O Street’s Glasgow Film Festival 2023 Picks


Glasgow Film Festival O Street Top Picks 2023

If you’ve been anywhere near Glasgow, you’ll have seen that it’s almost time for Glasgow Film Festival— posters and banners can be seen all over the city! The film festival takes place at the beloved GFT and other venues from the 1st-12th of March. As always, it’s an incredible selection; we’ve narrowed down a few of our favourites below.


Anna – The Civil Dead

I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Civil Dead for a while now. I love understated mumblecore films that gently amble along focusing on seemingly mundane relationships with not a whole lot of action. The Civil Dead sounds like it’s gonna fit the bill perfectly as GFF says, it humorously ponders the importance of friendship over self-destructive loneliness—cute!


George – Driving Mum

An Icelandic comedy seems super intriguing – I love cinema as an insight into a culture different to your own, and comedy is especially good for this, as what other people find funny can be really revealing, unique but also universal. I love how Driving Mum undercuts the usually free and fun road trip genre with something as serious as death, and obligation to fulfil promises, it seems like the perfect setup for some deadpan laffs!


David – So I Married an Axe Murderer

I hold my hands up, it’s a pretty bad movie. It’s also probably not dated that well either. Mike Myers may have Scottish ancestry, but even through the lens of nostalgia, his Scottish accent is terrible. However, I still love it. It reminds me of a time before memes and YouTube. A time when your pals would be quoting the same bit from a movie because you had all put in the hard graft sitting through the full 1.5 hours, finding the same bits funny. We worked harder for our laughs back then, maybe because we all had ‘…huge noggins, like a virtual planetoid’. (also, honourable mention, but the soundtrack is still freakin’ awesome)


Tessa – God’s Creatures

Generally speaking, I’m a sucker for Paul Mescal, I mean, a rural thriller. With visceral gothic overtones emanating from the trailer alone, I’m intrigued. A dark story of sexual assault with all the complications of community, motherhood and blind loyalty thrown into the mix. I’m fully prepared to leave the cinema emotionally traumatised and haunted.


Bea – Riceboy Sleeps

A film that delves into human behaviour will always catch my attention. Whilst interpreting the beautiful struggle between a mother and son, this coming-of-age story touches on imperative topics of bullying, race and identity. I’m ready to be by Kim Dong-Hyun’s side as he chooses his Western Name and bleaches his hair in an attempt to feel comfortable in his own skin.


Susan – One Fine Morning

I cannot resist this kind of quiet, touching drama. Léa Seydoux portrays Sandra, a grown daughter dealing with difficult and deeply emotional decisions as her father’s health declines while juggling other ‘life stuff’. Complicated relationships, love and loss with Paris as the backdrop—I’m really looking forward to this one, tissues ready!


Neil – Cassius X: Becoming Ali

If it has anything to do with Muhammad Ali, I confess I’ll watch it. This documentary written by Stuart Cosgrove looks at the early part of Ali’s career where the insanely gifted teenager looked to define and redefine himself, both as a boxer and an individual, against a backdrop of racial tension, the black power movement and wider cultural and sporting expectations. This was to be a mesmerising period of transformation. Much like the grace, guile and sparkle of the great man himself.



P.S. Stay tuned for a little update on our Glasgow Film Festival project post, including the work for this year’s festival, coming soon.

Importance of a Manifesto – INTL Festival


O Street - INTL Assembly - The Importance of a Manifesto

After an inspiring and engaging day at INTL, a creative conference held in Glasgow attended by people from all over the world, one slide, in particular, got us talking the next day; Swiss type design agency Dinamo’s bullet-pointed manifesto.

O Street - INTL Festival - Dinamo 2022 Manifesto

Often when you think of manifestos it’s of statements like ‘allow yourself to fail’, or ‘be your own hero’, both of which are directed at the individual. We thought it was interesting that Dinamo didn’t follow this expected path of self-help and instead focussed on how your actions can help a larger group of people.

