GFF 2014: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' to open Glasgow

The full programme for the tenth edition of the ever expanding Glasgow Film Festival (20 February to 2 March, 2014) was revealed earlier this evening, with the unmistakable Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, selected as the Opening Gala film. Closing will the Scottish premiere of celebrated British director Jonathan Glazer's abstract sci-fi Under the Skin (reviewed here), starring Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson and shot predominately in Glasgow and the surrounding area. What's more, the main GFF programme includes 187 events this year, with sixty of the films making up this year's programme turning out as UK premieres, seven being world premieres and fifty-seven classed as Scottish premieres.

With the absence of a tent-pole Disney Pixar release as has been the case with Edinburgh (Brave and Monsters University have closed in recent times), there is a distinct lack of mainstream, family-friendly selects this year - which is perhaps adversely a sign of the Glasgow Film Festival's growing maturity. Surely targeting the more discerning festival-goer will be new films from French eccentric Michel Gondry (Mood Indigo, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou), fellow countryman Bertrand Tavernier (Quai d'Orsay) and Lone Star director John Sayles, who makes a welcome return to UK screens after several years leave with border drama Go For Sisters (shot, quite remarkably, at 66 locales over the course of 19 days).

On today's GFF programme announcement, Allan Hunter, the festival's co-director, stated: "In the decade since the festival began, it's grown almost beyond recognition. One thing remains essential, though - GFF is and will always be an access-all-areas event, where you can meet the filmmakers, ask awkward questions, and make friends with the person sitting next to you. Everyone is a VIP here, and in our tenth year we're pulling out all the stops, trying to create the best possible experiences for our audiences, and involving as much of the city as we can. 2014 is set to be a thrilling year for Scotland with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming attracting visitors from all over the world. Glasgow is at the heart of these celebrations and we are proud to offer our special anniversary programme as part of what promises to be an amazing period in the life of the city."

The 2014 Glasgow Film Festival runs from 14-24 February. For more info, please visit glasgowfilm.org/festival.

Daniel Green 

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