In the past month Brisbane has celebrated cinema at its best during a world-class, 11-day screen event which saw the largest international filmmaker contingent gather in our new world city for the 9th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and 2nd Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF).
Brisbane audiences were spoilt for choice with 102 films from 42 countries and areas programmed as part of BAPFF, Brisbane’s signature film festival, which also showcased 34 of the 39 APSA-nominated feature films.
Six sessions of the program were sold out, including both sessions of auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien’s beautiful martial arts venture The Assassin (Taiwan), closing night’s 3D action adventure film The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China), and documentaries Sherpa (Australia) and The Look of Silence (Indonesia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Norway).
“It was an immense privilege to welcome over 70 international guests to Brisbane for the festival along with the international delegation from Turkey here to present the Country of Focus: Turkish Waves,” said BAPFF Film Director Maxine Williamson.
“It was wonderful to showcase highlights from the must-see Hong Kong list curated by Sam Ho.
“BAPFF is a cultural celebration of our region and an important opportunity to learn about cultures often unrepresented on screen.
“Brisbane audiences embraced this festival and we look forward to delivering more cinematic artistry in 2016.”
BAPFF Head Programmer Kiki Fung said the second inaugural festival was over all too quickly.
“I have post-festival blues– it all happened too fast,” she said.
“It is an intense program packed with precious memories and great moments: the ecstasy of seeing the first frame of a film appears in the cinema, the excitement of greeting our audience and listening to their thoughts, the joy of meeting old and new friends, the solidarity of working on it with the BAPFF team.
“The film festival reminds us that there is so much more to watching films – it is a true meeting place, bringing people together, bringing thoughts together.”
Audiences enjoyed Q&As with the likes of Mark Lee Ping-bing (The Assassin), Australian-born international filmmakers Christopher Doyle (Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled, Preoccupied, Preposterous) and Michael Rowe (Early Winter), APSA Jury member Negar Javaherian (A Minor Leap Down) and our Country of Focus: Turkish Waves curator Zeynep Özbatur Atakan and producer Baran Seyhem.
Highlights also included special presentations of River (People’s Republic of China) featuring a live musical performance by renowned Brisbane boy Tenzin Choegyal, and the 21st anniversary remastered screening of Australian cult classic Bad Boy Bubby, which acclaimed director Rolf de Heer stayed to watch, enjoying a rare chance to see his breakthrough film back on the big screen.
The festival’s favourite film as chosen by those who voted in the Foxtel Movies People’s Choice Award was The Assassin (Taiwan). Thanks to everyone who took the time to cast their vote. The Assassin narrowly beat An (Japan, France, Germany) for the award.
BAPFF is an initiative of Brisbane City Council delivered by Brisbane Marketing, supported by founding sponsor Screen Queensland and presented by Treasury Casino and Hotel. This year, they were joined by Major Government Partner Screen Australia and Major Partners Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Foxtel Movies, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office and PwC Australia.
We also thank all of our invaluable industry and supporting partners.