‘Give full access to everybody you work with’

‘Document and share knowledge’

‘Watch out for gatekeepers (often former heroes)’

It’s interesting to think of a world where everything could be open sourced; imagine how much we could all benefit from learning and innovating with the knowledge of others. We’re definitely not going to get anywhere by guarding and keeping everything locked up.

O street INTL Festival - The Importance of a Manifesto - HAWRAFHAWRAF is a design studio that did just that when, in 2019, their studio came to an end. To mark the occasion they shared everything that they had learnt along the way by creating a public Google Drive Folder filled with tools, assets and information; simply so that we could all learn from each other.

Not all manifestos are so pure of heart, sometimes they can be a quick and easy way for big companies to seem like they have a soul. Say, for example, a Scottish multi-million beer corporation that sells their beer in supermarkets globally with a ‘punk’ manifesto – “If you can evoke emotion, you can drive behaviour”. However, the truly great ones do make an impact and stick with you; see Nike’s and Patagonia’s in the image below.

O Street - The Importance of a Manifesto - Brand Manifestos

What about manifestos for design agencies? Manifestos have the power to set your agency or company on a certain path; it’s making a stand, putting a flag in the ground as to what you set out to do and how you work.

Famously, British graphic designer, photographer, and writer Ken Garland released an iconic manifesto in 1960, that called for a shift in focus from using design as a tool for further growth of global consumer/commercial expansion/consumption and instead petitioned to use design for education and the betterment of society. Something that still feels as relevant today as it did in 1960s society.

Those of us longer in the tooth might remember how Manchester based design studio Music launched their company with a simple to do list on a webpage. Stating their brand intentions pretty clearly from the get go and inspiring a version of a Creative Review cover in the same style.

O street INTL Festival - The Importance of Manifestos - Creative Review Cover

Anthony Burrill’s iconic ethos ‘Work Hard & Be Nice to People’ was expanded to a pocket size manifesto, with the inspiration to empower others through his creative insights on self-development and lessons he’s learned through trial and error. All beautifully presented as letterpress posters and unique spreads.

O street - INTL Festival - The Importance of Manifestos - Anthony Burril

When O Street first started we had a simple ethos that came from our process: think, dream, do. Since then we’ve consciously and unconsciously built on this approach but we’ve never had something as concrete as a manifesto…

If we did, maybe it would look a bit like this:

– Do good work, with good people
Use your hands to make things
– Something about side projects
Don’t stand still (change is good)
Go fishing

And knowing us, it would probably change next year (see point 4).

Manifestos can be powerful, they can also be bullshit. They can be a guiding compass to start you on the right path, they can be a way to tell the world what you do, or they can simply be a way of distilling what you already know you do in a five bullet point list. Maybe simply, like most things, a manifesto is what you make of it.

O street INTL Festival - The Importance of Manifestos - Ken Garland

Here’s a list of some of our favourites:

Joseph Beuys and Heinrich Böll

Ken Garland

Dieter Rams

Riot Grrrl

O Street’s Glasgow Film Festival 2022 Picks



Glasgow Film Festival opened last week! To celebrate the opening of our favourite film fest, we’ve combed the listings and each chosen a top film pick.



Cape Fear

Made in the year I was born, I didn’t get see Cape Fear until an arthouse screening in my late teens almost 20 years later. 40 years on, it has stayed with me. The oppressive fusion of criminal cool with intrinsic nastiness is utterly disturbing. I still find myself wondering how Universal were talked into making such a difficult and ground-breaking piece. Down in no small part to the star-power of Peck and Mitchum who were determined to play the lead roles of good and off-kilter evil with absolute conviction. It’s no surprise the censors demanded numerous cuts before they would even grant it an X certificate. It’s one of those films that leaves a mark. Directors such as Nick Roeg and have referenced it and Scorsese directed the 1991 remake. However, in context of the time it was made, the original just simmers with so much unusual menace that you won’t forget it either.



a-ha: The Movie

I remember first seeing a-ha’s Take on Me video on Top of the Pops and being amazed. It was totally unique: clever, cinematic, grungy and fun. I should add, I grew up to like much cooler, edgier music (ahem…) and only wore leather strap bracelets that summer. All the same, I’ve picked this movie as my highlight for the walk down memory lane and a chance to tumble into that pencil sketch world one more time!



