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Glasgow Film Festival 2024: 10 Films to Watch

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A list of 10 films to watch at the 2024 Glasgow Film Festival, from the most anticipated premieres to lesser known movies to keep an eye out for.

The 2024 Glasgow Film Festival is approaching, and this year marks its 20th edition! The lineup is fantastic, and if you’re going to attend the festival and don’t know which films to watch, we made a list with the most anticipated premieres and other lesser known movies that should absolutely be on your list. This year, GFF will take place at the Glasgow Film Theatre and in various locations in the city on 28 February – 10 March. Our writers Claire Fulton and Connor Lightbody will cover the festival for us, and they made a list with their recommendations! Stay tuned for our reviews and updates, and check out our list of 10 films to watch at the 2024 Glasgow Film Festival below!



Director: Jack Archer
Cast: Peter Jewell, Lynne Ramsay, Lenny Abrahamson

Bill Douglas looks into the camera in a still from the film My Best Friend, screened at the 2024 Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival 2024: 10 Films to WatchBill Douglas: My Best Friend (GFF)

Each year, the Glasgow Film Festival awards the Bill Douglas award to the best international Short Film. The award is named after Scottish director Bill Douglas, and is given to the film that reflects the qualities found in Douglas’s work: ‘honesty, formal innovation, and cinematic storytelling that places sound and image centre stage’. Premiering at the festival this year is Jack Archer’s documentary on Bill Douglas and his life with best friend Peter Jewell. The documentary uses footage from never-before-seen home movies that Bill shot on 8mm film and we’re super excited to see this documentary along with the full versions of his amateur Super 8 shot movies as part of the Glasgow Short Film program on March 20th. (C.L.)


Directors: Murray Grigor and Patrick Higson
Cast: Billy Connolly

a still from the documentary Billy Connolly: Big Banana Feet
Glasgow Film Festival 2024: 10 Films to Watch – Billy Connolly: Big Banana Feet (GFF)

Rarely seen since its initial release, with the single remaining 16mm copy having been gathering dust in an American film archive, Murray Grigor and Patrick Higson’s documentary Billy Connolly: Big Banana Feet showcases the Big Yin at his blistering best thanks to a beautiful restoration from the British Film Institute.

Scottish hero and beloved comedian Billy Connolly was just hitting the big-time when he embarked on his 1975 Irish tour, which culminated in a performance in Belfast’s ABC Cinema during the Troubles – a dangerous undertaking the comedian did not take lightly, but handled with his natural charm, comic talent and ability to work a crowd. Grigor and Higson’s film will give audiences the chance to relive and/or finally experience Connolly’s brilliance, captured just as he approached the peak of his power and unfairly hidden for almost fifty years since. (C.F.)


Director: Emma Westenberg
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Clara McGregor, Jake Weary

Bleeding Love Review: Horror Hides as Quirky Drama – Loud & Clear
Emma Westenberg’s Bleeding Love is a moving father-daughter drama that also might just be one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen.

Ewan McGregor stars alongside his real-life daughter Clara McGregor in Emma Westenberg’s Bleeding Love, a road movie about familial bonds, familial trauma and the realisation that the relationship between parent and child – particularly as troubled adults in their own right – is a very a fragile thing.

After a near fatal overdose, a young woman (McGregor) embarks on a road trip with her estranged father (McGregor). She’s unknowingly being taken to rehab, but the journey offers dad and daughter the chance to work on their relationship – strained from simultaneous addictions – and meet an array of characters along the way.

Clara McGregor co-wrote the screenplay but insists that while the majority of the film is a fictionalised account, there are some similarities to her own admittedly tricky relationship with movie-star dad Ewan sprinkled throughout. The real-life connection between the pair hopefully lends an authenticity to Westenberg’s film, giving Bleeding Love the raw intimacy a heartfelt family drama of this ilk needs to work. And it certainly has the sense of this not being just a ‘road movie’, but rather a quiet rumination on what it means to be family and what it means to get the chance to heal from the trauma that family can inflict. (C.F.)


Director: Viggo Mortensen
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Vicky Krieps, Solly McLeod

Vicky Krieps wears a cowboy hat in the film The Dead Don't Hurt, one of the 20 films to watch at the 2024 Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival 2024: 10 Films to Watch – The Dead Don’t Hurt (GFF)

In just his second feature film as director, Viggo Mortensen – who also wrote the screenplay and composed the score – is out to deliver an original take on the classic Western story with The Dead Don’t Hurt. It sees Vivienne Le Coudy (Vicky Krieps), a fiercely independent French-Canadian woman, fall for Danish immigrant Holger Olsen (Mortensen) in 1860s Nevada, just as the country is on the brink of Civil War. When Holger makes the decision to go off and fight for the union, Vivienne is left behind and forced to face threats of her own much closer to home.

The Dead Don’t Hurt has the makings of a poignant, romantic and elegantly crafted alternative Western with Mortensen in front of and behind the camera. There is, of course, an expectation of violence and tragedy with its placement in that oft-masculine heavy genre, but hopefully the emotionally satisfying central love story and choice to centre a powerful female character gives Mortensen’s sophomore outing the originality it promises. (C.F.)


Director: Giacomo Abruzzese
Cast: Franz Rogowski, Morr Ndiaye, Laetitia Ky

Disco Boy: Franz Rogowski Film Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Giacomo Abbruzzese’s Disco Boy is a riveting and visceral belter of a film with, unsurprisingly, a terrific performance from Franz Rogowski.

