Festival Newsletter: Week 1


The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival started a week ago and has received a warm welcome from its audience. As Glasgow is preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games tonight, we would like to give a short recap of the festival so far.

Last Thursday the CFTF opened with Rob Brown’s Sixteen at the Andrew Stewart Cinema of the Gilmorehill Centre. The screening was followed by a Q&A and a wine reception where the director shared with the audience the experience of creating his debut film.


NISI MASA Workshop – Editorial Meetings

On Friday, July 18th the CFTF’s film and theatre journalism workshop in collaboration with our media partner NISI MASA brought together four multitalented writers who are progressively working and meeting for editorial sessions every day. So far two of the five scheduled Nisimazine newsletters are published and can be read here:

Newsletter #1: http://issuu.com/emiliep/docs/nisimazine_cftf_1/0

Newsletter #2: http://issuu.com/emiliep/docs/nisimazine_2/0

During the weekend, with the precious help of the Woodlands Community Garden, the Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival brought its audience closer to nature with a family walk at the Kelvingrove park on Saturday and through the enchanting sounds of the Scottish Kirtan with a special guest singer from India, who performed on Sunday afternoon in the Garden.

Scottish Kirtan - Woodlands Community Garden Performance

Scottish Kirtan – Woodlands Community Garden Performance

The CFTF continues today and tomorrow with theatre performances and a panel discussion on housing in Glasgow, taking part tomorrow evening at 19.30 at the Andrew Stewart Cinema with expert guest speakers and short films from the Scottish Screen Archive and local filmmakers. The screenings will continue every night till Sunday evening at the Gilmorehill Centre.

Wine Receptions at the CFTF sponsored by The Drouth


Glasgow, 13 July 2014

The Scottish quarterly periodical The Drouth supports the Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival with a sponsorship for its wine receptions.

On the opening night of July 17th, the screening of English drama Sixteen will be followed by a wine reception at the foyer of the Gilmorehill Centre.

The Drouth was founded in 2001 and celebrates four issues every year, focusing on art in all its forms, from literature and film to music, architecture and photography. The latest, 48th issue of the magazine deals with shocks to the system, examining the promised transformation of Glasgow for the upcoming Commonwealth Games with references to the political scene in Scotland, among others.

The magazine is constantly following the art scene in Glasgow and beyond and regularly supports cultural events in Scotland.

Four theatre performances at the CFT Festival


Glasgow, 9 July 2014

The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival is presenting the world premiere of four performances by current and former students of Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. The performances, part of the festival’s official programme selection, engage with people and places of this year’s host city of the Commonwealth Games.

Scattered Limbs by Nomad takes audiences on a guided audio tour of the Merchant City’s tobacco trade and slave histories, beginning at the meeting point on Churchill Street and ending at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) on the 24th of July between 12 am and 6 pm. On the same day, Vocal Point Theatre presents Bloom, a piece of visual storytelling, developed from conversations with regulars at the Glasgow City Mission, a soup kitchen in the heart of the city.

The second day of performances, July 25th, begins with Eco-Location, a self-guided audio walk at the Kelvingrove Park by Philipp Hugo, Sarah Stier and Jasmine Thompson. Starting at the Gilmorehill Centre Foyer (9 University Av., G12 8QQ), the walk takes audiences into the park between 12 am and 6 pm challenging them to explore how we locate ourselves within an ever-changing ecological network. The final performance, featured in the festival is The Atlas of Transformationby Sarah Bradley, a new immersive and interactive performance work that attempts to map out the world and our place on it, in a cross between a geography seminar, Art Attack and a party.


Details of individual performances:

24 July 2014

Scattered Limbs by Nomad

Place: Tron Theatre Entrance (63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HB)

Time: hourly, 12 am – 6 pm

Bloom by Vocal Point Theatre

Place: James Arnott Theatre (Gilmorehill Centre: 9, University Av., G12 8QQ)

Time: 7. 30 pm

25 July 2014

Eco-Location by Hugo / Stier / Thompson

Place: Gilmorehill Centre Foyer (9, University Av., G12 8QQ)

Time: hourly, 12 am – 2 pm and 3 pm – 6 pm

The Atlas of Transformation by Sarah Bradley

Place: James Arnott Theatre (Gilmorehill Centre: 9, University Av., G12 8QQ)

Time: 7.30 pm

NISI MASA and the CFTF collaborate on a film & theatre journalism workshop








Glasgow, 06 July 2014

 The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival is proudly announcing its collaboration with NISI MASA: the European network of Young Cinema on a free film & theatre journalism workshop which will take place for the entire duration of the festival, from the 17th till 27th of July.