The Hermit of Treig

It’s got to be The Hermit of Treig. Purely because of my fascination of the freedom of wilderness contrasted with the reality of a lonely life off-grid. Sign me up. This is sure to be emotional journey of exploring that balance between independence and isolation, at two very extreme ends of the spectrum.




My GFF pick is (drumroll) … Monstrous. There’s been a bit of a reinvention of Monster horror in recent years, rather than being a tool for punching down (think of the stigmatisation of the mentally ill as serial killers or ‘demonic’ figures, a la Jason Vorhees etc.), directors (example: Jennifer Kent of Babadook) have used the genre to reveal deeper, more insidious forms of trauma and terror that haunt the everyday experiences of marginalised people. A real, pervasive threat, as opposed to an aberrant, fantastical unlikelihood. Monstrous looks to continue on in that vein. Very anxious to be anxiously watching this one!




Does everyone really deserve redemption? Or are some people simply evil? Mandrake is a thrilling, demonic tale featuring witchcraft and heavy violence. I got so excited about this film I bought a ticket immediately! As someone who prefers to go into a film knowing as little as possible, I have no idea what to expect – maybe some strange mix between The Witch and Silence of the Lambs, or maybe something a little darker… I can’t wait.




A mysterious, thrilling, Lynchian film, with influences from Almódovar and textural, filmic, saturated cinematography. I’m a real sucker for a super stylised film, and Superior’s 80s, 16mm aesthetic really hits the spot.


Happy watching!



GSFF2020 – A Retrospective


Like many festivals, The 2020 Glasgow Short Film Festival has been postponed. Rather than leaving short film fans with another disappointment to deal with, they generously hosted 12 short films over 5 days on their website.

I’ve always been meaning to make more of an effort with short films. There’s loads out there for free on the World Wide Web, and it also feels good to support independent filmmakers (shoutout to our filmmaker pals Just Trek & Pretend Lovers). Anyway, here are some highlights to share from my 5 days of visual feasting.

How The Earth Must See Itself (A Thirling) – Directed by Lucy Cash & Simone Kenyon

“Such illusions drive home the truth that our habitual vision of things is not necessarily right. It is only one of an infinite number, and to glimpse an unfamiliar one, even for a moment, unmakes us.” This quote stuck with me, but didn’t really understand everything else. It looked stunning though, especially with it all being shot on film. Love those grainy frames!


Maneater Directed by Sandra Isacsson & Caroline Wallén

Repulsive and beautiful in equal measure. A great experiment pushing the boundaries of your everyday bloke. So dang awkward and so dang funny. And so many dang vests.


New Land Broken Road – Directed by Kavich Neang

This was rad, even though I have no idea what the story was or what that random shot with a cockerel was all about. A couple of great dance sequences bookending a charming scene that consists of candid dialogue and Cambodian street food. That’s a-okay with me!


Jealous Alan – Directed by Martin Clark

Quite odd but riveting without much actually happening. Nice shooting style to it, and distinctively Scottish without being cringey which is surprisingly hard to do.


Boys Night – Directed by James Price

Whoa. That was a smasher. Almost made me cry. Would love to watch a full length film set in Glasgow by these folks. Performances and directing style were class!


A Whale’s Tale – Directed by Giovanna Utichi and Robin Celebi

Polly: It was a reminder of what we do to the animals that live in the ocean. I really think children won’t take it for granted anymore.
Sully: I thought it was boring.

