The full 2020 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF 2020) program of more than 70 features, documentaries, short films and and special events across 11 days this October.
Presented by the Australian Cinémathèque at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and city-wide cinema partners, BIFF 2020 launches on Thursday 1 October with the Australian premiere of Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s High Ground 2020 and closes on Sunday 11 October with the world premiere of Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin’s inspiring documentary Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra 2020.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queenslanders would be eager to return to the State’s largest film festival.
‘While many film festivals have only been able to offer digital programs in 2020, I’m delighted BIFF will deliver a traditional, in-cinema experience, while continuing to observe all measures to keep staff and patrons safe,’ the Premier said.
‘It’s because we’re continuing to manage the COVID-19 health response, that we’re able to deliver Queensland’s economic recovery plan which means being able to hold events like this again in a safe and measured way.
‘Through Screen Queensland, my Government is proud to support festivals like BIFF and continue to back projects from the script to the screen, supporting thousands of jobs for local creatives and injecting millions of dollars into the Queensland economy.’
Amanda Slack-Smith, Artistic Director of BIFF 2020 and Curatorial Manager of the Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA said COVID-19 safety measures would be in place for all screenings, across all six BIFF 2020 venues.
Ms Slack-Smith said this year’s festival highlights included the Australian premiere of Nine Days 2020, Edson Oda’s poetic investigation into the meaning of life, the Australian premiere of Red Post on Escher Street 2020, the latest film by Japanese cult superstar Sion Sono, and Brazen Hussies 2019, Catherine Dwyer’s powerful documentary on the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia.
‘We are thrilled to have international features such as Zoé Wittock’s stylish debut feature Jumbo 2020, a tale of a young woman who becomes romantically enchanted with a fairground ride, and mesmerising documentaries including Max Richter’s Sleep 2019, Natalie John’s behind-the-scenes look at the composer’s ambitious eighthour performance for a sleeping audience and P.S. Burn This
Letter Please 2020, Michael Seligman and Jennifer Tiexiera’s revelatory exploration of the hidden history of the 1950s drag scene in New York,’ Ms Slack-Smith said.
The Festival’s Patrons, multi-award-winning Australian actor Jack Thompson and Academy Award-nominated film editor Jill Bilcock, have also chosen a number of films from their many years in the industry to screen at BIFF 2020.
Thompson’s selected films include the 1985 classic Burke & Wills, the moving 2001 Australian story Yolngu Boy, The Assassination of Richard Nixon 2004 in which Thompson shares the screen with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, and Mark Lamprell’s 2020 comedy Never Too Late.
‘Bilcock’s extraordinary editing prowess is evident in the films she’s selected for the Festival including Baz Luhrmann’s critically acclaimed Romeo + Juliet 1996, Sam Mendes’s Road to Perdition 2002 starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law, Ana Kokkinos’s 2008 feature Blessed, and Jocelyn Moorhouse’s visually sumptuous The Dressmaker 2015 featuring Kate Winslet,’ Ms Slack-Smith said.
Lovers of fine food and cinephiles alike will be delighted by a screening of The Truffle Hunters 2020, followed by a one night only truffle-inspired dining experience.
‘The Truffle Hunters is a heart-warming Cannes-selected documentary following a group of fascinating characters and their beloved dogs as they roam the Italian countryside in search of the elusive and lucrative ingredient,’ Ms Slack-Smith said.
‘Inspired by the film, GOMA’s Executive Chef Douglas InnesWill will craft a bespoke two-course menu infused with the earthy aroma and taste of truffles.
‘Music + Film will return to GOMA’s purpose-built Cinémathèque during BIFF 2020, with a screening of the fantastical adventures of a female sky pirate in the restored and tinted feature film, Filibus 1915.
‘More than 100 years old, Filibus is a joy-filled adventure tale, and will be accompanied by the world premiere of a new score by David Bailey played on the Gallery’s 1929 Wurlitzer organ.’
BIFF 2020 will be presented at QAGOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque, the only facility of its kind in an Australian art museum, and at valued partner venues Dendy Cinemas Coorparoo, The Elizabeth Picture Theatre, New Farm Six Cinemas, Reading Cinemas Newmarket and the State Library of Queensland.
Brisbane International Film Festival 2020
1-11 October 2020
Various venues throughout Brisbane