The inaugural Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, which will take place from 29 November to 14 December this year, has just released a strong program of 80 films, including World and Australian premieres. Their definition of the Asia Pacific region can only be described as “loose”, with the Pacific Ocean apparently spanning as far as France with Godard’s Goodbye to Language somehow making the cut, leading many to dust off their atlases.
Firstly, a look at the features. An exciting prospect is the chance to see Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language in 3D, for those Australian cinephiles kicking themselves for having missed it at MIFF, especially since it’s one that demands to be seen in cinemas. The Australian premiere of Hong Sang-soo’s highly acclaimed new film Hill of Freedom and Lav Diaz’s Locarno Golden Leopard-winning From What Is Before are also welcome additions. Sion Sono’s Tokyo Tribe also makes an appearance following its upcoming run at the Japanese Film Festival. These join a host of other features, among several familiar ones from this year’s Sydney Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, including Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or winning Winter Sleep, as well as Black Coal Thin Ice, Hard to Be a God, Lake August, A Girl at My Door, Trap Street, Titli and A Hard Day.
Highlights of the documentary program include J.P. Sniadecki’s The Iron Ministry, from the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab (which brought us 2012’s Leviathan and Manakamana this year), and Ann Hui’s The Golden Era on Chinese proto-feminist Xiao Hong. Past Present, a portrait of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming Liang by his professor friend, Saw Tiong Guan, will also make its Australian premiere, and will screen alongside Tsai’s Journey to the West. The festival will host the World Premiere of new Australian documentary William Yang: Blood Links.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Past) will be attending the festival as the Jury President for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. His presence will be honoured by a retrospective of his films, including his six features as as well as a documentary on A Separation. He will also make an appearance at an evening talk. The rest of the retrospective program is equally strong, featuring a screening of the stunning digital restoration of Satyajit Ray’s 1964 masterpiece Charulata, following similar screenings at SFF and ACMI. A 4K restoration of Cruel Story of Youth (1960), from Japanese provocateur Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses), comes to the festival as an Australian Premiere straight from Cannes Classics. A special 40th anniversary screening of a 1934 Korean classic, Ahn Jong-hwa’s Crossroads of Youth, will be accompanied by music, performance and a live ‘movie talker.’
A host of quality Australian cinema also screening at BAPFF includes The Infinite Man, Ukraine Is Not a Brothel, The Search for Weng Weng, Paper Planes and Ruin.
Special events include the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, World Movies Secret Cinema and a Closing Night screening of Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home.
See the full program at the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival’s website, and stay tuned to 4:3 for more BAPFF updates.