Glasgow Film Festival opening and closing films announced

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Beats still GFF
Beats is a story of friendship in central Scotland in the 1990s as the free party scene exploded

Two coming of age stories set in the 1990s will open and close this year’s Glasgow Film Festival.

The 15th annual festival will begin on 20 February with the UK premiere of Mid90s, where actor Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut.

It ends on 3 March with an adaptation of Kieran Hurley’s play Beats, originally performed in Edinburgh.

The story is set in Livingston in 1994 when the law was used to try to curb Scotland’s rave culture.

The Glasgow Film Festival has grown from just 6,000 attendances at its first outing in 2005 to more than 40,000 in recent years.

Famous faces to have visited include Richard Gere, Alan Rickman, Karen Gillan, David Tennant, Gemma Arterton and Peter Capaldi.

Mid90s follows a 13-year-old boy as he hangs out with an older group of skateboarders in 1990s Los Angeles

The opening film, Mid90s, is described by festival organisers as a coming-of-age comedy-drama, following a young teenage boy who falls in with a group of older teen skateboarders in 1990s Los Angeles.

It was written and directed by Jonah Hill, and stars Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges and Katherine Waterston.

The film adaptation of Beats is based on the popular stage show by Kieran Hurley, which made its debut at the Edinburgh Festival.

Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh is the executive producer of the movie version, which is set in 1994 as the Criminal Justice Bill attempted to place restrictions on Scotland’s rave culture and the free party movement.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduates Cristian Ortega and Lorn Macdonald make their feature film debuts in this story of friendship and rebellion.

It also features an original soundtrack from Scottish DJ, JD Twitch.

Brian Welsh, director of Beats, said: “We’re thrilled and honoured to be part of the Glasgow Film Festival this year, as the film was largely shot in Glasgow it feels like we are coming home.”

The full Glasgow Film Festival programme will be announced on 23 January.

David Tennant, Richard Gere, Karen Gillan, Gemma Arterton, Peter Capaldi and Alan Rickman are among the famous faces to have visited the festival in the past

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