In the black box: The Australian Cinémathèque and BIFF


This diversity of programming at the Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA has built a deeply loyal audience that returns again and again — some dedicated patrons to virtually every screening — and has positioned QAGOMA to now proudly present the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF). A much-loved institution in its own right, BIFF was a fixture in Brisbane cinemas from 1992 to 2013, taking a three-year hiatus before returning in 2017. Now calling GOMA home, BIFF has been embraced by the Australian Cinémathèque team, who are looking forward to building the Festival further over the next three years.

GOMA has been an active supporter of BIFF since 2007, presenting curated programs in conjunction with the Festival such as ‘Buñuel in Mexico’ and ‘Andrei Tarkovsky: Poet of the Cinema’. GOMA has also supported screenings by the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF), Queensland Film Festival (QFF) and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA).

Shoplifters | BIFF 2018

In 2018, QAGOMA will present a dynamic Festival program of films and events, celebrating exceptional films from Australia, the region and the world. Under the guidance of BIFF artistic director Amanda Slack-Smith, Curatorial Manager of the Australian Cinémathèque, the Festival brings together the best of screen culture. Drawing on a love of the moving image, and of sharing these experiences with others, BIFF 2018 extends the cinema experience to include VR theatre performances, silent films presented with new live scores, platforms for filmmakers to engage with audiences, discussions about emerging trends in the industry, and social events.

Casanova Gene | BIFF 2018

Festival Patrons Academy Award-nominated director Bruce Beresford and Chauvel Award-winning producer Sue Milliken AO also offer a rare opportunity for audiences to hear from two internationally renowned Australian film professionals as they discuss their extensive history of working together and their new film Ladies in Black 2018. Beresford will also be joined by internationally acclaimed dancer Li Cunxin, artistic director of the Queensland Ballet, to discuss the director’s feature film Mao’s Last Dancer 2009, which tells Li’s extraordinary life story.

Dan Cameron is Senior Communication Officer, QAGOMA

Be part of BIFF 2018 at QAGOMA — the new home of Brisbane’s flagship film festival.

BIFF 2018

The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) has long been a vital moment in the city’s cultural calendar, a time for cinema lovers to congregate, contemplate and debate screen culture. BIFF 2018 is 11 days of award-winning and first-look films alongside acclaimed titles by established and emerging directors from Australia and the world.

Our program highlights over 100 features, documentaries and shorts, with curated programs celebrating trends from Iran, Asia and Africa, and we explore big philosophical questions alongside playful and political works. Festival Patron Bruce Beresford, besides his in conversations, also curates a selection of his favourite films and career highlights: ‘Bruce Beresford Selects’ and ‘Bruce Beresford Directs’, and we bring you a number of recently restored features and beloved Australian classics.

In My Room | BIFF 2018

We open with the Queensland premiere of Celeste, a compelling North Queensland love story. Directed by Brisbane’s Ben Hackworth with a stellar cast, it celebrates the beauty of Queensland and the quality of filmmaking in the state. Another highlight is the powerful and timely documentary Wik vs Queensland, which screens alongside a panel of distinguished guests who were involved in the momentous land rights decision in 1996.

The Festival experience comes to life with dynamic events including VR performances, classic silent films with live scores, and industry-led workshops and discussions such as the Queensland Emerging Screen Talent Conference, the YouTube Creator Day for Filmmakers and much more.

I thank the many filmmakers, special guests and industry professionals featured in the Festival, most importantly, I thank you, our cinema audience, whose energy in engaging with audacious ideas will make the Festival a true success.

Amanda Slack-Smith is Artistic Director for BIFF 2018, and Curatorial Manager of QAGOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA.

Organist David Bailey playing the Gallery’s 1929 Wurlitzer organ at the Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA / Photograph: Joe Ruckli © QAGOMA

The Cameraman | BIFF 2018

Explore the Australian Cinémathèque’s ongoing program of film and video / Delve into BIFF and our past programs

The festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland in association with the Australian Federal Government through Screen Australia.

Feature image: Production still from Jirga 2018 / Director: Benjamin Gilmour / Image courtesy: Footprint Films

Screening Saturday 13 October, Jirga 2018 is a tale of regret and redemption, telling the story of a former Australian soldier still haunted by the death of an unarmed man during a raid on a small village in Afghanistan three years prior. Former soldier Mike (Sam Smith) sets off on a harrowing journey through war-torn Afghanistan to seek forgiveness from the victim’s family and to place his life in the hands of the village justice system, the Jirga. Don’t miss director Benjamin Gilmour, actor Sam Smith and producer John Maynard after the screening as they talk about the dangerous and challenging journey when they were left stranded in Pakistan because their local financier pulled out at the last moment.