In 2016 RFN Scotland brought together the collective efforts of dozens of partner organisations to create an awe-inspiring festival of radical film culture across Glasgow. Over the May Bank Holiday weekend we coordinated screenings, discussions and social events in communities, alternative cinema spaces, and unconventional venues across the city. Events were organised autonomously by partner organisations, supported by a central organising team which coordinated fundraising, meeting space, marketing expertise and acted as a hub to foster connections between disparate groups.
The event successfully captured the spirit, diversity and talent that is working in radical and alternative film culture in Scotland and revealed a strong sense of community as a number of organisations came together to present a unique array of events which interrogated what radical film culture could offer our city and communities.
In 2018 we will build on the success of 2016 and offer the opportunity for people to gather under the RFN banner once more for a festival of radical film around the theme of 1968 – 2018 -2068.
Scotland begins 1968 with a storm described as the worst since records began. Glasgow is still producing world class ships. High-rises are springing up above the roofs of the old tenements. Across the water, the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland is taking to the streets. In Europe, students and workers march in Paris, bringing the country to a halt. The Vietnam War is at its height – as millions march in protest. In the US, the Black Panther Party for Self Defence is terrifying the establishment – and Martin Luther King is assassinated. An explosion of new ideas challenge and contest with traditional attitudes as the right to autonomy is reconceived as personal and social as much as national, inspiring new directions in feminism, the rise of the women’s movement and Gay Liberation. Behind the Iron Curtain, students, artists and workers unite in The Prague Spring. As drugs, music and free love seem to be the order of the day, Paul VI bans Catholics from using the contraceptive pill. Suddenly everything was up for question, and cinema was at its heart – from demonstrations at the Cannes Film Festival in solidarity with the Paris protests to the developments of the Third Cinema movement in Latin America and elsewhere.