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A reel boost as Glasgow Film Festival hosts 60 premieres

The UK premiere of acclaimed director Wes Anderson's new movie The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of 60 first screenings that cinema-goers can look forward to at the 10th Glasgow Film Festival.

LIFT-OFF: Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, seen with Tony Revolori and Paul Schlase, in the Grand Budapest Hotel, which will open at the festival.
LIFT-OFF: Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, seen with Tony Revolori and Paul Schlase, in the Grand Budapest Hotel, which will open at the festival.

Next month's event also boasts the Scottish premiere of Under The Skin, which was filmed in the city and stars Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson as an alien who seduces male hitchhikers.

Other events on the programme, which runs from February 20 to March 2, include film screenings in unusual locations around Glasgow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in Europe between the two world wars and features Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel and Willem Dafoe. It will be screened at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) on February 20, the first day of the festival.

Under The Skin, a film adaptation of the book by Scottish-based writer Michel Faber, will close the festival on March 2 at the GFT.

The event's schedule, revealed last night, will encompass a Shetland theme, films from Chile, a debate on national identity and independence, as well as temporary cinemas and artistic commissions.

In addition to its first decade, the festival is also celebrating 75 years since the Cosmo cinema, Scotland's first arthouse cinema, opened, and 40 years since the Cosmo became the GFT.

The GFF is now the third biggest film festival in the UK, with 39,106 admissions in 2013.

Co-director Allison Gardner said she did not know how many directors or acting talent would come to Glasgow this year.

She said: "We are constantly driven by the quality of the film - guests are great, but if you were relying on guests you would still be doing the programme the day before the festival.

"Actors and directors all have commitments and it does not always work out, but we choose the film on its greatness.

"Under The Skin is great, I really loved it: it is an art film, definitely, but it is really visceral: it earns its 18 certificate.

"We are so proud to be closing the festival with it, although we know Scarlett will not be present because she is presenting an Oscar."

Ms Gardner said she does not necessarily want the festival to increase in scale - although geographically the festival is broader this year with some new venues - but to keep the festival as one that is driven by a desire to enthuse audiences.

"Distributors tell us they love what is being called the 'Glasgow effect', they love gauging the reactions of the audiences, and it is the audiences that have made this festival," said Ms Gardner.

"These are not press shows, these are not critics' shows, this is everyone sitting together in one cinema - and the distributors can see that and have been very generous to us.

"It is important to me that every day there is a ticket available for a fiver, and every day there is a free event: so even if you just have a fiver to spend, you can attend two events."

Co-director Allan Hunter added: "In the decade since the festival began, it has grown almost beyond recognition.

"One thing remains essential, though - GFF is and will always be an access-all-areas event, where you can meet the filmmakers, ask awkward questions, and make friends.

"Everyone is a VIP here."

This year films are being shown at Kelvingrove Art Gallery (Young Frankenstein, from 1974) while a former industrial warehouse, The Glue Factory, will be home to a screening of Tron.

A space underneath Central Station will also be the claustrophobic home to a screening of a mystery film.

In a GFF commission at the Old Fruitmarket, Scottish band Admiral Fallow are collaborating with filmmakers from across the country, and using footage from the 1951 documentary Glasgow, No Mean City, into a one-off live performance.

Scottish actor John Sessions will hold an In Conversation session to discuss his career, which includes working with big names such as Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Anthony Hopkins.

Details of the full programme are online from today and tickets go on sale on Friday.

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