We are thrilled to announce a host of very special guests – some familiar and many new – joining us from Scotland, the UK and further afield to present their work, share their stories and engage with audiences throughout the weekend.

At the International Film Awards, winning filmmakers in attendance include director Stephanie Zari and writer Jilly Gardiner with their film Being Keegan (Short Drama), focusing on a man returning home to Liverpool, the scene of a traumatic incident from his childhood, as well as Giancarlo Sanchez and rising Dutch star Susan Radder (Kauwboy), director and lead actor of Horizon (Feature Drama), about a teenager struggling with anger after the death of her mother.

US-based director Lise Zumwalt will collect the Feature Documentary award for Crazy – a powerful film depicting one man’s struggle for the right to have a say in his own treatment for schizophrenia – as well as attending the screening. And British filmmaker Andy Kelleher (Alan Clark: Out of His Own Light) will join us for a Q&A at the Scottish Premiere of Second Spring, exploring a woman’s experiences with a form of early-onset dementia – and thought to be the last feature that will be shot on Fujifilm stock.

We are excited that our Youth Perspective programme – presented as part of Year of Young People 2018 – will include a post-screening discussion with three talented filmmakers in their teens or early twenties. Youth Perspective award-winner Jennifer Leonforte is visiting from Australia to discuss her short documentary But Honey, You Look Fine, Nicholas Connor (Northern Lights) will present his drama about young carers Cotton Wool, and director Jake Earwaker will be in attendance with his visual drama Bulldoze. Into Film Scotland will also present work from their youth filmmaking initiative, led by Yasmin Al-Hadithi.

Actor, singer and now director, Dominique Tipper (The Expanse, The Girl with All the Gifts) presents her debut short Trying to Find Me in our Experimental programme. The film’s writer and lead actor Ann Akin (Strike) will also be in attendance, and both will participate in a post-screening Q&A. The International Shorts programme will see Scope director Richard Keaney in attendance, along with crew members from Japanese dance short Bullying & Behaviour, Saya Terai and Hideki Nishizawa, who will also be making a short film about their visit to Scotland.

Embodied Trauma, a documentary programme exploring women’s experiences following rape and sexual assault, includes a discussion with Dominique Murphy – de Neef and Jess Tasmin, the director and subject of Sanctioned, our Personal Narrative award-winner, and Matteo Born, director of mid-length documentary Laura’s Journey, which follows his friend as she revisits Morocco and the scene of her trauma, in an attempt to heal her psychological wounds.

Attending our UK Shorts programme will be renowned actor and first-time director Iain Robertson (Small Faces, River City), with producer John Quinn, whose Glasgow-set short Bridge, written by Donna Franceschild (Takin’ Over the Asylum) and aiming to challenge stigma around suicide, has its World Premiere. Dimitris Simou, director of the beautiful and thought-provoking Maybe It’s Me; Katrina Brown, director of Scottish documentary Riding Through the Dark, which explores mental health among elite and non-elite cyclists; and Andy Mark Simpson (Young Hearts Run Free), writer-director of the fascinating Waterbabies, will also take part in the Q&A.

To round off our programme we have In My Mind, a premiere of four short films made by Track Record Productions for BBC Scotland that feature Paralympian Samantha Kinghorn, actor Gavin Mitchell, model Misha Hart and footballer David Cox talking honestly about mental health. David Cox will attend the event with other guests to be confirmed. 

No matter where they are travelling from, we are honoured that all these guests will be joining us at the festival. We hope that you can come along too and meet some of them at the CCA from 10-13 May. Tickets for the International Film Awards and all screenings can be booked through Eventbrite. You can find full listings and booking links for the film programme here.