The program of events for the 2018 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) has been released and the schedule includes an array of Australian and international features, documentaries, short films and special events at various venues around Brisbane. More than 100 screenings and presentations are scheduled across various locations between October 11 and October 21.
Festival selections include some highly anticipated and controversial films, such as Lars Van Trier’s divisive The House that Jack Built, the provocative Australian work Terror Nullius and Leave No Trace, the latest offering from Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik. The screening schedule is exhaustive and incorporates new releases and classic works across several thematic strands, including a focus on films from Iran, Asia and Africa.
Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford will be the focus of two strands in recognition of his achievements at home and abroad, with Bruce Beresford Directs featuring five films from a career spanning more that 40 years, including the Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy. Meanwhile, Bruce Beresford Selects will showcase five films chosen by the director, one of which is a special screening of Carl Dreyer’s 1928 classic The Passion of Joan of Arc with a live music accompaniment courtesy of Queensland post-rock ensemble Hazards of Swimming Naked.
Amongst the 60 features that will screen throughout the 11 days of the festival are Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, Hirokazu Koreeda’s Palme d’Or–winning The Shoplifters from Japan and Rafiki, the Kenyan romance that was banned in its home country. Also on the schedule are Three Faces, the latest from Iranian director Jafar Panahi, which picked up the Best Screenplay award at Cannes this year, and The Wild Pear Tree, a new work from Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish filmmaker behind 2011’s Cannes triumph Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.
The documentary program includes another instalment in the ever-expanding collection of observational testimonies from Frederick Wiseman, this time with his gaze fixed on the New York Public Library. Also featuring amongst the eclectic selection are profiles on Jean-Michel Basqiuat (Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat) and Vladimir Putin (Putin’s Witnesses), along with explorations into the world of censorship, online media, bodybuilding culture, and the realities of life on the ground for American combat soldiers in Afghanistan.
The opening night film on Thursday, October 11 is the Australian release Celeste, starring Radha Mitchell as a celebrated opera singer preparing for a comeback performance after 10 years away from the stage, while Leave No Trace will close the festival on Sunday, October 21. Other special events on the schedule include conference sessions, workshops, panel discussions and In Conversation screenings featuring the likes of Beresford, Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin (the subject of Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer), writer/actress Miranda Tapsell and producers Sue Milliken and Rosemary Blight.