Glass Meet The Future International Film FestivaL | 03 JULY – 17 JULY 2020

-glass, meet the future-



north lands creative'S first online film festival

Scotland’s arts links with Japan are being supported by over £100,000 from a partnership between British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland. Following an open call for proposals, which drew 24 responses from individuals and organisations working across the Scottish arts sector, North Lands Creative was selected to receive a share of the funding. The successful bid covers several art forms including glass, film and cross-disciplinary practices. 


UK in Japan is a major bilateral campaign that started in September 2019 at the same time as the Rugby World Cup. It will be extended into 2021 with the culmination of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The British Council will lead on cultural activities in Japan, bringing in work from across the UK in collaboration with a range of partners. At the same time the Japanese government will lead on reciprocal activity in the UK.


Highly motivated by the encouragement of the whole glass community, North Lands Creative team has decided to rebound in the face of the adversity caused by COVID-19 and the postponement of our event at the Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan and launch the inaugural edition of the Glass, Meet the Future festival online. 


“The British Council/ Creative Scotland Partnership is delighted to see the Glass, Meet the Future Festival come to life, as part of North Lands Creative project with Japanese partners Toyama Institute of Glass. In a time when creative sectors across the world are enduring enormous challenges and are reimagining their work within a very different world, this digital festival spotlighting glass artists’ intersection, does exactly that. The initiative also demonstrates that the strength and vitality of Scotland’s creative links with their Japanese counterparts remains very much alive, giving us much hope for what’s to come when we come out of the current pandemic context.”


The festival launches on the 3rd July and runs for two weeks showcasing a cross section of international diverse and Engaging series of short films curated and directed by 26 female artists using glass as the predominant feature. ‘The Soul of a Statute’, a film on the work of Martin Janecký by filmmaker Thomas Hogben featuring their collaborative time at North Lands Creative in 2019 will also premiere during the festival run with a focus on the emergence of glass art film. 

“We have spent a great deal of time considering curating programmes that reflect the diverse interests of our audiences,” said Karen Phillips, Director of North Lands Creative. “


This project emphasizes identity, community, and the variety in the cross disciplinary approach emerging from the field of international contemporary glass in the last few years. 


The British Council Scotland – UK in Japan 2019-20 Campaign has had a vital and valuable impact on North Lands Creative and our relationship with Japan. While we have postponed our exchange trip and festival at the Toyama Glass Art Museum until 2021, the film residency and digital programme has enhanced and accelerated the project immensely. 

Adding a new strand with our online festival has made the experience far more powerful. The relationship with Toyama Institute of Glass Art has given North Lands Creative a starting point for conversations with the wider Japanese glass community and audiences and has inspired far deeper and more fruitful conversations.’


Participating in the project, Martin Janecký, considered being one of the best glass sculptors working today. Among his most recognized strengths is an ability to master the glass moulding technology of so-called blowing and sculpting “inside the bubble”, a technique used to create startling original works.


“First of all I am very thankful for this opportunity. I like the international aspect of the project because my aim has always been to promote glass craftsmanship and glass art worldwide. Working with Thomas was great. He is very talented and our cooperation continues. During the residency at North Lands Creative I made two art pieces. A portrait of a man with a hand underlying his head in a gesture of being immersed in deep thoughts and a portrait of an old man. It’s essential for me not only to embody my ideas into glass but moreover express some emotions through my work so that it communicates with the audience.”


Thomas Hogben, filmmaker was delighted to be afforded the unique glass/ film residency at the Alastair Pilkington Studio in Caithness. “Having the opportunity to collaborate with North Lands Creative, and one of the worlds leading glass artists, as part of the residency is a fantastic chance to capture something truly unique in one of the most inspiring landscapes Scotland has to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the studio in the North of Scotland and working with Martin Janecký. I look forward to sharing the final results with an international audience in Japan next year.”


Jin Hongo, Head Professor, Toyama Institute of Glass Art “We are very pleased to collaborate with North Lands Creative on the special project, Glass, Meet the Future. Glass is not only a traditional craft material steeped in rich history, but is also a continually evolving, cutting edge medium for contemporary artistic expression. In recent years, applications of glass as an expressive medium have diversified concurrently with the development of technologies and new materials. Collaborations with other fields of research and cross-platform applications within the art are expected. Glass, Meet the Future recognizes this trajectory and signals the coming era of diverse new creations and creators”


The British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland partnership is a longstanding agreement between the organizations to develop international relationships in order to ensure Scotland’s creativity is recognized internationally.


