Glasgow Film Festival 2023 will open on 1 March with the UK premiere of Adura Onashile’s Glasgow-shot debut feature Girl, following its World premiere at Sundance in January 2023.

Grace (Déborah Lukumuena) and her 11 year-old daughter Ama (Le’Shantey Bonsu) are trying to build a new life in Glasgow, a city where everything feels strange and hostile. Traumatised by her past, Grace just wants to keep her daughter safe from harm. Ama is told to trust nobody. When Ama makes friends with a classmate, it only adds to Grace’s anxiety and fear that their special bond is under threat. This atmospheric and poignant tale of what it takes to escape the legacy of violence and trust in the future marks Glasgow-based writer-director Onashile as an exciting new voice in Scottish cinema. Girl is a barry crerar production, supported in production by the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), BBC Film and Screen Scotland, in association with Great Point Media.

GFF is delighted to welcome Lauren Castro, Senior Director of Adult Animation for the MTV Entertainment Group at Paramount for our women in animation panel. Castro oversees the development of adult animated projects for Paramount + and Comedy Central. Prior to this, she worked as a Development Executive at Paramount TV, DreamWorks Animation, and Marvel Television. The women in animation panel will explore the future of adult animation, feature filmmaking, and celebrate women working to further the genre. We’ll be joined by film critic and author Hanna Ines Flint who will be hosting this panel.

Industry Delegates will have the opportunity to receive pitch training from the co-founders of My SMASH Media, producers Christine Hartland and Fiona Gillies. My SMASH Media is a new creative platform designed to connect innovative content creators with decision-makers in film and TV. Successful applicants to the training will then have the opportunity to pitch their film or TV project to a panel of industry experts at GFF, including Film4 development and production executive Alice Whittemore. The training will take place on International Women’s Day, Wednesday 8 March, with the live pitching event taking place the following day.

Allison Gardner, Co-Director of Glasgow Film Festival, said:

I am delighted and honoured that we will open Glasgow Film Festival with Adura Onashile’s Girl, a powerful and poignant feature debut set in Glasgow. I’m also very proud of the Glasgow Film Festival team who have put together a brilliant and inspiring programme of events for the Industry Focus. Whilst I always knew that Glasgow Film Festival was the place to see great films, now it is also the place for Industry professionals to come and listen, participate and network with their peers”.

Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland said: “Adura Onashile’s debut feature is an exceptionally fine choice to open this year’s GFF. Set and made in Glasgow, this evocative and poignant examination of a mother-daughter relationship establishes Adura as a hugely exciting film talent. Screen Scotland is very glad to have been part of her journey, including through our support of Girl. We congratulate Adura, along with her producers, Rosie Crerar and Ciara Barry, on being selected as Glasgow’s opening film.”

Source: Glasgow Film Festival