Glasgow Director Charms Opening Night Audience

March 20, 2014   |   posted in Festival Events


Film Festival patrons had a wonderful treat this year, in the form of a giddy Scotsman. John McKay bounded from theater to theater with energy and humor, greeting each crowd with an homage to This is Spinal Tap: “Hello Cleveland!” He was tickled when every crowd cheerfully greeted him in return.

“Cleveland always says hello!” he enthused. He had fun comparing Cleveland and Glasgow, explaining “I also come from a place on the north edge of nowhere that used to make things,” although he hastened to add that both cities are experiencing a renaissance. Cleveland impressed him, and he added, “it’s great to come to a real town with real audiences who like to see real films.”

He should know; Cleveland’s spiritual sibling, Glasgow, has been running a successful film festival of its own every February since 2005.

“Film festivals are important to the life of a community,” he said, “and essential to the ecology of emerging filmmakers.” It is part of what he believes can help both cities “recognize that old muscles can be made new.”

The Opening Night sponsor shares this sentiment; Parker came into being more than a century ago in a second-story loft near the Superior viaduct in the Flats, but has expanded into a multinational conglomerate with 58,000 employees, 3,000 of them in Northeast Ohio, and offices in 49 nations. Dan Serbin and Todd Burger, speaking to the crowds, detailed several of Parker’s past and current projects, including contributing to Charles Lindberg’s first flight and the Apollo 11 launch, and developing a new downtown YMCA in the Galleria. This was Parker’s first year sponsoring Opening Night, and a first time at the Festival for many of its employees—when asked if they were new, more than half of the Parker theater’s audience raised their hands.

Audiences were treated to a short film about Parker’s history before “Not Another Happy Ending” rolled, and then had a chance to catch up with McKay after the screening at the gala, in the newly renamed Post Office Plaza. “This is a date movie,” McKay told audiences. “So if you get lucky tonight, tell me at the party.”

Lara Klaber
Photo by Laura Watilo Blake.

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Related Screenings:
03/19/14 @ 7:00 PM – Not Another Happy Ending

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