Having premiered at 2023’s Berlin Film Festival to rapturous acclaim, where our review called it a “riveting and visceral belter of a film”, the excitement for Giacomo Abbruzzese’s Disco Boy is palpable. Franz Rogowski plays Aleksei, an immigrant who joins the French Foreign Legion to gain residential status, in a fierce film that parallels the struggle of Aleksei with the residents of the Niger Delta amongst their dealings with oil companies encroaching on their land. Glasgow Film Festival getting the UK premiere of Disco Boy, the recipient of 2023 Berlin’s Silver Bear, is an exciting choice for the festival. The kind of programming choice that marks the fest out as one that is only satisfied when it champions the likes of Disco Boy, the kind of gorgeous, psychedelic art that challenges the viewer. (C.L.)


Director: Luna Carmoon
Cast: Saura Lightfoot Leon, Joseph Quinn, Hayley Squires
Full Review: Hoard Film Review

Luna Carmoon, Saura L. Leon & Joseph Quinn on Hoard – Loud & Clear
We interview writer-director Luna Carmoon and stars Saura Lightfoot Leon & Joseph Quinn on Hoard, a film about love, trauma, and motherhood.

Having premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2023, Luna Carmoon’s debut feature Hoard was described in our review as “confident [and] unapologetically original”. The film revolves around a young girl and her abusive hoarder of a mother, discussing the wounds that trauma inflicts and the scars that form from generational mental illness. Its audaciousness has been divisive throughout its festival run but for those who desire their art to be alienating and disorienting, it ticks that box twice over with its ravishingly gruesome take on love and grief. It’s the kind of bold filmmaking that makes Carmoon such an exciting prospect and it is another entry that shows Glasgow Film Festival’s appreciation for provocative art. (C.L.)


Director: Zarrar Kahn
Cast: Ramesha Nawal, Omar Javaid, Bakhtawar Mazhar

Glasgow Film Festival 2024: 10 Films to Watch – In Flames (TIFF / XYZ Films)

Zarrar Kahn’s debut In Flames is a psychological horror about resisting patriarchal oppression and Pakistan’s Best International Feature entry for the 96th Oscars. It sees Mariam (Ramesha Nawal) and her widowed mother (Bakhtawar Mazhar) faced with a mountain of problems after the unexpected death of her grandfather leaves them at the mercy of Pakistan’s patriarchal society. A difficult situation that only grows more terrifying as Mariam’s grief and trauma begin to manifest in rather sinister ways.

In Flames is Kahn’s blistering response to the struggle for equality faced by millions of women around the globe. The writer/director understands the tried-and-tested use of the horror genre as a means of social commentary, and aims to visualise the fear women face daily in their fight for freedom from oppression within an effective psychological supernatural horror film. Let’s hope In Flames succeeds. (C.F.)


Director: Matteo Garrone
Cast: Seydou Sarr, Moustapha Fall, Issaka Sawadogo

Glasgow Film Festival 2024: 10 Films to Watch – Io Capitano (Pathé)

Matteo Garrone’s powerful drama – and Italy’s entry for Best International Feature at the 96th Academy Awards and winner of the Silver Lion at Venice in 2023 – is a film about resilience, brutality and the heartbreaking optimism that permeates the immigrant experience. Io Capitano follows two cousins, Seydou (Seydou Sarr) and Moussa (Moustapha Fall), as they flee Senegal with the hope of reaching Europe. But their journey is fraught and full of danger, with the pair facing harsh conditions and even harsher treatment in their search for a better life.

Garrone’s film is based on real-life testimonies from those who bravely sought safe, peaceful and prosperous lives for themselves, but doesn’t seek to shy away from the brutality of these experiences. Io Capitano feels like a film that’s raw, powerful and emotive in its storytelling, shining a light on the immigrant experience and the tragedy that comes with simply seeking a brighter future. It’s a film with a powerful message about the people behind the statistics, and a definite must see. (C.F.)


Director: Rose Glass
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Katy O’Brian, Ed Harris, Dave Franco, Jena Malone
Country: USA & UK

Love Lies Bleeding Review: Intoxicating Thriller – Loud And Clear
Love Lies Bleeding, Rose Glass’ gloriously bizarre follow up to Saint Maud, is a marvellous feat of muscular filmmaking.

There are always big expectations on how filmmakers follow up a debut, often resulting in what is known as the sophomore slump phenomenon. So after Rose Glass’s debut feature Saint Maud found vast critical acclaim in 2019, will her second feature follow a similar pattern of being slightly less satisfying? Delightfully, her second film Love Lies Bleeding has already found acclaim followingits premiere at Sundance and Berlin. Kristen Stewart is a gym manager who falls for a bodybuilder in this lesbian thriller, which also stars Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Dave Franco and Katy O’Brian. We couldn’t be more excited for the film, especially with Stewart embracing what looks to be a wholly different role for her already vast collection of intriguing character portrayals. (C.L.)


Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash

Why Origin Works Best as a Docudrama – Loud And Clear Reviews
Ava Duvernay’s film Origin has been criticised for not being a documentary, but it works best as a docudrama. Here’s why.

Ava Duvernay has proved to be a somewhat controversial filmmaker, with her filmography finding both acclaim and derision on account of the political nature of her films. Her stories – the likes of Martin Luther King biopic Selma – usually revolve around racial politics but they all have the touch of a filmmaker who sees the best in people. You should be excited to see Origin at Glasgow Film Festival this year, not just for the outstanding lead performance from Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, but because Duvernay is on the precipice of finding the jewel in her crown as she posits love as central opposition to hate, showcasing it in powerful docudrama form. A rousing, evocative, galvanic masterwork from one of our best contemporary cinematic voices. (C.L.)


The 2024 Glasgow Film Festival will take place on 28 February – 10 March in Glasgow.

Glasgow Film Festival – Loud And Clear Reviews
Loud and Clear Reviews: Glasgow Film Festival. Read our thoughts on the movies shown at one of the biggest cinema events in Scotland.
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