Organisers of Glasgow Film Festival have reported soaring ticket sales ahead of tonight’s opening gala as they prepare to welcome a host of big-name guests to the city.
More than 20 high-profile events have sold out, while total ticket sales are said to be around five days ahead of this time last year.
Ticket sales are expected to top 40,000 for the third year in a row this year, with sales said to be up around 5 per cent.
Sales have been boosted by confirmation that actors Richard Gere, Shirley Henderson, Kate Dickie, Paul Higgins and Hannah Murray are attending, along with filmmakers Peter Greenaway, Mark Cousins and Michael Caton-Jones. One-off screenings in venues such as Kelvingrove art gallery, Glasgow Science Centre, the Barrowland Ballroom and the Grand Old Opry country and western club are among the hottest tickets.
Sell-outs include tonight’s curtain-raiser, the UK premiere of new George Clooney comedy Hail, Caesar!, which is set in 1950s Hollywood, the closing gala, Charlie Kaufman’s animated Oscar-nominee, and Gere’s film, Time Out of Mind, which seems the Pretty Woman star play a homeless New Yorker.
Others include Raiders of the Lost Ark and Silence of the Lambs, both of which are at Kelvingrove, Thelma and Louise, the Grand Ole Opry’s screening, and David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell To Earth, which is at the science centre.
Musician Aidan Moffat will be performing at the Barrowlands at the UK premiere of his road movie, Where You’re Meant To Be, which explores Scotland’s folk song traditions.
The Thick of It star Higgins and Dickie, who shot to film in Cannes award winner Red Road, join forces on screen in drama Couple in a Hole about a husband and wife living in the middle of a French forest. Hollywood stuntman Vic Armstrong will be recalling his exploits standing in for stars like Sean Connery and Harrison Ford.
Allison Gardiner, co-director of the festival, which runs until 28 February. said: “Most of our special events have already completely gone and we’ve got quite a lot of sold out shows already. We’re definitely busier than at this point last year and we’re around five days ahead in terms of sales.
“But we still have good availability as we have such a broad programme. People shouldn’t be put off trying to book up.
“Our special events are a great way for people to engage with the festival, but for me the most important thing is the films. About a third of our films are being imported specially for the festival.”