16th Brisbane International Film Festival
Australia, August 2 - August 12 2007
- "The Home Song Stories": Migrant Experience in Australia By Annette Willis by Annette Willis
- Identity and Cinema: James Lee and the New Voice of Malaysian Cinema By Andronika Martonova by Andronika Martonova
- Brisbane: A Showcase for Independent Cinema in the Asia-Pacific By Ranjanee Ratnavibhushana by Ranjanee Ratnavibhushana
The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF as it is known) in Queensland, Australia celebrated its 16th edition in 2007. The festival continues its strong tradition of screening new cinema from the Asia-Pacific region as well as showcasing films from around the world. This year the festival highlighted the emergence of young filmmakers in the Malaysian New Wave and Chinese digital cinema. A total of 121 features screened between 2 and 12 August including a major retrospective, “Buñuel in Mexico”, focussing on the period 1947 to the early 1960s that Luis Buñuel spent in Mexico, held in conjunction with GoMA, the home of Brisbane’s Cinémathèque.
In 1991 Anne Démy-Geroe was amongst a small group of people who persuaded the Queensland Government to support a film festival that in turn would support the film and television industry in Australia. The Asia-Pacific region would be the focus and it would also be an opportunity to build a film culture, to open up a new audience to Asian film, to showcase Queensland film as well as educate young filmmakers. Anne Démy-Geroe continues as Executive Director of BIFF and the festival has grown stronger every year.
BIFF has become a well-renowned Australian festival, launching films like The Full Monty, The Usual Suspects, Doing Time for Patsy Cline, Feeling Sexy, Gettin’ Square, In America and A Prairie Home Companion as well as regularly screening countless small, independent films from around the world that make Brisbane a film festival where you will see new cinema and meet filmmakers at various stages of their careers. BIFF is known for its cordial atmosphere and its extraordinary hospitality.
An important feature in the program each year is the presentation of the Chauvel Award, which acknowledges and commemorates an outstanding contribution to Australian cinema. In 2007 the award was won by David Stratton, commemorating his 40 plus years in cinema as a film festival director, film critic, author and jury member.
Together with our award, given in the category of Asia Pacific Cinema, BIFF also presents a NETPAC Award and the Interfaith Award. This year for the first time the Queensland New Filmmakers Awards were presented during the festival. These industry-sponsored awards reward filmmakers at schools and tertiary institutions.
Along with new releases in Asia-Pacific cinema, World cinema and Australian cinema, BIFF has sidebar programs designed with a community focus. “Cine Sparks”contains Asia-pacific and world films suitable for young children and school groups and “BIFF in the Burbs” is a free program that screens films in local schools and parks.(Annette Willis)