NISI MASA, established in 2001, has been the patron of independent European cinema for the past decade, focusing on young filmmakers that make their breakthrough to the film industry on the stage of the biggest European film festivals like Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Karlovy Vary. Nisimazine, NISI MASA’s official and widely recognised and respected publication on film festivals, celebrates special print and online editions on the biggest film events in Europe.

As part of the Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival’s media partnership with NISI MASA, one of the Nisimazine’s editors will attend the festival and hold a free workshop for aspiring writers and film & theatre enthusiasts that are interested in writing on film & theatre and reporting on festival events. An special online edition of NisiMazine will be issued to present the collective work of the participants.

The workshop will include journalism sessions and editorial meetings with the workshop initiators, surrounded by masterclasses with established film critics and professional writers. All journalism students, young journalists and professionals, film & theatre enthusiasts and everyone interested in writing on art is welcome to participate in the free workshop.

The official call for participants is available on the festival’s website.


NisiMasa workshop at the Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival: Call for participants

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 Glasgow, 6 July 2014

The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival and NisiMasa are calling for participants for a free film & theatre journalism workshop, to be held in Glasgow during the festival, starting on July 17th.

We are looking for:

6 young journalists / film or theatre critics

1 photographer

The selected candidates will be invited to attend all the festival screenings, performances and events in order to form an editorial team motivated to provide an innovative and fresh festival coverage. It will be a unique opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience in film &theatre journalism and meet colleagues and other film & theatre enthusiasts. The team will collaborate on a final e-magazine that will be published through NisiMasa’s.

The participants will attend editorial meetings with one of Nisimazine’s editors who is attending the festival. In addition, short masterclasses with established film & theatre critics and professional writers will give the participants special insight on film & theatre journalism and provide essential ideas for the festival coverage.

The call for participants is now open and all the candidates who wish to apply need to send an email to commonwealthff@gmail.com with a short motivation letter, including a statement of their experience and/ or interest in film & theatre and:

Two writing samples (reviews, articles, interviews) – for the writers

A set of five to ten photographs – for the photographers

By filling in the application form, candidates confirm their availability to attend the entire workshop, and their motivation to actively take part in necessary preparation meetings and activities in advance.

The selected participants will be asked to bring their own equipment (laptops, recording devices, cameras). If, for any reason, a participant is unable to attend the workshop, they must inform the organisers immediately.

Please note that the workshop, as all the festival events, is free. The organisers are unable to provide any other kind of support for the participants, who will be entirely responsible for their travel expenses, meals and accommodation.

The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival: The official programme


The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival’s official selection of films and theatre performances along with all the events and activities surrounding them is now available online. Check also at various locations around Glasgow for the print edition of the programme.

From the 17th till the 27th of July The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival aims to bring cinema and theatre lovers from all the local communities together in order to celebrate the cultural diversity in the city, host of this year’s commonwealth games.

With films from the commonwealth nations around the globe, the daily screenings will take you from the urban environment of London’s suburbs in Sixteen to the most sacred Indian traditions in The Lunchbox and from the Zanzibar’s women soccer clubs in Zanzibar Soccer Queens to a the romantic story of two gay men who struggle for their rights in conservative society of Nassau.

The theatre performances shine the spotlight on Glasgow’s people and places through audio tours of Kelvigrove Park and the Merchant City, a piece of visual theatre by Vocal Point theatre based on conversations with regulars at a soup kitchen and an immersive performance by Sarah Bradley that asks: “What can we do with the world?”.

For enquiries and press please contact commonwealthff@gmail.com
Connect with us on Facebook: CommonwealthFTF & Twitter: @CommonwealthFTF

Michael Glawogger’s Workingman’s Death at the Commonwealth FTF

Workingman’s Death, the second part of Michael Glawogger’s documentary trilogy dealing with contemporary urban life stories about poverty, working conditions and prostitution will be screened during the Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival, taking place in Glasgow from the 17th till the 27th of July.


The Austrian director, who died tragically two months ago while filming in Africa, portrays the inadequacies of the urban jungle in the megapolises of Asia. Workingman’s Death goes to Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and Ukraine to explore the working environment in various locations and professions. It creates a collage of the most characteristic elements of the south-Asian grand production for worldwide export as opposed to the massive unemployment and the preservation of dying professions.

The screening will take place at our main venue at Andrew Stewart Cinema, Gilmorehill Centre (9 University Avenue, G12 8QQ) on the 21st of July at 18:30. The screening is not ticketed and admission free.

The screening of Workingman’s Death will be accompanied by the short film “Wealth of a Nation” from the Scottish Screen Archive, film partner of The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival.

The Commonwealth Film Festival opens on July 17th with UK drama Sixteen

Seize films production Sixteen, directed by Rob Brown and starring Roger Jean Nsengiyumva and Rachel Stirling will open The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival on July 17th.


