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Brisbane International Film Festival Has Just Dropped Its Huge 120-Film Full Program for 2022

Movie lovers of Brisbane, get ready to watch big-name festival-circuit hits, local gems, an anniversary screening of 'Strictly Ballroom' and more.
By Sarah Ward
September 27, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
September 27, 2022
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As all good things should, the 2022 Brisbane International Film Festival will start with an ode to Dolly Parton. Yes, that's literally just the beginning of its stacked lineup for this year. Doing the opening-night honours: Australian comedy Seriously Red, which sees writer/star Krew Boylan (A Place to Call Home) play a Parton impersonator striving to take Dolly's wisdom to heart.

"Find out who you are and do it on purpose" is one of Parton's pieces of advice quoted in BIFF's first flick for 2022 — and Brisbane's major annual cinema showcase has been living that idea now for three decades. Indeed, to celebrate that milestone, the fest will also screen the movie that launched the very first BIFF: Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, in its newly restored guise.

That said, the 2022 festival marks BIFF's 28th thanks to a chaotic few years — after the event was unceremoniously cancelled after its 2013 fest in favour of the short-lived Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, then revived by Palace Cinemas in 2017, and then run by the Gallery of Modern Art from 2018–20. As it did in 2021, it now sits under Film Fantastic, who also organise the Gold Coast Film Festival, with the organisation amassing a 120-film program for its second spin at the helm.

That hefty number, eclipsing 2021's 103-movie lineup, is comprised of 79 features — including 21 from Australia — and 41 shorts, covering films hailing from 34 countries. Also, Brisbane cinephiles will watch eight world premieres and 23 Aussie premieres between Thursday, October 27–Sunday, November 6, including a range of big-name festival-circuit favourites arriving Down Under fresh from debuting at fests such as Venice and Toronto.

Among those highlights: the Cate Blanchett-starring Tár, which saw the Australian Nightmare Alley and Don't Look Up actor pick up the Venice International Film Festival's Best Actress award for playing a classical composer; fellow Venice-winner The Banshees of Inisherin, an Irish-set drama that nabbed filmmaker Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) the best screenplay gong and lead Colin Farrell (After Yang) the Best Actor award; and She Said, with Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) and Zoe Kazan (Clickbait) as the two New York Times reporters who brought Harvey Weinstein's abusive history to public attention.

Or, there's 80s-set coming-of-age story Armageddon Time, featuring Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Anne Hathaway (Locked Down) and Jeremy Strong (Succession), and written and directed by Ad Astra and The Lost City of Z's James Gray; this year's Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or-winner Triangle of Sadness, directed by Force Majeure's Ruben Östlund and his second Palme winner after The Square; and Broker, the latest from acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, who received the Palme d'Or back in 2018 with the sublime Shoplifters.

Belgian drama Close, which follows two 13-year-old boys and shared Cannes' Grand Prix prize, comes to BIFF after also winning the 2022 Sydney Film Festival Prize — and Afrofuturist musical Neptune Frost does the same after taking out the Melbourne International Film Festival's inaugural $140,000 Bright Horizons Award.

Also on the bill sits Aftersun, led by Normal People's Paul Mescal; New York-focused music documentary Meet Me in the Bathroom; the Berlinale Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize-winning The Novelist's Film by South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (The Woman Who Ran, On the Beach at Night Alone); Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, the stop-motion comedy based on Jenny Slate's shorts and books of the same name; and Mister Organ, David Farrier's (Tickled) new doco.

Plus, from the fest's weird and wonderful choices, there's Something in the Dirt, the latest mind-twister directed by and starring Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless); wild Filipino genre-bender Leonor Will Never Die; Spanish horror Piggy, a Sundance hit; the Rebecca Hall (The Night House)-starring Resurrection; Rubber and Deerskin director Quentin Dupieux's Incredible but True; and Final Cut, a French remake of Japanese cult hit zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead from The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius.

Back to the local contingent, BIFF attendees can check out closing night's Sweet As, an outback-set coming-of-age story written and directed by Indigenous filmmaker Jub Clerc (The Heights) that just won an award in Toronto — as well as Greenhouse by Joost, a documentary about zero-waste pioneer Joost Bakker and chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett making a self-sufficient, eco-friendly residence; and the Queensland-shot Black Site, starring Michelle Monaghan (The Craft: Legacy), Jason Clarke (Pet Sematary) and Jai Courtney (The Suicide Squad).

Venue-wise, BIFF 2022 returns to a heap of its 2021 locations, screening at New Farm Cinemas, The Elizabeth Picture Theatre, Reading Newmarket, Dendy Coorparoo and GOMA's Australian Cinémathèque — with the latter hosting a 'Flying Fists of Joyce Godenzi' Hong Kong cinema retrospective, as well as a 90th-anniversary live music-backed session of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr — as well as Dendy Portside and Brisbane Powerhouse.

Don't say you don't have anything to watch for 11 days in late October and early November, clearly.

The 2022 Brisbane International Film Festival runs between Thursday, October 27–Sunday, November 6. For further information, or to buy tickets, head to the festival website.

Published on September 27, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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