karen intros bridge rising
Karen O’Hare introducing a screening of The Bridge Rising, May 2014 (during Cinemap)

Southside Film Festival  was started in 2011 by freelance Film & TV Producer and Project Manager Karen O’Hare.  Karen was inspired to create the festival as the Southside of Glasgow  did not have a cinema or any regular film events and Karen felt that Southsiders would really respond to a local film festival.

I am keen to make the festival work as I love film and I love the Southside and I feel that there are so few opportunities for Southsiders to get together socially as a community to celebrate and share all that is great about film, filmmaking and the Southside! Southside Glasgow is not only the most ethnically diverse place in Scotland, it is also a vibrant place, rich in culture and creativity. But the Southside has no cinema so Southsiders cannot easily and locally access quality, independent and international films outside of what is screened in the city centre cinema chains.” Karen, April, 2011

The original reasons and aims for starting the film festival remain-the Southside still doesn’t have a local cinema and there is a continuing need to provide access to affordable and diverse film screenings and events in the area.

The pop-up cinema is a very trendy thing at the moment, but for me it came out of a sense of necessity: if I want to go to a local cinema, I can’t. So if I want to cycle or walk down the road to go to the cinema, where can I go. Most of this stuff  on the Southside is DIY, most of it is not funded by the council or any official body, it’s just people in the area with energy and enthusiasm wanting to improve the space we live in. And that’s the drive.” -Karen O’Hare, The List, May 2014

As well as an annual festival Southside Film also put ons screenings and events throughout the year. For info on  current screenings click here

Pollokshaws Burgh Hall

Past festivals 2011-2018


The first film festival in 2011 put on films and events in venues where you would least expect it – from Queen’s Park Boat Shed to Govanhill Baths; from artists’ studios to community halls; from a community garden to a local school; from a working mens’ club to local nightclub. The film programme was intentionally varied to cater for a diverse Southside audience- there were music videos, artists’ films, short films, family friendly films, films for kids, animation, archive films, Scottish features and shorts, local Southside filmmakers’ work and a silent film screening with live Wurlitzer Cinema Organ accompaniment (the Southside holds the only Wurlitzer in Scotland).  You can see the first programme here

SFF 11 ext boatshed queens park
Exterior boat shed in Queens Park where the 2011 film festival screened Seawards The Great Ships and some local film archive


Southside Film Festival_20115
Interior boat shed in Queens Park-can you spot the miniature ships built by Glasgow South Ship Modellers? May 2011


The mighty Wurlitzer Cinema Organ, Pollokshaws Burgh HallThe first film festival proved that there was support for a local film festival with with over 750 people attending 21 screenings, events, talks and workshops  and with great audience feedback supporting the idea of regular film screenings as everyone missed a local cinema.  So the festival came back for Halloween in 2011 with a screening of the silent classic The Cabinet of Dr Caligari with live Wurlitzer Cinema Organ which 125 attended and the first ever zombie walk in Shawlands  which preceded a sold out screening of Night of the Living Dead in The Shed, 130 people attended the zombie walk and event.  The festival returned at Christmas 2011 with a screening of the Muppets Christmas Carol again in The Shed with an audience of 75 people, some of whom came along  dressed as their favourite muppet!




Southside Film Festival collaborated with Glasgow Film Festival in Feb 2012 with 200 people attending a sold out screening of Phantom of the Opera with live Wurlitzer at Pollokshaws Burgh Hall and with Glasgow Short Film Festival with a special Southside screening of Scottish Shorts which 155 people attended.


The festival returned in May 2012 with another successful film festival with 850 people attending 27 events.  You can view the programme here


And  in October 2012 Southside Film  started a monthly film club at The Glad Cafe that is still currently running with regular audiences of 50 people each month. For more info on past screenings click here.



In May 2013 the festival returned with  1, 125 attending over 25 screenings, talks, workshops and events. You can view the programme here

SSFF 2013 programme

In 2013 Southside Film also continued to put on one off screenings such as Carl Dreyer’s Vampr with live Wurlitzer Cinema Organ accompaniment at Halloween.



In May 2014 Southside Film Festival presented Cinemap, mapping the Southside through film The Cinemap screenings were all free and  260 people attended 7  screenings over the weekend. Cinemap also featured new screenings venues such as the allotments at New Victoria Gardens and Tramway. View the programme here

cinemap programmes May 2014

In 2014 the festival continued to host one off ‘pop up’ screenings such as dinner and a movie at Pollok House (Don’t Look Now with Italian food) or silent film with live Wurlitzer (Hitchcock’s The Lodger).



In 2015 the film festival  moved  8-11 October, 2015. For more info on the 2015 festival click here


In 2016 the festival moved again to July with Wee Green Cinema event over 2-3 July. For more info on the 2016 click here


In 2017 the festival took place in various venues in the southside of Glasgow 2-4 June. For more info on the 2017 festival click here


The 2018 festival took place 1-3 June. For more info on the 2018 click here