Glasgow Film Festival celebrates record-breaking year

The number of people attending Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) hit a new high this year, according to organisers.

Total admissions reached 42,224 for the 2019 outing of the festival, bosses have revealed.

Organisers made the announcement as the curtain came down on this year’s GFF with the UK premiere of Beats, a new feature about rave culture in 1990s Scotland.

GFF co-director Allison Gardner said: “We’re thrilled to have welcomed record audience numbers to our 15th edition of the festival.”

The event got under way on Wednesday February 20 with the red carpet UK premiere of Jonah Hill’s Mid90s.

It hosted seven world premieres, more than 100 UK premieres and featured films from 54 countries.

On Sunday, organisers also announced the winner of the Audience Award as Bafta-winning director Matt Pinder’s new feature documentary Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War.

Narrated by Bodyguard star Richard Madden, the film uses the archives of Scottish amateur film-maker Birrell to present one man’s view of the 20th century.

Ms Gardner said: “I’m thrilled to have homegrown talent celebrated as our audiences voted Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War their winner of the Audience Award and hope audiences will enjoy it as it tours across Scotland as part of GFF On Tour later this year.”

Carina Birrell, producer of the film and Harry’s granddaughter, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win the Audience Award and to have had our world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival – it’s been the perfect platform in every way.

“Harry built his own cinema in the 1950s to make sharing his films as joyful an experience for the audience as it was for the film-maker.

“He would have been truly thrilled having his work recognised and appreciated in this way.”