GSFF23 will open on 22 March with a homage to Scotland’s untold Black history, a screening of OMOS, with live performances from cabaret performer Rhys Hollis and opera singer Andrea Baker.

The festival will also host the Scottish premiere of Australian duo Soda_Jerk’s hotly anticipated new mainstream cinema mash-up Hello Dankness on 25 March.

Scotland’s leading short film event, Glasgow Short Film Festival (GSFF) has unveiled an initial selection of programme highlights from its 16th edition, returning from 22 to 26 March. 

GSFF23 is gearing up to full pelt with an invigorating programme of international shorts, homegrown talent and live performances. 

Today, the festival unveiled OMOS as their opening film, set to take centre stage on Wednesday the 22nd of March. OMOS, directed by Rhys Hollis, is a new moving image work that pays homage to Scotland’s untold Black history and celebrates Black performance in Scotland. Filmed in Puck’s Glen and Stirling Castle, this artwork is a collaboration between award-winning artists; cabaret performer Rhys Hollis (also known as Rhys’ Pieces), mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, dancer Divine Tasinda and pole artist, Kheanna Walker.

In the film, the artists perform and travel through Puck’s Glen woods – inspired by the atmospheric location’s connections to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – before arriving at Stirling Castle which also has links to the play. OMOS remembers a historical performance given to King James VI of Scotland in 1594, during which a lion was replaced by an unnamed Black man, who pulled a chariot through Stirling Castle’s Great Hall. OMOS pays homage to the frequently unidentified Black people who appeared in performances at the Scottish court throughout history. The artists draw on the past, whilst looking to the future of Black performance.

The film is produced by Pollyanna and, staying true to the established queer cabaret company’s live roots, artists from OMOS will also treat GSFF23’s opening night audience to a performance after the screening in Glasgow Film Theatre. 

Rhys Hollis, Director of OMOS, said:

OMOS is a celebratory visual journey of breathtaking performances from Black artists in Puck’s Glen and Stirling Castle. We are very excited to bring this journey to the launch of Glasgow Short Film Festival. Not only is this work a homage to Scottish Black history and a celebration of Black performance, but the launch is a moment to share and discuss. We look forward to the conversations at Glasgow Film Theatre, and of course a good dose of one-off live performance.

The very welcome return of Australian collective Soda_Jerk has been revealed as an GSFF23 programme highlight. Riding high on the success of political revenge fable TERROR NULLIUS (GSFF 2019) Soda_Jerk will land in Glasgow to present their hotly anticipated feature, Hello Dankness, on Saturday 25 March, with the support of GSFF’s official media partner, The Skinny. Like its predecessor, Hello Dankness uses entirely sampled footage drawn from mainstream cinema to construct a rogue commentary on recent American politics. 

Matt Lloyd, Director of Glasgow Short Film Festival said: 

Soda_Jerk are among our favourite filmmakers working today, and their practice embodies the values that are reflected across the GSFF programme – it is critical and curious, transgressive and experimental, and yet extremely accessible and very very funny. We are over the moon to be welcoming them back to Glasgow for the Scottish Premiere of the sublime Hello Dankness.

Once again, Glasgow will also play host to the most exciting filmmakers on the shorts circuit. International filmmakers will be invited to present their work and compete for the prestigious Bill Douglas Award. Of course, audiences will have their say too – as the GSFF Scottish Audience Award is back, shiny and ready to be handed to the next fan favourite. This award has something of  a “golden touch”: previous recipient Sean Lìonadh (Too Rough, GSFF22) recently picked up BIFA and BAFTA Scotland accolades, while Adura Onashile (Expensive Shit, winner GSFF21),  just debuted her feature Girl at Sundance 2023 before arriving at Glasgow Film Festival for its UK premiere. 

In the wider programme, cinemagoers can expect popular horror, comedy and family animation strands – with titles to be announced later this month. The full GSFF programme will be announced on 22 February, with tickets going on sale that day. Visit for more information. 

Since 2008, Glasgow Short Film Festival has been the leading short film event in Scotland. We host an inclusive community of filmmakers and film lovers, showcasing ground-breaking works of visual storytelling. The festival nurtures, promotes and inspires diverse forms of cinematic expression, in Scotland and around the world. In everything we do, we aim to be critical and curious, welcoming and accessible.

In 2019 the festival reconstituted as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), charity number SC049556. 

The 16th edition of the festival will run 22-26 March 2023. The full GSFF23 programme will be announced on 22 February. 

Glasgow Short Film Festival is delivered with support from Glasgow Life and Film Hub Scotland, and funded by the National Lottery, through Screen Scotland.

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