Today: June 22, 2024

Glasgow Film Festival: Industry Focus

Last month, Glasgow Film Festival announced that its 2016 programme would include GFF Industry Focus, a landmark new development for the traditionally audience-focused festival. Aimed at independent producers, feature, short and documentary filmmakers working across all levels of the film industry, GFF Industry Focus will run on Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 February. The conference has been designed to complement and support the existing structure of the Scottish film industry, as well as offering a valuable resource to filmmakers and producers from all over Europe.

The programme has been divided into two halves: Inspiration, looking at new technologies, changing audience habits, developing opportunities and innovative strategies for production, and Funding, in which panels of funders, broadcasters, distributors and exhibitors discuss what opportunities are available for filmmakers and advise on what they’re looking to support. Participating organisations confirmed so far include the BFI, Danish Film Institute, Creative Europe, Creative Scotland, Irish Film Board, Film4, BBC Film, distributors including Verve and Metrodome; individuals making presentations include Jordan McGarry of Vimeo, James King of Curzon Film World, VR producer/director James Louis Hedley, producer Elhum Shakerifar, and Hope Dickson Leach of Raising Films. Panels include a discussion about the opportunities from the BFI Diversity Standards and the role of the PMD. All events will take place at 29 Glasgow.

Allison Gardner, Festival Co-Director, said ‘What we hope to do with this programme is offer a new resource – for information, for exchange of ideas and for networking – that will feed into the Scottish film industry, and offer independent film makers from all over the UK and Europe a new platform. We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve managed to secure so many established funding agencies from all over Europe to participate in our first GFF In Focus, as well as a number of interesting individual speakers. Here’s to a great couple of days, within what will be a great festival!’


Wednesday 24 February: Inspiration

Video on Demand Grows Up: James King (Curzon Film World)
45 Years was released to major critical acclaim, grossing over £1.5m in the UK. What was surprising was that, for a film aimed at a more mature audience, a significant portion of this came on the Curzon Home Cinema VOD platform. James King explains the changes Curzon has seen since it introduced Home Cinema and what it means for filmmakers, audiences and cinema going forward.

Getting Creative with Distribution: Sonja Henrici (Scottish Documentary Institute) Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof)
The role of Producer of Marketing and Distribution is growing in prominence as audiences fragment across platforms and routes to market shift. This panel discusses how having someone specifically tasked with overseeing a film’s release strategy before it even begins shooting can ensure you reach an audience, and explains some of the strategies PMDs employ.

Bringing Reality to Virtual Reality: James Louis Hedley (Surround Vision)
With major manufacturers investing millions of dollars creating hardware built for the home, filmmakers are migrating to virtual reality and using the platform to craft a new style of immersive storytelling. James Louis Hedley, director of London Film Festival hit Simon and VR Producer on Great Green Wall demonstrates how filmmakers can tell their stories on VR platforms.

The Opportunities in Diversity: Deborah Williams (BFI)
The UK is widely diverse in its make up but some groups have found themselves underrepresented and underserved in cinemas. As well as being a challenge Deborah Williams, Diversity Manager at the BFI discusses how this is also a great opportunity for filmmakers to reach audiences in the UK and further afield whilst contributing to making UK culture richer and better representative of our diverse population.

When Life Gets in the Way: Hope Dickson Leach (Raising Films)
Like all freelancers, filmmakers have to perform the tricky act of juggling projects and life at the same time. However in a world of unpaid spec scripts and shooting eleven-day fortnights, filmmakers are challenged more than most with maintaining a successful work-life balance. Add in the demands of parenting, and it leads to a reduced ability to work, missed opportunities and people falling out of the industry altogether, particularly women.  Raising Films are attempting to address this issue and are here to explain why this is something that affects everyone – and what we can do about it.

An Anthropological Approach: Elhum Shakerifar (Postcode Films)
Depicting a family’s journey negotiating life in a war-torn country, A Syrian Love Story is an expert study in the relationship between place, people and the wider world. The film’s producer Elhum Shakerifar discusses how her background in anthropology informed the film’s production and how via meticulous research filmmakers can produce more powerful portraits of the world around us.

Spotlight on Shorts: Jordan McGarry (Vimeo)
If you’ve ever submitted a film to Vimeo there’s a good chance Jordan McGarry and the curation team at Vimeo have seen it. Jordan will be explaining what short form content works online and explains how Vimeo is supporting short and feature filmmakers alike via the Vimeo On Demand platform.

Thursday 25 February: Funding

Meet the Funders
Some of the UK’s primary public funders explain what they’re looking to fund across features, shorts and documentaries, looking at development and completion funding.

Meet the Distributors
Major players in independent UK distribution discuss some of their recent hits and misses, and how the distribution system is shifting.

Meet the Europeans
What’s going on across the water? Major European funding bodies and industry individuals discuss the funding situation in mainland Europe and Ireland, and explore how UK based filmmakers might collaborate with them on projects.

Meet the Broadcasters
Some of the UK’s major broadcasters talk about the films they’ve championed and supported recently, and what attracted them.

Meet the Exhibitors
What is making audiences tick and how do we keep them coming to the cinema? We talk to film festivals and venues about what is and isn’t working.

Registration for GFF Industry Focus is accessed via the following link:

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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