Glasgow Film Festival 2020 celebrates record audience figures with over 43,000 admissions

Largest ever audience for GFF announced as the festival closes on International Women’s Day with a celebration of female filmmaking talent.

Audience Award Winner announced as Irish Gaelic thriller Arracht

The winner of the GFF 2020 Audience Award, sponsored by Caledonian MacBrayne, was announced as Arracht - Tom Sullivan’s immensely impressive Irish Gaelic thriller evoking the desperate times of the 1840s Potato Famine. The Audience Award is the only prize handed out by GFF and is voted for by the film festival audiences.

Tom Sullivan, writer and director of Glasgow Film Festival 2020 Award winner Arracht, said:

“This was completely unexpected and I am honoured. I would like to, from the bottom of my heart, thank everyone at Glasgow Film Festival for believing in our film and all the people who came and voted. Arracht is a film set during the Great Hunger in Ireland. To win the audience award here, in Glasgow, a city that was so influenced by the fallout of that dark period in our history is truly humbling.


Arracht - Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award Winner 2020

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) has celebrated its highest ever attendance, with more than 43,000 admissions. In addition to the 43,147 attending screenings and events across the city (up from 42,224 at GFF 2019), over 3000 people attended the first ever UK exhibition of work by legendary Hollywood photographer Susan Wood, which ran throughout the festival at The Lighthouse.

The 16th annual celebration of cinema finished in style on Sunday night with the UK premiere of How To Build A Girl, the big screen adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s blockbusting memoir directed by Coky Giedroyc. Caitlin and Coky attended the premiere, joining the likes of Simon PeggGeorge MackayEarl CaveSimon BirdMonica DolanEmily Beecham, Imogen Poots, Celia ImrieBill PatersonAlice Winocour and the cast of new Scottish smash-hit Our Ladies who all walked the Glasgow Film Festival red carpet over the past 12 days. International guests included Marjane Satrapi and Ingvar Sigurosson.

GFF closed on International Women’s Day (IWD) with a programme dedicated to female talent both behind and in front of the camera. A number of filmmakers came to celebrate IWD at the festival with their films including Sarah Gavron with Rocks; Saudi Arabia’s first female film director Haifaa Al-Mansour with her new film The Perfect Candidate; and the new feature from 2017 Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award winner Alankrita ShrivastavaDolly Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars.

How To Build A Girl starring Beanie Feldstein closed Glasgow Film Festival 2020 with a sold out performance on 8th March  

Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said:

“Glasgow Film Festival 2020 has been another brilliant year. Our free strand, ‘Are We There Yet? A Retrospective of the Future’, has been well attended with queues round the block. As always a highlight for me were the Special Events, and doing the Zombie Run at our Train to Busan screening with my colleagues was a particular highlight! One of my personal favourite films of the festival Heroic Losers charmed our audiences and will be part of ‘GFF On Tour’ – our touring festival – this April and May.”

Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said:

“We presented a programme with a diverse, wide-ranging spectrum of cinema experiences and audiences have responded magnificently. One of the joys of the Festival is to see the passion for films as diverse as ArrachtLes Miserables and Our Ladies and the warmth of the welcome for a guest list that included Alice Winocour, Celia Imrie, Simon Pegg and Ingvar Sigurdsson. Our audiences are a tonic and an inspiration.”

How To Build A Girl Director Coky Giedroyc (right) and writer Catilin Moran on the red carpet at the closing gala of Glasgow Film Festival 2020