Film fest enjoys big hike in audience numbers

ACCORDING to figures just released, this year’s Glasgow Film Festival enjoyed an almost 80 per cent increase in audience, compared to last year.

Ending on Sunday on the high note of a sell-out UK premiere of Zhang Yimou’s Oscar-contender, Curse Of The Golden Flower, starring Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat, this year’s festival is the third one to have been staged. And audience numbers were up 77 per cent on the previous festival.

The stand-out titles from the 90-film programme included British opener, Cashback, plus acclaimed documentaries, Primo Levi’s Journey and The Dixie Chicks’ Shut Up And Sing.

Visitors to the Festival included actors, Sean Biggerstaff, Stephen Graham, Emilia Fox, Martin Compston and Michelle Ryan, plus directors, Sean Ellis, Sylvain Chomet, Jim Hickey, Matt Bissonette, Paul Fox, Col Spector and Laura Muscardin and Oscar-winning producer, Jeremy Thomas.

Says festival co-director, Allan Hunter: “The most encouraging aspect of the 2007 GFF is the way that audiences have taken a chance on all aspects of the festival programme. The John Wayne retrospective has been very popular. The Danish strand has been attracting sell-out audiences on many nights. There is a real appetite for film in Glasgow and the festival is clearly serving that in a big way.”

A parallel festival for school children – the Glasgow Schools Film Festival – saw over 2,500 young people from Glasgow and the west of Scotland attending 16 screenings across three venues.

Next year’s festival is to run between February 14 and 24.