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Richard Gere promotes New York homelessness film in Glasgow

Published 28/02/2016

Richard Gere talks to waiting media as he attends the UK premiere of his movie, Time Out of Mind
Richard Gere talks to waiting media as he attends the UK premiere of his movie, Time Out of Mind

Hollywood actor Richard Gere has been in Glasgow promoting a film in which he plays a homeless man in New York.

The star attended the closing night of the city's 12-day film festival for the first UK screening of Time Out Of Mind.

He stopped to talk to crowds of fans and sign autographs after he arrived on the red carpet at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Sunday afternoon.

Gere, an actor and producer in the movie, plays a man who lives on the streets.

The 66-year-old said: "I'm very proud of this movie. I spent a lot of time putting this together - about 12 years of my life, so I'm happy there's a chance for people to see the film and engage with it in a serious way like this.

"There is a group in New York which I have been a part of for a very long time called Coalition For The Homeless and like NGOs I see all over the world, its very difficult work, it's very important work.

"I am amazed at the unbelievable patience and generosity of spirit and compassion that people in these organisations have and I've seen it all over the world."

He added: "It's a film that's exploring universal issues - it's not just about homelessness in the sense of looking for a home in the physical sense but also about finding our home in a spiritual , emotional sense."

Asked if he would be staying up to watch all the action from the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, he said: "I chose to be here instead of LA because it was more important to be here."

The Glasgow Film Festival has hosted more than 300 events and screenings since its opening night on February 17 before being brought to a close with Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Oscar-nominated Anomalisa.

Speaking about Gere's appearance, festival co-director Allison Gardner said: "Where else would he launch his film but Glasgow?

"He's very passionate about the subject of homelessness. It's a film about how people fall out of systems and how that can easily happen.

"It's a great film, very poignant, I really enjoyed it."

She added: "It makes it a little bit different from the regular London launch. The festival has a great reputation now for launching films so that's why he's coming."

Fellow co-director Allan Hunter said: "He's the producer of the film too so it's obviously very personal to him.

"He's going to be working with the Big Issue on the whole homeless issue, so Glasgow's a nice place for him to launch that and get people talking about the film and the subject."

Festival organisers said this year has been their most successful to date, with more than 42,000 admissions recorded before final numbers had been counted.

The highest admissions number previously seen was 41,151 in 2014.

The event's directors credited the appeal of films like Hail, Caesar! by the Coen brothers, the UK premiere of which opened the festival, and High-Rise by Ben Wheatley, along with guests such as Gere.

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