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Britain on Film

From pop-up, swing band sound-tracked screenings at The Barras to a travelling archive showcasing your hometown on the big screen, this Autumn and Winter will see Scotland’s film heritage brought to life.

Venues from Ayr to Aberdeen will host screenings of rarely-seen gems in unique ways as part of the BFI's Britain on Film project. This three-year project aims to open up Britain’s film and TV archives for the public to enjoy.

The Scottish season opens on 27 September as The Barras comes alive for the night with Glasgow Film Theatre’s The City as a Movie Screen event. Experience the authentic atmosphere of the Barras and be transported back to the heyday of the bustling market at the Barras Art and Design Centre (BAaD). A live swing band and dancers will recreate the thrill of the classic Barrowlands Ballroom whilst a programme of archive films screens, highlighting Glasgow life across the ages.  

On 9&10 October the flourishing Southside Film Festival has a packed programme reflecting Glasgow lives on screen in fact and fiction.

David Lean’s 1950 film Madeleine – based on the true story of a young Glasgow woman tried for the murder of her French lover in the 19th century – screens in the grand surroundings of Pollok House with the audience enjoying a rustic French meal in the servants’ quarters before the film.

The Gorbals Story – a naturalistic portrait of a working class Glasgow community in the 1950s – screens for the first time in The Gorbals since the film’s release, at the A-Listed St Francis Centre.

Bill Forsyth’s hilarious directorial debut That Sinking Feeling follows unemployed Ronnie and his hapless pals as they hang around the rainy parks and dingy cafes of Glasgow until Ronnie hatches a plan to make them all rich by nicking a job-lot of stainless steel sinks. This hilarious and inventive comedy shows at the Govanhill Baths and is introduced by its Associate Producer Paddy Higson and some of the original cast.

The Baths will also host the Making in the Movies afternoon, a free drop-in event in partnership with Rags to Riches and Sew La Tea Dough focused on fashion, craft, making and style, past and present, local and global with workshops, film screenings of craft-themed shorts from the Scottish Screen Archive and a craft market.

The free events continue with Making Films Work: The Scottish Co-op and Early Cinema at The Glad Institute. This informal talk by the University of Glasgow’s Julia Bohlmann explores how the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society took cinema out of the commercial picture houses and commissioned its own educational municipal films in the 1920s.

Starting in Stirling on 13 October, and travelling to a further 7 cities across Scotland, including Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness, Made in My Toun is an interactive archive evening celebrating the ‘touns’ that have shaped Scotland.

Made in My Toun curator and tour producer Shona Thomson says:

"I love watching films in the towns and cities where they were made. It's infinitely pleasing to recognise a street, building or even people you know so well on the big screen. As a nation, we've always had big ambitions for our urban centres and the benefits they might offer us as citizens: from pedestrianising high streets to 'new town' planning. Made in My Toun is a chance for audiences across Scotland to watch rarely seen archive films embodying those original ambitions, and have a blether in-cinema afterwards about whether they still offer us the promised benefits today." 

Edinburgh gets in on the act with Vintage LGBT Edinburgh on 23 October. Presented in association with the Scottish Queer International Film Festival and LGBT Health & Wellbeing, the evening showcases archive TV shorts about LGBT life in Edinburgh, including Coming Out. This ground-breaking 1983 documentary explores Scottish society’s attitude to homosexuality, featuring footage of the Edinburgh Gay Centre and the Lavender Menace bookshop. 

The city also celebrates its rich big screen history with the Made in Edinburgh season in association with LeithLate, a series of classic features including Shallow Grave (14 November) and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (20 November) in which Edinburgh has played a starring role.

All the Britain on Film events are supported by Film Hub Scotland in association with the BFI.

Sept 2015 - Jan 2016

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