Brisbane International Film Festival Opens With Judy & Punch
The Brisbane International Film Festival 2019 (BIFF 2019) launches at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) tonight with the Queensland premiere of Judy & Punch, the directorial debut of Australian Mirrah Foulkes.
Set in a peculiar and turbulent 17th-century town, Judy & Punch is a darkly funny feminist retelling of a classic tale, starring Damon Herriman and Mia Wasikowska as married puppeteers who hope their act will lift them out of poverty into fame and fortune.
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said BIFF 2019 featured more than 100 Australian and international features, documentaries and shorts, plus a host of special events, workshops and conversation panels until 13 October.
‘The Festival’s Artistic Director Amanda Slack-Smith and her team have assembled new releases, first-look films and thematic strands encompassing the best and most innovative cinema being made today,’ Mr Saines said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was exciting to see BIFF being presented for a second time by QAGOMA and city-wide partners, highlighting the strength of collaborative opportunities and relationships within the State’s cultural sector.
‘My government is committed to creating ongoing platforms for leadership and innovation in Queensland’s screen production industry,' the Premier said.
'Brisbane’s world-class international film festival will continue to make global connections, and further boost our booming screen industry.'
Amanda Slack-Smith said highlights of the BIFF 2019 opening long weekend included:
- 2:00pm, Friday 4 October (GOMA): Apocalypse Now: Final Cut. Experience director Francis Ford Coppola’s definitive cut of this cinematic masterpiece starring Martin Sheen as Captain Willard and Marlon Brando as the monolithic Colonel Kurtz as well as Lawrence Fishburne, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford and Dennis Hopper. Selected by BIFF 2019 Patron Baz Luhrmann.
- 6:30pm, Friday 4 October (GOMA): IN-CONVERSATION + FILM: Measure for Measure. A breakout cast of young Australian actors is led by Hugo Weaving in a gritty crime drama set in Melbourne. Following the screening, audiences can hear from the film’s acclaimed director Paul Ireland.
- 3:25pm, Saturday 5 October (State Library of Queensland): PANEL DISCUSSION: Women Writing the Fantastic. Following the screening of the documentary Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin, which investigates the incredible life and legacy of the late feminist speculative fiction writer, audiences can hear from award-winning sci-fi writer Marianne de Pierres, along with bestselling Australian fantasy authors Isobelle Carmody and Lian Hearn and contemporary artist Emily Floyd.
- 6:30pm, Saturday 5 October (GOMA): LIVE MUSIC + FILM: HTRK play Over the Rainbow. In a world premiere, Melbourne-based band HTRK will play their mesmerising original score live to director Jeffrey Peixoto’s stylish and evocative documentary about the lives of people swept up by feverish belief in the Church of Scientology.
- 10:30am, Sunday 6 October (Dendy Coorparoo): Tito and the Birds. This lively and colourful Brazilian animation combines the beauty of oil paintings with digitally rendered works to create a world in which little Tito, his father Rufus and their helpful bird friends can save the world from a terrible spell. Directed by Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto and Gustavo Steinberg, this film is suitable for the whole family. (In Portuguese, with English subtitles).
- 6.00pm, Sunday 6 October (New Farm Six Cinemas): IN-CONVERSATION + FILM: Slam.Following the screening of this gripping drama that delves intothe disappearance of a young Palestinian-Australian in suburban Sydney, audiences can join director Partho Sen-Gupta for a discussion about his critically acclaimed feature.
- 6:00pm, Sunday 6 October (Elizabeth Picture Theatre): Sunset. From László Nemes, the director of Son of Saul 2015 comes Sunset, a sumptuously crafted historical mystery set in 1913 in Budapest. Írisz Leiter (Juli Jakab) returns to her hometown of Budapest to find the brother from whom she was separated as an orphaned child, though she discovers his life is enveloped in violence and danger. Featuring lush scenery and lavish cinematography, this film was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2018 Venice Film Festival.
- 11:00am, Monday 7 October (GOMA): TALKING FILM: New Creative Platforms. Hear from award-winning Australian writer, Dominic Crisci, filmmaker Douglas Watkin and Giovanna Shakhovskoy, Co-founder and Head of Customer of Directors of the Extraordinary and Escape Hunt Brisbane, as they discuss how immersive virtual reality technologies allow creators to build immersive worlds that change the way audiences experience art.
Screen Queensland’s R.I.D.E. (Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equality) event on Thursday 10 October from 9.00am to 5.00pm is a day of conversation aimed at inspiring change to create a diverse and inclusive screen industry with talks and panel discussions with industry leaders from Queensland and around Australia.
View the full program and purchase tickets online at www.biff.com.au.
BIFF 2019 is presented at QAGOMA’s purpose built Cinémathèque, the only facility of its kind in an Australian art museum, and at partner venues Dendy Cinemas Coorparoo, The Elizabeth Picture Theatre, New Farm Six Cinemas, Reading Cinemas Newmarket and the State Library of Queensland.
BIFF 2019 is supported by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and the Australian Federal Government through Screen Australia.
Follow BIFF on social media @bneintlfilmfest and via the hashtag #BIFFest2019.