From July 24 to 26, the inaugural Queensland Film Festival will present Brisbane with a stimulating series of movie masterpieces and thoughtful discussion panels. The festival will take place across three Brisbane venues: New Farm Cinemas, the Institute of Modern Art, and the University of Queensland Art Museum. This past week, the entire program was revealed.
“We are delighted to reveal the complete lineup for this year’s QFF,” said co-director Huw Walmsley-Evans. “Strong community support, particularly from Foxtel Movies, New Farm Cinemas and the Queensland University of Technology, as well as from the city’s dedicated and passionate cinephiles, has helped make this festival happen.”
As co-director John Edmond notes, “contemporary cinema is thriving around the globe, and Queensland wants to share in it.” He continues, “we’re simply grateful to be able to showcase some of the amazing films that, at the moment, would otherwise not be screened in Brisbane.”
QFF affords Queensland movie lovers the opportunity to experience the dynamic array of interests, approaches and aesthetics that comprise world cinema. Walmsley-Evans and Edmond have programmed a series of twelve features and two shorts that demonstrate the depth and breadth of contemporary filmmaking. Three of the feature films and one of the short films will enjoy their Australian premieres.
Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu opens QFF, presenting a depiction of life under jihadist rule that speaks to our troubled times. Timbuktu provides a perfect example of the kind of work the festival aims to highlight; although it received an Academy Award nomination (Best Foreign Language Film) in 2015, and also cleaned up at France’s Cesar Awards, this significant work would likely have gone without a Brisbane screening without QFF.
But the QFF journey begins before opening night. Those keen to start their festival-going early can get a sneak peek with QFF’s first screening, held in the lead up to the main event. On Thursday July 16, Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art will host a free session of Jessica Oreck’s The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga, which interweaves animation and folktales into its exploration of Eastern Europe’s haunted woodlands.
The core of the QFF program then begins on Friday July 24. The opening film will be followed by the Australian premiere of Eight. Introduced by director Peter Blackburn, the Brisbane-made feature provides a bravura showcase for the performance of up-and-coming actress Libby Munro.
Over the weekend that follows, nine films will screen at New Farm Cinemas. They range from Episode of the Sea, an astonishingly beautiful black and white documentary on the now land-locked fishermen of Urk in the Netherlands; to Jealousy (pictured above), which sees French master Philippe Garrel explore romantic regret and impertinence; to The Strange Little Cat, a possibly perfect depiction of bourgeois tension.
QFF will also showcase Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy and the Australian premiere of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears. Though The Duke of Burgundy is a discreet comedy about BDSM and performance, andThe Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears is a freak-out horror film, their filmmakers share a commitment to ravishing the senses.
Elsewhere, the festival line-up features Bruno Dumont’s comic police effort, P’tit Quinquin – a blockbuster miniseries in its native France – that sees a bumbling provincial detective and his loyal assistant investigate a series of stupefying murders. Also a program highlight, Lisandro Alonso’s Juaja is a colonialist Argentinian western starring Viggo Mortenson (pictured below) in an outstanding, intense and iconic role.
Embracing cinema history, QFF is proud to present the recent restoration of the classic The Colour of Pomegranates, a landmark feature whose iconic aesthetic is one of the key inspirations for contemporary film, art, fashion and advertising. The spirit of the past also infuses QFF’s closing movie, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson’s The Forbidden Room. Invoking both the past and future of film, it offers a cascade of interlocking short stories derived from the plots of lost movies.
QFF isn’t just about watching movies, but about discussing the art of filmmaking, with the festival boasting three free discussion panels. Honing in on film criticism, In Conversation with Jason Di Rosso sees QFF co-director Huw Walmsley-Evans hold court with one of Australia’s most respected film critics, while the Reconciling Film Cultures panel seeks to understand whether it is possible to bridge the gap between academic and popular film cultures. The Art and Craft of Editing sees QFF partner with the Australian Screen Editor’s guild to examine how The Duke of Burgundy and The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears cut and splice their way to sensory overload.
- The Colour of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov 77m),
- The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland 104m),
- Eight (Peter Blackburn 81m)
- Episode of the Sea (Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan and the inhabitants of Urk 63m)
- The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson 130m)
- Jauja (Lisandro Alonso 109m)
- Jealousy (Philippe Garrel 77m)
- P’tit Quinquin (Bruno Dumont 200m)
- The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani 102m)
- The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher 72m)
- Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako 96m),
- The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga (Jessica Oreck 73m)
- Magic Miles (Audrey Lam 16m)
- Night Noon (Shambhavi Kaul 12m)
- The screening of The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga (at IMA)
- ASE The Art and Craft of Editing panel (at New Farm Cinemas)
- In Conversation with Jason Di Ross panel (at New Farm Cinemas)
- Reconciling Film Cultures panel (at UQ Art Museum)
For tickets and more details, visit their official website: www.qldff.com.