HGFF15: Director's Blog from the Bedroom

I’m very proud to be a Glaswegian and love this city of ours and on my travels I’ve found that the only city that comes close to Glasgow is Havana. So it’s fitting that the two cities are twinned.

I’ve been going to Havana now for almost 20 years, lost count of the times I’ve been there and I just keep going back.

About this time last year I was wondering how to make more people aware of our Havana/Glasgow connection and bring a bit of Havana to Glasgow.

‘I know! Why don’t I organise a Film Festival’ Why don’t I bring some of Cuba’s brilliant films to Glasgow’ I’ve seen loads of films at the Havana Film Festival, which seldom even get to be seen in Europe, never mind Glasgow. Film is what I know and I have great connections with ICAIC, the Cuban Film Institution through ‘Day of the Flowers’ and other work I’ve done in Havana over the years. It made perfect sense. Glasgow Council International Department loved the idea and the 1st Havana Glasgow Film Festival was born. How hard can it be to organise a Film Festival?

The first inkling I had that I might have bitten more off than I could chew was when I mentioned my plan to my experienced film making friend Barbara Orton (director of ‘In Cuba They’re Still Dancing’ ) and she said ‘You’re very brave’. Oh, really, what could she mean?

I found out pretty quickly but have loved (just about) every minute. A lot of that due to great folk and team that I’ve met on the way.

Three weeks ago, I thought I was over the worst, everything was just about in place. I looked round my bedroom aka my office. I thought, in a week I’ll get this looking great, I’ll post a then and now photo, for a bit of fun and it won’t be embarrassing as by the time I post it, it’ll be lovely and tidy.

So that was then, and this is now!

One week to go to the festival, what will next Friday’s photo will be like. I promise to let you know, those of a nervous disposition, look away.

Can’t wait for you all to ‘travel’ to Havana with us. See you there.