Glasgow Film Festival 2021 celebrates audience attendance for online festival

37,733 viewers attended Glasgow Film Festival 2021 from home, tuning in to 10 World Premieres, 3 European Premieres and 49 UK Premieres

Sweetheart is announced as winner of the GFF 2021 Audience Award

Glasgow Film Festival will return 2 – 13 March 2022

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) drew more than 37,000 audience views for its entire 2021 programme, from across the length and breadth of the UK. Audiences from all four nations tuned in online to the 17th edition of the festival which featured 10 World premieres, 3 European premieres and 49 UK premieres, screened across 12 days. GFF opened on Wednesday 24 February with the UK premiere of Lee Isaac Chung’s Golden Globe-winning Minari and closed tonight (Sunday 7 March) with the UK premiere of Suzanne Lindon’s Spring Blossom. A selection of incredible film festival titles remain available to rent from Glasgow Film At Home until Wednesday 10 March. The festival will return in 2022 from 2 – 13 March.

GFF exceeded expectations and sales targets with its online edition, reaching 37,733 viewers as of Saturday night (6 March) with its online streaming platform Glasgow Film At Home. Audiences also enjoyed post-film Q&As with more than 70 filmmakers, includingKevin Macdonald, Tahar Rahim and Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian ; Nick Moran and Ewen Bremner for Creation Stories; and Amir El-Masry and Ben Sharrock for Limbo. Further festival buzz was recreated with additional free events around the films which gained a further 1500 viewers, including the much loved GFF film quiz streamed live on social media with The Stayin Inn, and a DJ set to dance to in your living room from Glasgow-based DJ Nightwave, who featured in documentary Underplayed.

The GFF 2021 Audience Award winner, sponsored by Caledonian MacBrayne, was announced as Sweetheart, directed by Marley Morrison. Sweetheart is a sharply observed coming-of-age story that charts the relationship between two young women, during a summer holiday at a caravan park in Dorset. The Audience Award is the only award given by GFF and is voted for by our most important guests – the audience.

GFF Industry Focus took place from 1 – 6 March and saw over 400 delegates, attending panels with a focus on diversity and representation, accessibility and how the film industry is moving forward during the Covid-19 pandemic. Guests included a spotlight interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Our MUBI under 30s ambassador scheme featured Instagram Live chats with filmmakers John McPhail,Rachel Jackson, Ben Sharrock and Eva Riley, each highlighting films created by filmmakers under 30 in the programme. A second year of the Glasgow Film Festival Talent Mentorship Scheme was announced, supported by our festival sponsor MUBI. The first edition of this Scheme finished earlier this year, and consisted of six emerging film practitioners who received six months of mentorship by a group of established filmmakers. We are currently recruiting mentors for our second edition.

Industry Focus was more accessible than ever before, with a selection of Industry passes sponsored by MUBI made available to filmmakers under 30 from across the UK for just £10. Through our ‘Welcome To’ focus on Black Scottish films and filmmakers, we were able to offer a number of passes free of charge for Black filmmakers who had not previously attended the festival. This programme was made possible by Film Hub Scotland through the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) Film Exhibition Fund, supported by Screen Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI. Birds’ Eye View partnered with GFF to offer free access to 25 aspiring filmmakers, curators and critics as part of their Community Fund, made possible by The National Lottery Community Fund via the London Community Response Fund administered by City Bridge Trust.

GFF is one of the leading film festivals in the UK and run by Glasgow Film, a charity which also runs Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT). GFF is made possible by support from Screen Scotland, the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery), Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. GFF will return in 2022 from 2 – 13 March.


Sweetheart won the Festivals audience award for 2021 - read our review of the film

Allison Gardner, CEO of Glasgow Film and Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said:
“Glasgow Film Festival 2021 has been another incredible year. Our team have pulled together a programme of quality cinema, reflected by the brilliant attendance and engagement of our audiences, both festival regulars and new audiences from across the UK. We’ve had fantastic responses to our films, ranging from the sell-out World Premiere of Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, to one of my personal highlights, empowering documentary BIG vs SMALL. We can’t wait to welcome audiences and filmmakers back to our home in the Glasgow Film Theatre for our next edition in 2022.”

Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “We have all been overwhelmed by the response to this year’s festival. Audiences old and new have embraced the wide-ranging, carefully curated programme, allowing GFF to spread its wings across the whole of the United Kingdom. It has been fantastic to see the results of a great team effort rewarded in this way. It has been a real thrill for filmmakers to witness all the love and support for their work. It has all felt like some bright, warming sun amidst the global gloom and has underlined once again that Glasgow audiences are simply the best.”