Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival Announces Full 2014 Program

Film festival time is about to roll around, but things look remarkably different this year.
Sarah Ward
November 06, 2014

Film festival time is about to roll around in Brisbane, but things look remarkably different this year. BIFF is gone, with BAPFF taking its place. That’s the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, a showcase of 80 movies from more than 30 countries in the region.

A new event organized by Brisbane Marketing that aligns with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), the inaugural BAPFF remains true to its specific focus. Primarily screening at Palace Barracks Cinemas and the Gallery of Modern Art’s Australian Cinematheque, the festival opens with Indian effort The Crow’s Egg, closes with Zhang Yimou’s anticipated Coming Home, and features 20 films from the APSA shortlist.

As the bookending picks show, BAPFF isn’t about movies familiar to the average cinemagoer – it’s about celebrating the diversity of work from its titular locale. Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk advised that in the festival’s first year, “it is brave act, in some regards, but it is an important act, because our future lays in the Asia Pacific and we need to make sure we engage in that space.”

With titles direct from the international festival circuit, dedicated cinephiles have plenty to get excited about. In their Australian premieres and arriving with much critical fanfare, comedy The Owners shows another side of Kazahkstan, and documentary The Iron Ministry rides China’s railways. If you can sit still for long enough, long-form master Lav Diaz offers six hours of From What Is Before.

Cherry-picking from the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals, as well as a host of smaller cultural festivals that have toured the country since, BAPFF will also feature Sion Sono’s latest chaotic epic Tokyo Tribe, Australian time travel rom-com The Infinite Man, Wim Wenders' photographic tribute The Salt of the Earth, eclectic South Korean black comedy A Hard Day, Chinese crime thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice, and what shapes up to be the feminist vampire film to end all feminist vampire films, Farsi-language effort A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Taking a more universal approach in looking not just at films made in the region but also at themes relevant in the Asia Pacific and beyond, BAPFF also includes Jean-Luc Godard’s eye-watering Goodbye to Language 3D and Russian endurance test Hard to Be A God, both must-sees on a big screen.

Events form a sizeable part of the BAPFF schedule, including the previously announced collaboration with World Movies Secret Cinema in a Brisbane first. As part of a focus on his films, festival guest and this year’s APSA jury president Asghar Farhadi will share highlights of his career at an in-conversation session, while a Women in Film panel brings together female film practitioners at the top of their game to explore roles both in front of and behind the camera.

Gala showings of five films, including New Zealand foreign-language Oscar submission The Dead Lands and Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep, include drinks either before or after the session. Music and movies will mix at the remastered screening of Korea’s oldest surviving silent film Crossroads of Youth, the second Korean retrospective title alongside 1960’s The Housemaid.

If you like free things (and who doesn’t?), Movies on the Green features two evenings of lengthy Taiwanese cinema at QPAC. The young at heart can head along to the South Bank piazza for sneak peek screening of Australian family-friendly effort Paper Planes before it opens in January, complete with actual paper planes (well, the sheets of paper to make them, we’re guessing).

Indeed, at a time when going to the cinema only seems to be getting more expensive, BAPFF does boast good news in general for film fans’ bank balances. Adult tickets are $12.50 this year, with a 20% discount available for buying 10 or more tickets in one transaction.

Alas, though the festival has only been bubbling away in the city’s consciousness since June, not everything it first promised has come to fruition. If you were excited about seeing a restoration of the original Godzilla to celebrate the film’s 60th anniversary, we are sad to report that there’s no signs of everyone’s favourite monster movie in the schedule. We blame Mothra.

The Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival runs from November 29 to December 14. For more information, visit the BAPFF website.

Published on November 06, 2014 by Sarah Ward
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