After being cast aside to make way for the ill-fated Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, the much-loved Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) makes a welcome return this year and kicks off later this month. Running over 18 days from August 17 to September 3, BIFF will feature more than 50 features and documentaries from Australia and around the world, along with a selection of short films and several special events.


The opening night film will be the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner The Square, a satirical comedy from Swedish director  Ruben Ostlund that stars Elizabeth Moss and Dominic West. Other special events include a screening of 24 Frames, the final film from Iranian pioneer Abbas Kiarostami, which will include a post-screening discussion about Kiarostami’s work. The closing night film will be the Kriv Stenders-directed documentary Go-Betweens: Right Here, an examination of the enduring influence of the seminal Brisbane band.

Stenders will actually have two films in the festival,  with the Bryan Brown-starring Australia Day one of several Australian features on the program.  Other local films screening throughout the festival include Ali’s Wedding, Watch the Sunset and That’s Not Me, while local documentaries on the schedule include Life is a Very Strange ThingBlue and Namatjira Project.

The Square

The slate of international features includes the latest offerings from Terrence Malik (Song to Song), Todd Haynes (Wonderstruck), Michael Haneke (Happy End), Sally Potter (The Party) and actor/director Stanley Tucci, whose Final Portrait features Geoffrey Rush in the lead role as artist Alberto Giacometti. Another local in Cate Blanchett plays 12 different characters in Manifesto for German artist and  filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt, while Australian director Richard Gray’s low budget America-set drama Broken Ghost will also feature.

Highly anticipated titles include Sundance standout Patti Cakes, Academy Award-nominated animation My Life as a Zucchini and the Irish-Canadian co-production Maudie starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins. A retrospective of the work of Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev will feature all five of his films – Return, The Banishment, Elena, Leviathan and Loveless all of which have won acclaim at international festivals such as Cannes and Berlin. Films from India, Canada, Romania, England, France, Japan, Poland, Ireland, Vietnam, The Philippines, Germany, New Zealand, Slovenia and Kazakhstan have been secured by festival organisers, along with a selection of local and international short films.

Go Betweens

The 2017 Brisbane International Film Festival kicks off on August 17, with all screenings at Palace Centro and/or Barracks cinemas. For more information, including the full screening schedule, visit the festival website or follow BIFF on Facebook.