The Brisbane International Film Festival Is Coming Back

The resurrected festival returns in August, screening around 60 films in Palace's Brisbane locations.
Sarah Ward
June 12, 2017

You can't keep a good film festival down, and you can't snuff out a city's eagerness for an annual celebration of international cinema either. Four years after they declared it dead — and two months after its replacement, the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, was shut down as well — Screen Queensland has announced that they're bringing back the Brisbane International Film Festival.

The resurrected fest, which has $250,000 in financial backing of the state funding agency as well as infrastructure support from Palace Cinemas, returns from August 17 to September 3. Taking place at Palace Barracks and Palace Centro, BIFF will screen approximately 60 films programmed by Melbourne-based curator Richard Sowada and former Asia Pacific Screen Awards and BAPFF film director Maxine Williamson.

While the lineup won't be announced until early July, BIFF 2017 will include a collaboration with the APSAs, a Queensland Short Film Competition, and a free family event — plus guests, talks, panels and seminars. Showcasing a broad range of international features, rather than BAPFF's Asia-Pacific focus, is the aim of what the festival is calling a "reinvigorated screening program".

For cinephiles, and the city in general, the return of the beloved, previously successful and unnecessarily canned event is clearly welcome news. When BAPFF was scrapped, the idea that Brisbane could've been forced to go without a major government-funded film festival was disappointing at best and insulting at worst. The Screen Queensland-run BIFF was a staple of the city's cultural calendar for 22 years until 2013, while BAPFF — which was organised by Brisbane Marketing, and aligned with the APSAs — endeavoured to take its place with a region-specific remit.

BIFF as attendees knew and loved isn't quite back in its original form, however. The new festival marks a decrease from BAPFF's 80-plus feature program, and less than half of BIFF's 120-plus film lineup in its previous iterations. Sowada and Williamson have said that the 2017 festival is a forerunner for an event that will continue to build in the years to come.

The 2017 Brisbane International Film Festival takes place from August 17 to September 3 at Palace Barracks and Palace Centro. For more information, keep an eye on their website and Facebook page.

Published on June 12, 2017 by Sarah Ward
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