Sunday – Directed by Neil Stubbings

Polly: It had a twist and it made your mouth water.
Sully: It reminds me of pudding.

(Illustrations by Polly Freer, aged 8)


Thanks again to GSFF2020 for providing a place to watch all of these great films, and I hope this encourages y’all to peruse Vimeo and the likes during your lunch breaks. What are lunch breaks, I hear you ask? Doesn’t matter, here’s a bunch of my favourite videos to get you started.

– Jonny

GDFS (Good Design Fun Squad) 2019


Graphic Design Festival Scotland is over for another year, and O Street has had a blast. We had Tessa dishing out wisdom pearls at the Nitty Gritty event, and Jonny and Anna mentoring the 2-Day Live Project. It’s been a fine year.

The Nitty Gritty event gets a panel of Scottish design industry mavericks together, and lets the audience fire questions at them with varying levels of intensity. It’s basically the Scottish design industry version of Question Time, but less Conservative party plants and a more fearsome host (James Gilchrist of Warriors Studio).

Tessa did a great job fielding questions on (amongst other things) the best and worst aspects of her day to day jobs, and how we can increase the number of female creative directors in the industry (spoiler alert it’s currently only 14%!) , as did the rest of the panel; Beth Wilson from Warriors Studio, Lisa Goldie from Whitespace, Andrew Dobbie from MadeBrave, Andrew Stevenson from Tangent, and freelancer Tiernan Crilley (whose pre-recorded presentation about working as a designer with ADHD blew us away!) We swear Tessa was there, but this is only photo Anna managed to get, so you’ll have to take our word for it.

We really enjoy being part of this event, it’s the exact kind of thing that helps bring transparency in the design industry. The event aims to be unpretentious, which is important when hosting panels with successful designer folk; we are all human, we can all be dummies from time to time, and we’re all in the same boat at the end of the day (the HMS Silly Billy).

Surprisingly no one quizzed the panel on how they were planning to save the world from the current climate crisis using graphic design, but luckily one of our live project mentees addressed that exact issue (read more below). Thank god for the young’uns.

The Live Project is two days of inspiration, hard work, stress, stress eating, and good times facilitated by graphic designs. This year, the brief was tackled by 11 groups of 10-12 people, which a winner from each group then presenting to a panel of judges to compete for the overall 3rd, 2nd and 1st prizes. The Judges this year were Paul Scharf from GF Smith, Alistair Hanson from It’s Nice That, and Katie Guthrie from her talented self.

For each group, there is a different mentor studio from the Scottish design scene. We were sharing a room with our talented industry peers, Jamhot and Ilka. The mentors’ job is to guide the group members in their decision making, and make sure they are keeping to time and not getting stuck in a creative rut, which didn’t happen very often as our group just stormed on with their respective visions!

It’s Nice That set the brief this year, which was “Where is home? Create something inspired by what you identify with as home.” OOF! That’s a biggie! But every single one of our team hit it out the park, responding with creative, funny and personal work. In only two days!

We ended up picking Natalia Zajdel for first place, Ben Oliphant for second and the standard was so high that we had to give Tamara Lau a placement too, because we’re massive softies!

Oh, did we mention that Natalia, our Live Project group winner won the whole freakin’ thing? As alluded to earlier in the blog, Natalia’s pitch was about saving our collective home; Earth. “If your home was flooded, on fire, or being robbed, you’d do something about it. Those things are happening to our home on a daily basis!”

Entertaining the theory that aliens created Earth and passed it down to humans, her final output was a manual from the old tenants of Earth (unidentified extra-terrestrials) to the new tenants of Earth (us), telling us how to stop ruining their old place. She tackled a heavy and potentially exhausting subject with levity and originality, and presented it in a beautiful and simple way. She’s a worthy winner in our eyes! SHE DONE GOOD!

As you can see, we had a great time this year at GDFS, and hopefully we’ll see you there in 2020. Peace!