The film takes us to developing suburb neighbourhoods of contemporary London, where young Jumah lives with his foster mother Laura. Still remembering his violent childhood as an African child soldier, Jumah accidentally witnesses an event that revives the memories of his old life. Trapped between two colliding identities, Jumah confronts adulthood for the first time.

British director Rob Brown’s debut film premiered last October at London Film Festival and generated a wave of positive reviews. Sixteen is a contemporary social realist youth drama that collectively deals with the political conflict in the background and the tender story of adoption, love and life-twist that remains on the front line.

Director and scriptwriter Rob Brown will be attending the screening of the film which will be followed by a Q&A.

The screening will be held in our main venue at the Andrew Stewart cinema at the Gilmorehill Centre (9 University Avenue, G12 8QQ) on the 17th of July at 19.00. Screening and Q&A are not ticketed and admission free.

For press materials of the film and more info check the press section on the webpage http://www.woffglasgow.wordpress.com a few days prior to the beginning of the festival or email commonwealthff@gmail.com.

The screening of Sixteen will be accompanied by the short film Scotland for Fitness from the Scottish Screen Archive, film partner of The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival.

The Lunchbox comes to the Commonwealth FTF







The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival, in collaboration with the BFI, will screen the film The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra (India, 2013) on the 26th of July as part of the official selection.


One of the biggest successes of independent Indian cinema in the recent years, The Lunchbox tells an unconventional love story, tying up tradition with a touch of the modern world and marks the opening of India’s national production to new and unexplored horizons.

The story takes us to Mumbai, where one day, a mistake in the lunchbox distribution system connects two people, who start to communicate through handwritten notes. When Ila discovers that her husband is not receiving her carefully prepared lunch meals, she allows herself on an unusual and fascinating journey with the stranger who falls in love with her cooking from the first… box.

The film stars Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi; New York, I love you) and Nimrat Kaur. A co-production of India, France, Germany and the US The Lunchbox premiered in last year’s Critics’ week at Cannes Film Festival and had a phenomenal journey in the festival circuit, receiving numerous awards and nominations.

The screening will take place in the main festival venue – Andrew Stewart Cinema, Gilmorehill Centre, University of Glasgow at 7 p.m.

Preview Screening on July 10 in collaboration with Africa in Motion FF


The Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival, in collaboration with Africa in Motion Film Festival, will host a preview screening on the 10th July, one week prior to the official opening of the festival.

The screening will take place at the Andrew Stewart Cinema (Gilmorehill Centre, University of Glasgow) at 6.30 pm and is admission free. The films Beach Boy by Emil Langballe (UK, Kenya) and Rain by Maria Govan (The Bahamas) were selected for the preview screening.

The two films are significant examples of the Festival’s spirit and contribute to the culturally rich and colourful programme of Africa in Motion Film Festival that will be touring around Scotland in June and July. Both Rain and Beach Boy are films from aspiring new filmmakers that aim to show unexplored views of the world and deal with delicate social issues, keeping at the same time a stylistic and entertaining note.

Emil Langballe is a Danish filmmaker, alumni of the Berlinale Talent Campus and Beach Boy is his third short film made for the National Film and Television School in London. The film received the audience award at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in March and Best Short Documentary Award at last years’ Karlovy Vary International Film Festival among other.

Maria Govan has Greek, Scottish and Bahamian roots and her feature debut Rain is Maria’s way to express her deepest feelings and affection for her home. The film won the Audience Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival, the Special Mention (New Visions Competition) at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and numerous awards in festivals around the world.


Beach Boy by Emil Langballe, 2013, 27 min, UK / Kenya

1395161454beach_boy_1Like the majority of young Kenyans, Juma dreams of a better life abroad. His girlfriend has left to work in Qatar, allowing the young man to fully thrust himself into his work as a “companion” to elderly European women who spend their vacations at local resort hotels. Emil Langballe records in detail what appears to be a budding love affair between Juma and a British woman named Lynn. The documentary turns out to be a real-life version of Ulrich Seidl’s feature Paradise: Love, investigating local female sex tourism based on a false sense of romance.


Rain by Maria Govan, 2008, 93 min, Bahamas

Rain_01A teenager named Rain has lived her entire life with her grandmother on a rural island in the Bahamas. When her grandmother dies, Rain goes to Nassau to find her mother, Glory, whom she has never met. When she arrives, Rain is devastated to discover that Glory lives in a desperately poor, AIDS-ravaged neighbourhood called “The Graveyard” and that she turns tricks to support her drug habit. With no strong maternal role model in her life, Rain must look within for strength and discovers she has a gift for running. She receives guidance from her school’s track coach, Ms. Adams, but Rain’s living situation threatens to spoil her dream. Rain displays a striking visual sense that reflects the contrast between the idyllic setting and the harsh realities of Bahamian life.