.35)
Brendan Gleeson and Michael Fassbender go head-to-head as father and son in this dynamic first feature from director Adam Smith. Blood ties and conflicting loyalties provide the dramatic stakes in a story set on the criminal edges of a travelling community. Fassbender’s cocky rebel Chad has nothing but contempt for the law but he does respect the authority of his father Colby (Gleeson) and dreams of a better life for his own children. A series of risky robberies put the men at odds in a film where the dark, fatalistic mood is brightened by flashes of black comedy and powerhouse performances.

Local Heroes / Director Adam Smith Cast Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Rory Kinnear
UK 2016, 1h34m, 15 Thanks to Lionsgate

The Wee Govan Pipers at the Pearce Institute

The Pearce Institute / Sun 19 Feb (Doors 18.30)
Reducing a policeman to tears when you are 10 years-old is no mean feat but with a sense of humour and buckets of charm, a group of young Scottish, Nigerian and Chinese pipers from Govan achieve just that. Join us for an evening of celebration as we follow the first 18 months of the Wee Pipers’ journey who, with the help of tutors from the Greater Glasgow Police Pipe Band, are making sure that this new generation are following the footsteps of the Gaels who first brought piping to Glasgow.

Local Heroes / Director Paul Cameron
UK 2015, 1h, Gaelic with English Subtitles, N/C 8+ Thanks to Media Co-Op, Police Scotland, Govan Schools Pipe Band,
Police Pipe Band

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