Ukraine invasion: Glasgow Film Festival withdraws two Russian films from programme

The Glasgow Film Festival organisers shared the decision earlier today.

What’s happening? In response to the ongoing Ukraine invasion by Russia, the organisers of the Glasgow Film Festival, which is due to start this week, have confirmed they’ll no longer show two Russian films.

In a statement posted to their social media channels, the team behind the film festival wrote: “In light of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and in response to a plea from the Ukrainian Film Academy today, on behalf of the society of Ukrainian film professionals and cultural figures, the Glasgow Film Festival has decided to withdraw the two Russian titles (No Looking Back and The Execution) from our programme.

The Glasgow Film Theatre is showing a series of specially-themed film in the run-up, and during, COP26. Tickets for the movies can be purchased on the GFT website and include ecological documentaries Whale Island, 2040 and Journey to Utopia, along with environmental thriller Wood.

“This decision is not a reflection of the views and opinions of the makers of these titles. We just believe it’d be inappropriate to proceed as normal with these screenings in the current circumstances.”

Will refunds be given? Yes, anyone with a ticket to either film will be refunded in the next 24 hours and those that bought in person from the box office will receive a refund when they next visit.

Replacement films in the now vacant time slots will be announced soon.

The 18th edition of the festival in March will bring back audiences to its home at the Glasgow Film Theatre and the nearby Cineworld after the 2021 event had to be staged entirely online due to Covid restrictions.

The Glasgow Film Festival has scored a major coup with a premiere of the feature-length curtain-raiser to the eagerly-awaited sixth season of Outlander, the hit time-travel fantasy series that has been filmed in Scotland since 2013.

Highlights of the festival include the premiere of Skint, a new BBC series exploring personal stories of poverty and homelessness, which Scottish actors, directors and writers Peter Mullan, Cora Bissett, Jenni Fagan and Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee have all worked on.

The Glasgow Film Festival runs from 2 March until 13 March.