By Isaac Le Vin
Last year the Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) was unfortunately forced online due to the pandemic, but now, in March 2022, the festival is back and boasting an admirable array of Scottish talent in front of, and behind, the camera. Echoing the lockdown sentiment of ‘support local businesses’, it is great to see the festival not only providing a platform for Scottish cinema but promoting and pushing it enthusiastically.
The wide range of Scottish input at this year’s festival stretches from documentaries, like The Hermit of Treig by Lizzie Mackenzie, to apocalyptic features, like A Banquet from Ruth Paxton, with many presenting Scottish legends and fresh new local actors.
One debut filmmaker who has caught the attention of many in the run up to GFF 2022 is Paul Morris, the director of Angry Young Men. The Glasgow-based filmmaker will be premiering a completed feature film made entirely on a micro budget, a feat of mega proportions. The film explores a gang of youngsters engaged in a turf war for control of a Scottish housing estate.
Fortunately, I had the pleasure of asking Morris some questions about Angry Young Men and Scottish representation at GFF. When discussing the impact and influence of his ambitious feature, the Glaswegian director had a more worldly perspective on cinema.
“I hope it will have a positive impact and create some interest around Scottish voices, but the bottom line is, regardless if you’re from Scotland, Ireland, or India, you need to fight your way into filmmaking.” he said.
This outlook is one that has been echoing throughout the world of film for many years now and is especially relevant in the run up to the consistently controversial Oscars. Amongst both fans and industry professionals, many have pushed for the prejudice around international and ‘foreign’ movies to end. And, as Paul Morris points out, Scotland is no different: representation of our culture and the growth of the industry in our country is important, but film is a worldwide language and the struggle to create cinema is one that is international. Luckily, the Glasgow Film Festival helps to promote independent films like Angry Young Men, and hopefully that will lead to an international audience for the Hamilton set feature.
Other notable Scottish films appearing at the upcoming festival are: My Old School from director Jono Macleod, Pictures From Iraq which features the world-famous Scottish war photographer David Pratt, Ride the Wave from Martyn Robertson, and Nobody Has to Know by Bouli Lanners.
All of these films will be available to see at the GFT between March 2nd and March 13th. Ticket and information can be found at: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival