Glasgow Film Festival 2021 Preview:
Although Cinema’s the length and breadth of the country remain closed under covid restrictions, cinema and film is enjoying a boom period especially in streaming and online services.
As we make our way through March the Glasgow Film Festival has announced their programme for 2021 and have also confirmed the entire event will be held digitally. The 2021 festival will run from Wednesday 24th February to Sunday 7th March inclusive.
The festival itself will feature a strong LGBTQI+ strand and festival Co-Director Allan Hunter spoke to Scotsgay arts saying “The Glasgow Film Festival is happening entirely online this year so there is no excuse not to stay home and watch films. The Festival always reflects the wide range of LGBTQI+ stories being told around the world and this year is no exception. I would particularly recommend Marley Morrison’s Sweetheart in which a teenage lesbian experiences a bittersweet family holiday. It is sharp, funny and features a star-making performance from Nell Barlow . Poppy Field is a real nail biter. Inspired by true events it follows a closeted Romanian police officer in a work situation that threatens to out him. The documentary Steelers celebrates the 25th anniversary of the world’s first gay rugby club and is full of personal stories that will definitely bring a tear to the eye.”
So lets take a look at the pick of the LGBTQI+ offerings coming up at the 2021 Glasgow Film Festival!
Sweetheart – World Premiere
Billed as a nostalgic coming of age tale for a new generation, Marley Morrison’s debut feature Sweetheart is a story inspired by her own teenage battles with gender identity and sexuality. The film follows AJ (Nell Barlow), a socially awkward, environmentally conscious teenager who is dragged by her mum to a holiday park in Dorset. She is determined to have the worst week of her life, but her plan comes unstuck when she meets flirty, free-spirited lifeguard Isla (Ella Rae Smith) who might just be the girl of her dreams.
Steelers, The World’s First Gay Rugby Club – UK Premiere
The Kings Cross Steelers were the world’s first gay rugby team, created in 1995 when legal same sex marriage was decades away and very few straight teams would even agree to play them. Twenty-five years on, they are heading to Amsterdam for the world gay rugby tournament – The Bingham Cup. Eammon Ashton-Atkinson’s uplifting documentary focuses on the individual stories of those whose lives have been changed by the club. From lesbian head coach Nic Evans who still has to fight to be recognised as a senior official on the pitch, to a player who is as fierce in drag competitions as he is on the pitch.
Poppy Field – UK Premiere
Cristi (Conrad Mericoffer) is an officer with the Romanian police. He has a long-term, long-distance relationship with Hadi (Radouan Leflahi) who lives in Paris. An oppressive, macho work culture convinces him to remain in the closet. One evening the police are called to a cinema where protesters have stopped the screening of a queer film. Tensions are high, tempers are fraying. One man in the audience clearly recognises Cristi. How far will he go to prevent himself from being outed? Inspired by true events, this is a taut, compelling tale of prejudice and the cost of living a lie.
Cowboys – UK Premiere
Anna Kerrigan’s award-winning debut shows a rare understanding of the complexities and challenges of modern family life. Troy (Steve Zahn) is on a camping trip with his transgender son Joe (Sasha Knight), an 11-year-old with a passion for cowboy yarns and the great outdoors. As they travel through the majestic beauty of the northern Rockies, television news reports emerge claiming that Joe is missing. As detective Faith (Ann Dowd) investigates we see a bigger picture involving Joe’s conservative mother Sally (Jillian Bell) and her inability to let go of the little girl she loves.
Truman and Tennessee – UK Premiere
Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams were friends for the best part of 40 years. Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s poignant documentary captures the complexity of a relationship that journeyed from fond regard to bitchy disdain and back again. A wealth of archive material confirms the two literary giants as central to American cultural life in the 20th century. Jim Parsons (Capote) and Zachary Quinto (Williams) voice their words in a celebration of what the two men achieved and what it cost them.
The LGBTQI+ strand makes up a small proportion of the films on offer, films that challenge, inform and entertain in equal measure, and while we wait for cinemas to fully reopen supporting independent cinema and our film festivals has never been more important. So grab the popcorn and settle down on the sofa!
For full details on the films we have selected and all the films across the festival and to book your screening tickets go to: