The demise of the Brisbane International Film Festival left a vacuum in Brisbane’s cinematic culture. Thankfully, nature and cinephiles alike abhor vacuums, and events like GOMA’s Lynch exhibition, the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and, now, John Edmond and Huw Walmsley-Evans’ Queensland Film Festival have rushed to fill the void.
As much as I enjoyed BAPFF’s unapologetically arthouse programme, it’s nice to see an alternative that draws from outside the Asia Pacific region. QFF is starting small – one venue, three days, twelve films – but that seems smart when BAPFF generally struggled to attract big audiences. And it’s hard to quibble with the line-up so far! I’m already excited about seeing The Duke of Burgundy – which reportedly finds artistic nuance within its Eurotica pastiche premise – and Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson’s nutso-sounding The Forbidden Room. The other two films announced suggest an admirable interest in including both established directors and up-and-comers; Philippe Garrel’s Jealousy in the former camp, Brisbane-based director Peter Blackburn’s debut, Eight, in the latter.
It’s too early to judge how it will play out – new festivals are notorious for teething issues – but here’s hoping QFF helps to solidify Brisbane’s growing representation as a forward-thinking locus of cinematic culture.