The Glasgow Film Festival called the organizers’ success “magical”.

Organizers are celebrating the success of a ‘magical’ Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) which saw attendances rise by 25% over the previous year.

The GFF, which ran over 12 days and concluded on Sunday, welcomed hundreds of delegates from across the UK to different venues around Glasgow, returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The festival saw a 25% increase in attendance over last year, with three special event screenings – the first since the 2020 festival – sold out.

An estimated 33,667 people attended 295 film screenings and events from March 1 to 12.

Actress Joely Richardson at the premiere of Little Bone Lodge at the Glasgow Film Festival (Eoin Carey/Glasgow Film Festival/PA)

Stars including Emily Watson, James Cosmo, Alistair McGowan, Kelly Macdonald and Joely Richardson were among those who appeared on the red carpet during the festival.

Allison Gardner, co-director of the GFF, said: “GFF23 was magical, from the sold-out screenings to the warm and enthusiastic reception our audiences gave the guests and directors.

“Every year I am blown away by the support, loyalty and knowledge of that audience that flock to the curated programme, but this year they have been exceptionally generous and we were incredibly busy, with an audience increase of 25% over 2022 in a similar number of events.

Watson, known for her roles in The Theory Of Everything, Anna Karenina and the HBO series Chernobyl attended to promote her new movie God’s Creatures.

He said: “It’s so nice to have the UK premiere of this film, which is so special to me, here at this festival where there seems to be a young, modern and fresh feel to interesting films.

“It’s places like this, where people are discussing and talking about movies and having a common experience, that bring the movie to life.”

Glasgow Film Festival

Emily Watson on the red carpet (Eoin Carey/Glasgow Film Festival/PA)

Academy Award winner Lee Grant, featured in the festival retrospective Looking For America: The Films Of Lee Grant, said of the GFF: “I am so grateful to the Glasgow Film Festival for showing my documentaries. I have no words to express the gratitude in my heart for your interest in the things I am passionate about.

The festival opened and closed with sold-out gala previews of debut features from new British female directors: Adura Onashile’s Glasgow-shot Girl and Nida Manzoor’s Polite Society.

Allan Hunter, co-director of the GFF who is now retiring, said: “I think it is fair to say that the 2023 festival was a triumph.

“The wide selection of films put together by the programming team has been met with a fantastic response.

“I think it’s the range of titles and the passionate programmers behind them that make the festival so special.

“A busy industry schedule has also confirmed that Glasgow has become a huge and influential bridge between film watchers and filmmakers.”

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