Glasgow Short Film Festival goes online for 2021
James R | On 23, Mar 2021
The Glasgow Short Film Festival is going online for its 2021 edition, with a week-long showcase for short films hailing from around thew world.
Running from 22nd to 28th March, the festival’s 14th edition will reflect on the past year spent in lockdown, with themed collections including No New Normal, Big Dog Energy and Locked Down all aiming to spark contemplation, conversation and comfort.
The opening collection includes Screening Rooms, a specially commissioned film by Jessica McGoff (one of Sight & Sound’s video essayists of 2020) reflecting on the experience of attending online festivals. Barbed Wire Love: Artists, Filmmakers and their North of Ireland Troubles, curated by Peter Taylor (Director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival) and artist and filmmaker Myrid Carten, is presented in the centenary year of Irish partition, while Natasha Thembiso Ruwona presents a new chapter of Black Spatial Imaginaries, a programme initiated in 2020 and exploring Black geographies.
Regular GSFF collaborators Matchbox Cineclub, present a trio of works by cult Canadian auteur John Paizs, while regular festival strands will also return. A new selection of European Film Academy nominated films brings critically acclaimed titles from across Europe to UK audiences, while the Family Shorts expands into two collections – one suitable for all ages and one suitable for over-7s. Meanwhile, Scared Shortless and For Shorts & Giggles bring late-night thrills and laughs and Bangers & Mosh transport audiences into messy, sweaty parties and mosh pits.
2021 marks the 10th anniversary of GSFF’s Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film. To celebrate, the festival is revisiting the previous nine winning films, alongside new interviews between each filmmaker and a member of the jury that selected their film. These interviews will be available on Glasgow Short Film Festival’s new podcast, released in instalments during the festival. And, of course, there’s the festival’s Scottish Short Film Award.
All the films and Q&As will be captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences. This year’s edition will continue to implement a Pay What You Can sliding scale for passes, ranging from £7 to £14. To book a pass and get streaming click here.
Here’s a full rundown of the themed programmes and when they’re playing:
Scottish Competition 1: House of Mirrors
A programme about dualities, keeping things under the surface, and unveiling truths.
Scottish Competition 2: A World to Win
The protagonists in this programme are trying to get by and find their place, often against the odds.
Scottish Competition 3: Care to Express
A programme that looks at the different ways art, passion and care work together to enrich our lives.
Scottish Competition 4: Under the Volcano
This programme trembles with a highly charged atmosphere – something is about to erupt…
No New Normal: Monitored
As more of us live online than ever before, this programme looks at methods of surveillance and control, and spaces of subversion within them.
Barbed Wire Love 1: Trouble
Mariah Garnett queers history and makes it new again
Big Dog Energy
Nietzsche once said that “the world exists through the understanding of dogs.” Well, they’re good dogs, Nietzsche. This programme celebrates dogs in all their complex simplicity.
No New Normal: Absurdity of Labour
A programme about work and working conditions, with reflections on ideas of competition, exploitation, value, care and productivity.
No New Normal: Alt Worlds
In Alt Worlds we modestly deal with our desires to escape, offering reimaginings of and speculations on a future earth and other worlds.
EFA Shorts 1
The first of two programmes showcasing recent award-winners from around Europe.
EFA Shorts 2
Moments of sadness and beauty found amongst the everyday in this second selection of European award winners.
GSFF 2021 Opening Screening
The unveiling of a specially commissioned new work, followed by a taster programme drawn from across the festival strands.
Bill Douglas Award 10th Anniversary
Revisiting the nine previous winners of the award, alongside brand new podcast interviews.
Scottish Competition 1 Live Q&A
Put your questions to the filmmakers in the first Scottish competition programme.
Family Shorts 1
The first of two programmes of family-friendly animations from round the world (suitable for all ages).
Family Shorts 2
The second of two programmes of family-friendly international animation (suitable for 7+).
For Shorts & Giggles
Comedy for our times – feelings of anxiety and dread run through this year’s selection.
Barbed Wire Love 2: Ancestral Homes
Punk aesthetics and playful attitudes reinvigorate narratives of Northern Ireland
Bill Douglas Award 1: Everything We Knew
Reveals lie in the unanticipated.
Bill Douglas Award 2: Hidden Wounds
A programme about the different manifestations and ways of processing trauma.
Black Spatial Imaginaries
Who is allowed to inhabit the land, move freely, tell stories, speak truths, survive, thrive?
Plantainchipps DJ set
To follow this chapter of Black Spatial Imaginaries, we present a set from Glasgow based DJ Plantainchipps.
Doing No Harm: Representing Mental Health Issues on Screen
A live discussion about the challenges of addressing mental health issues with integrity and care.
Barbed Wire Love 2 Live Q&A
A conversation between the Barbed Wire Love curators and some of the featured filmmakers.
Bill Douglas Award 3: Your Love
Stories about love, connection, and the inner turmoil they bring with them.
Scottish Competition 2 Live Q&A
Your chance to put your questions to the filmmakers in the second Scottish competition programme.
We’ve compiled our favourite creepy cuts, chillers and bloodfests from this year’s submissions.
Bill Douglas Award 4: Against the Grain
Identities are questioned, challenged and suppressed in this fourth competition selection.
Bill Douglas Award 5: Connection Signals
Routines, patterns, games and codes are employed in varied ways in this competition selection.
Meet the Festivals
Hear from representatives of some of the world’s leading festivals about what they’re looking for.
Barbed Wire Love 3: Hush-A-Bye Baby
A heart-renderingly smart, funny and pertinent feminist film from Derry.
Barbed Wire Love 4: The Garden of Eden is a cul de sac
“If you look hard enough all meanings can be found or produced close to home”
Barbed Wire Love 5: Dancing on Narrow Ground
A rain-sodden portrait of rave heaven.
Bangers & Mosh
Evoking the sweaty, physical intimacy of a messy night out to offer viewers some much needed visceral thrills.
Bill Douglas Award 6: Bloodlines
Family bonds run deep and are often unexplainable in their complexities.
Five international films directly address the experience of lockdown in unique and varied ways.
Scottish Competition 3 Live Q&A
Your chance to put your questions to the filmmakers of the third Scottish competition programme.
Scottish Competition 4 Live Q&A
Pose your questions to the filmmakers in the final Scottish competition selection.
Matchbox Cineclub presents The Three Worlds of Nick
John Paizs’ rarely seen trilogy is a masterclass in no-budget invention, inspired equally by Disney and Devo.
The festival announces the winners of the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film, the Scottish Short Film Award, and Audience Awards in each competition. The winning films will be available to view on demand from 8.30pm until the online hub closes at midnight.