The Queensland Film Festival (QFF) returns this year with one of the largest celebrations of film and art to date. From July 19 to 29, the Brisbane-based festival will boast 59 features and shorts, inluding 39 Australian premieres and an exhibition at Gallery of Modern Art, that will also run the course of the festival.
The festival will take place at the Elizabeth Theatre, New Farm Cinemas, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Institute of Modern Art. QFF will also look to shine a spotlight on female talent this year, with more than 80% of the films programmed either directed or co-directed by women.
OFF will open its 2018 festival with Soda Jerk’s controversial political satire/horror mash-up film Terror Nullius, created through a new take on our national mythology, infused with Australian pop culture and film making achievements. Followed by this is Strange Colours, a deeper look into the misfits of Lightning Ridge, which also marks the debut of prodigy Alena Lodkina.
QFF will also feature international guests such as Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, as part of a complete retrospective of their works, with Amer, The Strange Colour and Your Body’s Tears screening over the festival’s weekend. QFF has also commissioned and published a book of essays examining their work and impact, which can also be found free online in partnership with Senses of Cinema.
QFF will also look to explore filmmaking as an artistic expression, with highlights such as Chloe Zhao’s lyrical The Rider and its study of real-life rodeo rider Brady Jandreau, blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction. Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here stars Joaquin Phoenix as a veteran hired to rescue a senator’s daughter. The 3D film Prototype centres around a natural disaster in the USA in order to fashion a clever commentary on the concept of technology in the modern world.
QFF also extends beyond the boundaries of its Australian roots with a rare film from the Dominican Republic with Nelson Carlo de los Santos Aria’s Cocote, based around a crime-fable and voodoo revenge drama. Novelist Hu Bo’s An Elephant Sitting Still will also feature at the festival, based around a Chinese society on the brink of collapse. The 29-year-old filmmaker unfortunately passed away shortly before the film’s completion. The QFF screening will pay tribute to Hu in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
QFF will also continue its collaboration with GOMA and the Czech and Slovakian Film Festival of Australia with Original Sins: Resistance and Feminism in the Avant-Garde Cinema of Věra Chytilová. The six-film collection will focus on a talent whose works ranged from her feminist debut Something Different, to the revered works of Daisies and Fruit of Paradise, to the more intricate genre works of The Apple Game.
The free screening of shorts, The Rare Event, will take places at the Institute of Modern Art, which will also feature a panel on the relationship between art, magic and knowledge.
The 2018 festival will end with two sporting films, with the first being a documentary on famous tennis player John McEnroe. In the Realm of Perfection is a study of the tennis player at the height of his career as the world champion, all while facing the hardest loss of his career at the 1984 Roland-Garros French Open. Diamantino will follows as QFF’s closing night film as a fictional tales based around the world’s greatest soccer star as he loses his touch and decides to set off on a journey to take on issues of neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius.
Director John Edmond spoke on the festival, saying “Local and interstate support from both the general public and our partners has guaranteed we would be able to increase the number of screenings and extend our partnerships to showcase important and rare films at New Farm Cinemas, GOMA, Elizabeth Picture Theatre and IMA,” says Edmond. “This support and appreciation has allowed us to commit to commissioning and publishing books as part of the festival, planning that requires a significant lead time.”
For more information and the full program of this year’s QFF, you can click here.