• Katy Billington

Tom - Film Production Intern

I started with a long bus ride into Glasgow and rushed straight to the first screening, an Irish film called ‘Arracht’, a powerful drama period piece set during the potato famine, spoken almost completely in Gaelic, the story followed a man dealing with the depression on the coast of Ireland, where one incident unfolds upon the next. A beautifully shot film, it was awarded with a standing ovation, very much well deserved, and the Glasgow Film Festivals Peoples Choice award.

After I decided to get some food close to the next show, at the CCA Art Centre. I managed to grab some tapas opposite and head over with a full belly. I was attending a ‘Storytelling With Sound’ workshop presented by award winning sound designer Ania Przygoda, which discussed and displayed different techniques of sound design and engineering, which included Foley which looked like a good bit of fun, recording the sounds of Superman's cape using pieces of metal.

After I met with a friend to grab a drink before heading to the final screening of the night, ‘Eden’ an Icelandic film that was screening over at the Cine world venue. When we got into the Cinema we had not expected the cinema to be jam packed! We got seats at different ends of the theatre, I sat next to a woman who seemed very familiar throughout the film, not realising until the end that she was the star and main actress of the film when she went up for the Question and Answer interview. The film was a gritty look into the Icelandic crime scene, with many beautiful visuals and a story that seemed to take inspiration from partner-in-crime esque films like Bonnie & Clyde, Natural Born Killers, Wild at Heart and True Romance. This was even discussed at the end when I met the director. Another standing ovation awarded and a very thoughtful, beautiful and dark film. A quick walk down Sauchiehall Street at night time before heading back to the hotel (incredibly central, luckily) to get some sleep before another full day of film.

I woke in the morning and rushed downstairs to grab the complementary breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Heading out into the streets with a stomach full of beans, egg and coffee, I was ready to seize the day. I was very much looking forward to the first screening, Terry Gilliams ‘Brazil’, which was part of the Retrospective screenings, with a quick introduction from the head of the Glasgow Film Festival, sprinkled with humour, we started the film, a wild crazy retelling of George Orwells ‘1984’. With laughs many, explosions and twists, the crowd was highly entertained throughout. Finished the screening, I walked out into the Scottish sun beating down on the street.

With ten minutes before the premier, I grabbed another coffee and headed over to Cine World to view a French animated film named ‘Marona’s Fantastic Tale’. I took my seat in the relatively quiet, slightly empty crowd, a few people dotted around, I didn’t really expect much. Boy was I surprised. I went in expecting a quick blast through a relatively easy film? No way. I cried through the whole thing, turning around every hour or so to see everyone else in the audience doing the same. The story follows the story of a small dog ‘Marona’, at the start of the film hit by a car, as she is hugged by her owner, Marona flashbacks and recalls all the stories of the dogs life up until the end, all the different owners whom she loved unconditionally, all of which abandoned her... It makes me feel like crying just writing about it. I left the cinema with a flood of emotion, when a film impacts you like that you know it’s a good film. Not only sad and compelling, but the animation style completely original, beautiful, and well presented. After leaving from the punch-in-the-heart that was Marona’s Fantastic Tale, I had a few hours to kill before heading to the next film. I met up with an old school friend and grabbed lunch and a drink at the restaurant ‘Nice N’ Sleazy’, enjoying some Japanese food, which is something I don’t have very often, we listened to music and talked about the films we had seen recently, conversation flowed and the food went down well, we took a stroll over to the next film.

‘Days Of Bagnold Summer’ is Simon Birds first step from in front of the camera to behind the lens, in his directorial debut he adapts the much loved cult graphic novel, I was quite excited to see that the score was done by Belle & Sebastian, so I was instantly drawn into the picture. Going into it I had absolutely no idea what to expect, what followed was a beautiful look into the lives of the Bagnolds, fifteen year old Early, and his librarian straight edge mother, and how they interact over the course of the summer holidays. A beautifully shot, magically scored, patient indie flick, with a story straight forward and easy. It doesn’t blow you away, but you definitely aren’t disappointed either. With a Q&A from Simon Bird and the main actors, the cinema was also packed, rightfully so. As the final film of the day I said adios to my friend and went and grabbed some Pizza from a vegan joint called 78 down near Charing Cross. Met another couple of old school friends and talked for the rest of the night before retreating down the road back to the hotel.

A shower, a shave, an egg roll and a walk into town to go and see the next film in the Retrospective film series, Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Children Of Men’. With stunning one take long shots, a good bit of Clive Owen looking cool into the camera, and a great soundtrack, I enjoyed the film, especially Michael Caine as a John Lennon sort of character. I had seen this film a few times in the past, but seeing it on the big screen with a full audience behind it made the experience far more electrifying, I feel that watching a film in the cinema can completely change your perception of the film, and some films just have to be seen full screen for the desired affect. After the movie ended I headed back to the bus station to return to Newton Stewart. What a great time, some really great movies, great talks and great catch up with friends, getting to spend quality time enjoying some quality screen time. For anyone who is a fan of movies and interested in the industry, really do get yourself along to ANY film festival if you can, there’s so much content in so many different places and venues, you’ll never be bored and it’ll be stuck in your mind for weeks to come. I can’t wait for next year...

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