BIFF Relaunched as the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival

10:25 PM PST 06/25/2014 by Pip Bulbeck
The 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Awards was won by Palestinian film "Omar"

The new festival in Australia's third largest city will include screenings for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

SYDNEY - The Brisbane International Film Festival is to be relaunched as the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival in December this year, where it will tie in with the city’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The refocusing of the festival follows a transfer in management from agency Screen Queensland to Brisbane Marketing.  

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced Thursday that the inaugural Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) will run for 16 days, November 29 to December 14, with the eighth Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) to be held Dec. 11. The festival will be funded in part by a $700,000-a-year grant over the next three years from Screen Queensland and delivered by Brisbane Marketing. Kiki Fung from Screen Queensland will continue to program the festival.

"The Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival will be a high-caliber film event showcasing the filmmakers, films and documentaries of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards," Quirk said.

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"Free public screenings and ticketed events will be held from Saturday 29 November to Sunday 14 December, including themed programs, a special showcase of the winning films, filmmaker introductions and Q&A sessions," he added.

The new BAPFF is intended to be an international screen-industry event. As well as the flagship screenings of films from the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, BAPFF will present a "specially curated showcase of the creative and cultural breadth of the works of filmmakers from the vast Asia Pacific region."

APSA covers films from 70 countries, 4.5 billion people and half the world’s film output. APSA also administers the APSA Academy, made up of former winners, and a film fund that provides development money for new films across several genres.

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The new event builds on and formalizes last year's APSA program of public screenings,which gave local audiences the opportunity to preview the nominated films. They also formed part of the judging screening program for the APSA International Jury. 

APSA executive chairman Michael Hawkins said BAPFF would strengthen APSA’s profile both in the Asia Pacific and locally. "Bringing these events together will make the films of Asia Pacific region more accessible for locals and visitors, and we intend to ensure the people of Brisbane have every opportunity to get involved," he said.

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"I am delighted to welcome Kiki Fung from Screen Queensland to BAPFF to work with us on programming the new-look festival."

"BAPFF is also about positioning Brisbane for business opportunities, particularly in this year as host city of the G20 Summit," Quirk added. It "naturally complements APSA, Asia Pacific Cities Summit, the Australian Performing Arts Market and the Asia Pacific Triennial."

Palestinian film Omar was the winner for best feature film at the 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

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