Students and fans of short films from Glasgow queued up to see the winning short films of the Glasgow Short Film Festival Competition.
The films were shown at the CCA shortly after the announcement of the awards on Sunday, 12th of February.
The five winning titles included Tumult, The Making of Longbird, Fini, Kirkcaldy Man and Philippa and Nancy.
I spoke to the GSFF Director, Matt Lloyd and a few of the competitors.

Born in England, Matt Lloyd was raised in Birmingham and moved to Edinburgh for his studies.

He knew that his destiny was working in a film-orientated job.
Now a talented filmmaker and director of film festivals in Scotland he has realised that dreams can come true, as he is now director of the well-known Glasgow Short Film Festival.

What took you down the career path of directing film festivals?

“Whilst studying in Edinburgh back in the late 1990s, I started working front of house at the Cameo cinema.”

“I’d always been interested in filming, but that experience got me more interested in the exhibition side of things.
“That job led to a place in the press office at Edinburgh International Film Festival, and I worked there for several years in various roles, eventually becoming short film programmer, which I did for five years.
“ I also stumbled into directing the Inverness Film Festival for three years.”

He then went on to become the director of the Glasgow Short Film Festival.
“My friend Rosie Crerar invited me to co-direct the 2010 GSFF, then later that year she moved to Australia and left me to it.”

GSFF Director Matt Lloyd likes to help others create their own short films, when he’s not free.
“In the meantime, I worked on a couple of professional feature shoots and decided it wasn’t for me. “However, I’ve continued to make short films and work on other people’s shorts.”

He also prefers making short films than the usual over an hour film.
“I find short film a much more liberating medium to work in, both in production and exhibition – it doesn’t have the commercial constrictions of feature film-making, there’s more room for experimentation, and the people involved generally have more passion for what they’re doing – they need to, because they hardly ever get paid!”

Of everything you have directed what are you most pleased with?

“If you’re asking about festivals, it would have to be GSFF, which in a few years and with a tiny budget we’ve built up into an internationally recognised competitive event with a distinct identity.”
“ I’m particularly proud that this year we’re staging a Scottish Competition, because no one else is promoting new Scottish shorts on this scale right now.”
“ We’re attracting increasing numbers of guests and industry people to Glasgow in February, so this showcase of Scottish shorts is playing to festival programmers and filmmakers from across Europe and elsewhere.”

What director do you most admire?

“Too many to list! Today I’m going to say Agnès Varda, for her wit, her inventiveness and for continuing to make short films throughout her career.”

Personally, who do you think will win the Glasgow Short Film Festival?

“I don’t think it would be right for me to answer this – they’re all (potential) winners!” (It was worth a try.)

Of all the people that have competed in the Glasgow Short Film Festival, who has been the one who has stuck out to you most?

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have favourites over the years.
“We have screened a couple of Irish animator David O’Reilly’s films, which are dark and twisted and very funny.
“Paul Wright is a Scottish filmmaker who I admire a lot; his films are quite unlike anyone else’s.
“Last year we had the world premiere of an American film called Death of a Pop Star.
“It was loosely based on the circumstances surrounding Michael Jackson’s death and it’s a beautifully paced meditation on celebrity, inertia and creativity run dry.

Another talented director who has stayed in Lloyd’s mind is director of mainly short documentaries, Greg Loser.
“I also expect we’ll see much more of the director Greg Loser (you heard it here first!).”

Lastly, what advice would you give to someone else who aspires to be a director?

“Just make work! And send it to as many festivals as you can afford.
“We’ve got a four minute film made on a web-cam in the Scottish competition this year.
“You don’t need a big budget, just a good idea and the perseverance to realise it.”

Will Anderson who directed and produced The Making of Longbird, thinks “that it is difficult to make a short film in Scotland at the moment. 

“My film was made while studying at the Edinburgh College of Art.”

He added: “The agency Creative Scotland seems to be where all the funds are coming from at the moment, this is great, but it’s still not easy.”

His film ‘The Making of Longbird’ is actually his graduation film.  In his opinion, studying film (or animation in my case) is a fantastic opportunity to experiment and produce short film projects.
He thinks that to attract more short film-makers “festival organisers could advertise in colleges and universities.”
“From the perspective of a recent graduate, the festivals that the students know a lot about are the ones that send information and express interest to the colleges and universities.”
Will’s short film ‘The Making of Longbird’ is a reflexive documentary about trying to make a film.
He added: “The film shows the director, me, trying to remake an old classic

Russian film: ‘ДЛИННАЯ ПТИЦА’ (translation – ‘Long bird’) in the hope to finally resolve its narrative.”
“However, when doing so it becomes increasingly difficult to work with the character.
“The film shows the struggle between the characters.”

Anderson said: “In terms of why it should win, I don’t know if it should.”
“There are some pretty inspiring and challenging films at GSFF.
He added: “I have been lucky enough to pick up prizes for the film at some international film festivals, including Warsaw Film Festival DOK Leipzig (2011) and recently picked up an RTS Scotland Student Award for the piece.”

Martin Smith, director and producer of the film, Jimmy thinks that Scotland has a lot to offer short film-makers.
He said: “Scotland has got great cast and locations. In terms of documentary and drama sourcing your participants or your cast is the key to bringing your story to life – and in terms of documentary they are your story – and Scotland has these people in abundance.”

The BAFTA Award winner, Martin Smith said: “his film was selected to be made through the Scottish Documentary Institute’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative, which was made in association with BBC Scotland and Creative Scotland, so the funding came through this scheme.
“They provided a development program for the filmmaker to bring their project from outline, to making a trailer and then the actual shooting of the film.”
“It was a long and in-depth process, and something I really enjoyed. It was full of challenges that constantly question why you are making your story, and where you are taking it, but I loved those challenges.”

He thinks that the GSFF has done a great job of finding a really strong and diverse selection of filmmakers, both Scottish and International.

He said: “I don’t remember a festival in recent years, that I have seen so many emerging Scottish filmmakers – that is really encouraging and a great thing to see for people who want to see their work on the cinema screen on an international stage.”

For those who haven’t seen his film JIMMY, JIMMY is a day in the life of disabled rights campaigner Jimmy MacIntosh MBE, seen through his eyes. It offers an incredibly intimate point-of-view insight into the life of Jimmy over 24 hours of his life one winters day.

With the Glasgow Film Festival in full swing, film students and film fanatics can enjoy feature films, shorts, special events, and live and interactive happenings.


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