On The Red Carpet: Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) Opening Night 2013.


It’s that time of the year again when not only the social and cultural Brisbanites band together but people come from all around the world for the Brisbane International Film Festival. A little bit of Hollywood found its way to Brisbane’s renowned Gallery of Modern Art on Wednesday night when the red carpet rolled out, the orchestra played and the guests arrived to a sea of flashing cameras.

But at the heart of opening night was the excitement for the The Railway Man. Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man was chosen to be the headlining film for the beginning of BIFF 2013. After already receiving standing ovations at the Toronto Film Festival it was time to bring this treat back to the director’s home turf. Before the film began speeches were made by Jenny Hughes, this year’s BIFF Artistic Director, as well as Jagara Elder and unforgettable public personality Uncle Des Sandy just to name a few.

Amid the guests including Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, Governor of Queensland, producer of the film Chris Brown, The Iris got a chance to speak with director, Jonathan Teplitzky. You can find the full interview HERE.

The film as Teplitzky says goes to some very dark places but also some uplifting ones. The fact it was a true story also makes it very hard hitting for many audience members. But the screening received echoing applause inside GOMA’s two cinemas. It was a beautiful surprise for many guests for Mrs. Patti Lomax herself, to present herself after the screening. She was handed a bouquet of flowers and further applause for her touching life story.

After Jonathan Teplitzky said a few words of thank you at the lectern everyone trotted out bleary eyed from the dark cinema to find smiling staff directing everyone off to the after party. There was a trip up the escalators, a sharp bend before another escalator, hordes of guests walking past artworks and sculptures before an elevator trip took everyone to the top floor of the building. A huge sprawling deck looked out to Brisbane’s river and champagne made its way around to each guests’ hand. At this point the Opening Night had shifted focus from the movie and down into a chance for everyone to just relax and chatter away over good food and excellent wine.

This is only the beginning to another wonderful year of BIFF. Screenings, lectures and other events will be running from the 13th to the 24th of November. Unfortunately, there will be no more screenings of The Railway Man but there are over 150 other sessions to choose from in the next coming weeks. The Iris is looking forward to it and I’m sure you are too.


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