How To Build A Girl to premiere at Glasgow Film Festival as women take centre stage in galas

Beanie Feldstein stars as Johanna Morrigan in the movie based on Caitlin Moran's youth, which will receive its UK premiere. Picture: Contributed
Beanie Feldstein stars as Johanna Morrigan in the movie based on Caitlin Moran's youth, which will receive its UK premiere. Picture: Contributed
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The Glasgow Film Festival is to open and close with movies directed by women for the first time, with the unveiling of a comedy based on Caitlin Moran’s novel How To Build a Girl and drama Proxima, which sees Eva Green play an astronaut torn between the conflicting demands of her career and motherhood.

Moran will launch the adaptation of her semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel, set in her native Wolverhampton, about an extrovert teenager who sets out to reinvents herself as a rock music journalist.

The star-studded cast assembled by director Coky Giedroyc, who will also be attending the festival, includes Beanie Feldstein, who plays the lead role of Johanna Morrigan, Alfie Allen, Paddy Considine, Emma Thompson, Michael Sheen, Sarah Solemani and Chris O’Dowd.

The festival is billing the movie, which is receiving its UK premiere in Glasgow after being unveiled in Toronto in September, as “a hilarious, inspirational coming-of-age comedy that is set to be the home-grown crowd-pleaser of the year.”

Moran said: “It is the greatest thrill of my life to finally unleash Beanie Feldstein as the noble, swashbuckling Sex Pirate Johanna Morrigan at the Glasgow Film Festival – and to have the honour of closing this joyous cinematic explosion.”

Organisers of the festival, which is being staged for the 16th time from 26 February to 8 March, say Green gives a “career-best performance” in Proxima, the new film from Alice Winocour, the French screenwriter and director, whose other work includes Ordinary People, Augustine and Mustang.

Green, who is best known for her roles in Bond movie Casino Royale, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers and the TV horror series Penny Dreadful, stars alongside Zelie Boulant-Lemesle, who plays her character’s seven-year-old daughter, in Proxima, which explores the impact of the preparations for a year-long mission on the International Space Station.

Winocour said: “I’m incredibly excited that Proxima will have its UK premiere at this year’s festival. It is a privilege to be the opening film for the festival, especially as it will be the first time in its history that the opening and closing films are directed by women.”

Tickets for the opening and closing galas go on sale on Monday ahead of the festival’s full programme launch on 29 January.