My Glasgow - Cinema & Film

With the Glasgow Film Festival coming back on screen in February, it makes for an ideal chance to look at the city's special relationship with cinema and film. Read on for an inside look from some of the people who make Glasgow a cinema city.



05 Feb 2015
2 minute read


Alison Gardner

Co-Director of Glasgow Film Festival and Glasgow Film Theatre’s Head of Cinemas

Allison Gardner is the co-director of Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) and Head of Cinemas at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT). Glasgow Film Festival is the fastest growing film event in the UK with 41,541 admissions in 2014. GFT in its Art Deco home has a vibrant year-round screening programme of the classics of world cinema and contemporary art house films. It leads in the discovery of film and the moving image, where audiences of all ages can immerse themselves in - and learn about - the magnificence of film. 


What makes Glasgow unique?

The people and their willingness to engage with each other and participate in all types of culture.

What are the must do’s for a new visitor to the city?

Stand at a bus stop and engage in conversations with Glaswegians!

What is the city’s best kept secret?

GFT’s brand new Cinema 3 – it’s just opened and watching films in there is a delight.

If Glasgow was a song what would it be?

‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ by Barbara Streisand.


Tiernan Kelly

Director of Film City Glasgow

Tiernan Kelly is the Director of Film City Glasgow, Scotland’s leading film and television production facility housed in the impressive red sandstone building that was once Govan’s Town Hall.  At Film City Glasgow, he has managed the second and third phases of the redevelopment and is currently leading on the creation of Scotland’s first film studio complex. In 2012, he was the recipient of a Creative Scotland ‘International Creative Entrepreneur’award, spending three months in Perth, Australia, working on a digital media regeneration project. In his spare time, he records and releases music under the ‘Imperfect Product’ name.


What makes Glasgow unique?

Reputation - in all its definitions. One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is that being ‘globally significant’ is more important than ‘world class’. Glasgow has this. It’s a living, breathing city, with ambition and energy, but not afraid to acknowledge its problems. All of the world’s great cities have this unique mix, and great industry, art, and culture thrive off it.

What are the must do’s for a new visitor to the city?

My advice would be to buy a copy of The List, grab a beer, and plan your visit. There isn’t one ‘marquee’ attraction I would suggest over and above anything else, and Glasgow’s lucky to have quantity and quality. The real Glasgow can be found on the streets: meeting the people, the venues, parks, galleries, pop up shops etc.

What is the city’s best kept secret?

I would suggest the south and east areas of the city – less crowded parks, affordable housing, great amenities, not to mention the Commonwealth-related transformation around the Athletes Village and Celtic Park.

If Glasgow was a song what would it be?

I think ‘Theme for Great Cities’ by Simple Minds would be a perfect official theme song for Glasgow!