Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow Film Festival: Noah Baumbach film announced as opening gala

While We're Young, starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, is the opening film
Image caption While We're Young, starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, is the opening film

The European premiere of the new Noah Baumbach film, While We're Young, will be the opening gala at the Glasgow Film Festival, it has been announced.

The 11th edition of the festival will consist of 174 events, including 11 world premieres, and will run from 18 February to 1 March.

It will kick off with US writer and director Baumbach's latest film, starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts.

Force Majeure, which won the jury prize at Cannes, will be the closing gala.

For the first time the festival will introduce a feature film award.

The Audience Award will ask the ticket-buyers to vote on a selection of 10 films by first and second-time directors.

Image caption A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman's second-ever outing as a director, stars Kate Winslet

The main film festival programme includes fewer events than last year due to the refurbishment of Cineworld in Renfrew Street.

But it still contains 33 UK premieres; 11 are world premieres and 10 European premieres as well as a range of special screenings and pop-up cinema in unusual locations for which the festival has become well-known.

These include the first ever film screening at Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Queen's Cross church.

As the former church, the only one designed by the famous architect, is a popular wedding venue, the festival will screen Love is All, a history of love in the movies. Soprano Layla Brown will sing modern and classic love songs associated with cinema.

Image caption Force Majeure, which won the jury prize at Cannes, will be the closing gala

The city's Drygate brewery will be the venue for a number of events including becoming a 1970s roller disco for a be-wheeled screening of Dazed and Confused.

There will also be a murder mystery party to accompany a showing of Murder on the Orient Express, starring Ingrid Bergman, at the historic Trades Hall and the Gallery of Modern Art will host the Scottish premiere of the Internet Cat Video Festival.

Other highlights include indie rock band British Sea Power's live score for From The Sea To The Land Beyond which will be performed at the O2 ABC which used to be a cinema.

Among the guests expected at the festival are improv comedy legend Paul Merton who teams up with pianist Neil Brand, paying a musical tribute to silent film legend Buster Keaton.

Among the new films to be shown at the festival is Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated documentary The Salt of the Earth.

Image caption The UK premiere of Still Alice, stars Julianne Moore in an Oscar-nominated performance
Image caption Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated documentary The Salt of the Earth will be shown at the festival

There is also the UK premiere of Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore in an Oscar-nominated performance.

Scottish premieres showing at the festival include Rosewater, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal stars in Daily Show legend Jon Stewart's directorial debut and A Little Chaos, actor Alan Rickman's second outing as a director.

Festival co-director Allan Hunter said: "It is a festival filled with people and places close to home but also one that embraces a diverse, wonderful world of cinema, perfectly illustrated by our opening and closing galas.

"It's a huge honour for GFF to be chosen for the European Premiere of Noah Baumbach's bittersweet delight While We're Young, and Ruben Ostlund's Force Majeure is an utterly brilliant film. Home and away, this is a festival for everyone who loves the movies."

His fellow co-director Allison Gardner added that the shortlist for the Audience Award for films from new directors had, by accident, achieved a 50/50 gender-balance.

She said: "But the fact that it happened anyway speaks to the increasingly large number of female directors finding ways to make brilliant, innovative cinema, and is we hope a really positive sign that the historic imbalance in the industry is changing."

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