The GMTF Festival launches from Friday July 3rd and continues until July 17th.  All the screenings are free by visiting website. 


Considering the world situation, the fact that we received so many open call submissions, we are very proud to be screening many powerful and never-before-seen films with glass artists and filmmakers from around the world. 


The Festival is dedicated to presenting a selection of new films pivoting around the medium of glass and to highlight the global glass community during this unprecedented time. The films include narratives, documentaries, experimental, and hybrid genres – telling stories about how art is made, how artists survive, how they think and work, and what makes creativity our most important skill.


GMTF Part I will showcase the work of 26 artists screening 34 films in the subcategories of short narrative, narrative, experimental, documentary and performance. Including works from: Alison Lowry, Anna Mlasowsky, Bibi Smit, Charlie Murphy, Chenyue Yang, Chris Bird-Jones , Emily Coulson, Flora deBechi, Gemma Truman, Griet Beyaert, Ina Kristine Hove, Inguna Audere, Jamie Rose, Jayne Cherry, Jerre Davidson, Juli Bolaños-Durman, Karin Forslund, Katie Spiers, Kirsteen Aubrey, Madeline Rile Smith, Natalia Komorowska, Rachael Harris, Riikka Haapasaari, Simone Fezer, Sinead Brennan and Teisha Holloway.


GMTF Part II will feature our recent British Council Scotland/ Creative Scotland Film Residency celebrating the Japan/ Scotland bilateral campaign with the online premiere of ‘The Soul of a Statue’ by artists Tom Hogben and Martin Janecký.



The Film Festival will travel to Japan in 2021 and be presented in the Toyama Art Glass Museum.



The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. 


Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.


Since 1995, North Lands Creative has been a meeting place not only for glass artists but has also actively encouraged the participation of visual artists, architects and designers wishing to explore the technical and artistic potential of glass either on its own or in combination with other materials. We are situated in Lybster, a small fishing village in the far North Highlands. Our residency programme seeks to promote an atmosphere of creativity, experimentation and reflection which artists’ need, by providing a working environment that supports the artistic process and the facilities for artists to work and interact. The natural setting, the harbour and surrounding sea and landscape inspires, supports and enhances the creativity of the artists who come to Lybster, by providing them with an uninterrupted time for work and exploration.


For artists, North Lands Creative engenders a strong sense of community and the chance to create more opportunities for artist to artist and artist to public interaction. The campus offers on-site accommodation, a hot shop, cold shop, kiln room, sandblasting room, mould room and a community studio, garden and gallery.

Toyama Institute of Glass Art

Situated between the deep waters of Toyama Bay and the rising peaks of the Japanese Alps, Toyama City has been working to create a supportive structure and community for glassmaking throughout the past three decades. The Toyama Institute of Glass Art was founded in 1991 to provide a centre of education for aspiring artists and makers working with glass. Our goal is to create an environment, which fosters creativity while concurrently preparing students with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue successful careers as artists and makers. We offer two unique two-year intensive programme and we annually teach forty students from all over Japan and the international community.

Martin Janecký

Martin Janecký began working with glass at the age of 13 at his father’s factory in the Czech Republic. His secondary school training concentrated on the creation of glass art in Novy Bor and introduced him to artists and designers from around the world that hired him to execute their ideas. He has been a visiting artist and instructor at various glass programmes such as The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, and Penland School of Craft. Martin Janecky is considered to be one of the best glass sculptors working today. He is represented by the Habatat Gallery and has exhibited his work in galleries and museums all over the world.


Thomas Hogben is a Scottish based filmmaker who’s focused on making creative and engaging films that explore people, their stories and the world we live in. Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland he moved south in 2004 to study a BA (Hons) in Photography & Film Production at Napier University in Edinburgh before diversifying his experience and skillset with an MSc in Animation and Visualisation at DjCAD in Dundee.


Having now spent the last 10 years based in Scotland it has allowed him to work on commercial and documentary projects across Europe, Africa and further afield. In doing this his work has been showcased at festivals including Edinburgh International, Aesthetica, Athens International, Sebastopol Documentary and many other festivals around the world. Looking to the future, Thomas hopes to continue to use filmmaking as a way to engage with topics and tell stories in an interesting and thought-provoking way.

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