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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Brisbane International Film Festival Is Moving to GOMA for the Next Three Years

The complicated history of BIFF takes another turn, with the Brisbane gallery winning the tender to present the festival from 2018 to 2020.
By Sarah Ward
April 24, 2018
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The Brisbane International Film Festival Is Moving to GOMA for the Next Three Years

The complicated history of BIFF takes another turn, with the Brisbane gallery winning the tender to present the festival from 2018 to 2020.
By Sarah Ward
April 24, 2018
  shares

The Brisbane International Film Festival has a new home for the next three years, with the Gallery of Modern Art named as the fest's new host. The South Brisbane gallery will present the event from 2018 to 2020 — and the festival will not only move locations, but also move to a new October time slot.

It's huge news for the city's cinephiles, pairing the city's major film festival with its major year-round home of curated and retrospective cinema programming. Funded by Screen Queensland and Screen Australia, the state and the country's respective film bodies, the shift also marks the latest development in BIFF's ever-evolving history — which is much, much more convoluted than it really should be.

Here's the short version: first run from 1992 to 2013, the festival was initially cancelled in favour of the short-lived Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, which ran from 2014 to 2016. Then BAPFF was axed after a three-year stint, so BIFF was brought back in 2017 via Palace Cinemas, who received funding from SQ to resurrect the fest. That decision received criticism, both for awarding the festival exclusively to one commercial operator, and for doing so without calling for tenders from other interested parties. In December, SQ opened the event to submissions, with GOMA emerging victorious.

It's not actually the first time that BIFF will grace GOMA's Australian Cinémathèque. In fact, the festival held parts of its program at the gallery at various points between GOMA's opening in 2006 and the fest's initial scrapping after the 2013 event. It is, however, the first time that the galley has overseen the festival itself, with Amanda Slack-Smith — QAGOMA's acting curatorial manager of the Australian Cinémathèque — named BIFF's 2018 artistic director.

Further, while GOMA will be running the show, BIFF won't only screen at the gallery's two-cinema on-site facilities. GOMA intends to work with external cinema partners, though just who they'll be is yet to be revealed.

Programming-wise, cinephiles should expect "new release titles and film retrospectives, alongside screenings with live music, conversations, panel discussions, gala events and more," says QAGOMA director Chris Saines. GOMA is also the only facility in Brisbane with the ability to screen rare archival prints — something that often forms part of its regular cinema seasons — so that's an area BIFF will likely benefit from.

Alongside the main festival, Screen Queensland will present industry workshops, events and panel discussions focused towards the state's film industry.

Exact dates for the 2018 festival are yet to be announced, but its new timeslot brings BIFF back to the latter part of the year — with initial BIFFs mostly running in July and August, the festival moving to November from 2010 to 2013, BAPFF occurring across November and December, and BIFF 2017 taking place in August.

For information, visit the GOMA website.

Image: Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. Photograph: John Gollings.

Published on April 24, 2018 by Sarah Ward

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