Skateboard and rave films to open and close Glasgow Film Festival

Films about skateboarders in Los Angeles and rave culture in the 1990s will open and close this year’s Glasgow Film Festival.

The festival will open on February 20 with the UK premiere of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, the coming-of-age comedy-drama Mid90s.

The film, which stars Sunny Suljic (The Killing Of A Sacred Deer), Lucas Hedges (Ladybird) and Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them), follows a 13-year-old boy who begins to hang around with an older group of skateboarders while living in Los Angeles in the 1990s.

The festival will close on Sunday March 3 with another film set in the 1990s, the UK premiere of the big-screen adaptation of Scottish playwright Kieran Hurley’s stage show Beats.

Beats was mostly in Glasgow (Altitude/PA)
Beats was mostly in Glasgow (Altitude/PA)

Directed by Brian Welsh (Black Mirror) and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, the film was mostly shot in Glasgow and tells the story of rave culture in ’90s Scotland.

Allison Gardner, co-director of Glasgow Film Festival (GFF), said: “We are honoured and delighted to be opening our 15th edition with Jonah Hill’s thrilling and moving directorial debut. The film is a beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that feels authentic, and the young actors give naturalistic and heartfelt performances that stay with you.

“The Opening Gala sets the ball rolling on 12 days of fantastic film fun and we couldn’t ask for a better start to GFF19.”

Mid90s will be released in the UK on April 12 and Beats will be released in the UK in May.

Allan Hunter, co-director of Glasgow Film Festival, said: “We are thrilled to close the festival with the UK premiere of the hotly anticipated screen version of Kieran Hurley’s Beats.

“It is a wildly entertaining, desperately poignant blast of rebellion, romance and bittersweet friendship that beautifully captures the end of an era in 1990s Scotland. Showcasing a wealth of talent on both sides of the camera, it is the perfect closing night film.”

The Mid90s soundtrack features an original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross alongside original ’90s hip-hop, while Beats has an original soundtrack from JD Twitch (Optimo).

Brian Welsh, director of Beats, said: “We’re thrilled and honoured to be part of the Glasgow Film Festival this year; as the film was largely shot in Glasgow, it feels like we are coming home.

“Many thanks to the programmers for having us and we look forward to being there in March.”

Tickets for the Opening and Closing Galas go on sale 10am on Wednesday January 9 at

The full programme for the festival will be announced on January 23.