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Brisbane gets its festival back

Like a zombie rising from a graveyard of local government interference, the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) will return in August, replacing the Brisbane Asia-Pacific Film Festival (BPAFF), which replaced the BIFF in 2014 and integrated its programming more closely with the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) until the festival’s plug was pulled a couple of months ago. 

Although the revived BIFF won’t run alongside APSA, the festival isn’t completely cutting the cord with the awards event and its selections. Maxine Williamson, Film Director of APSA and BAPFF, will direct the festival with Richard Sowada. Williamson will also retain her consulting role with APSA. 

The BIFF programme won’t specifically focus on the Asia-Pacific region, as the BPAFF did. The revived BIFF is expected to select some 60 titles this year, and to reintroduce a larger programme next year. 

The APSAs are currently accepting submissions for the MPA-sponsored Film Fund awards, which are open to the 1000 or so members of the Academy, previous nominees for and winners of APSA gongs. In its first year the Fund set a pretty high bar by supporting Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation, which went on to take the Foreign Language Oscar and 100 other awards at international festivals and awards events. 

The Fund hasn’t had quite so much success since, although there are plenty of now-completed productions the fund has supported. Ainsley Gardiner and Cliff Curtis have each received support from the Fund for projects in development. 



The new Brisbane IFF will run 17 August – 3 September. The APSAs will be presented on 23 November.