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Brisbane International Film Festival 2011

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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This year's Brisbane International Film Festival, or BIFF as it's fondly known to Brisbane's cinema enthusiasts, will really be packing a punch. 2011 is BIFF's twentieth anniversary and you're invited to celebrate in style from 3 to 13 November, with 135 features from the weird to the wonderful in diverse cinematic genres including documentaries, new releases, animation, short films and children's film.

Throughout BIFF you will be treated to a cinematic feast across a number of venues including Tribal Theatre (formerly the Dendy), the State Library, Palace Barracks Cinemas and Palace Centro Cinemas.

Highlights include the following Australian premieres and special programs:

Opening and Closing Nights
The Festival opens with a bang on 3 November with the Australian premiere of the new cult alien comedy thriller, Attack the Block, starring Nick Frost and directed by The Adventures of Tintin co-writer, Joe Cornish, in his directorial début. The Festival closes on 13 November with The Skin I Live In from Spain's Pedro Almodovar, hot off the presses and the movie front pages following its showing at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Image from Attack the Block - from Festival website

BIFFDOCS is Australia's richest and newest competition and award for documentary film-making, with entrants competing for a $25,000 prize. Nineteen documentaries from around the world are in the running and they include Australia's Dancing With Dictators by Hugh Piper - a film about Australian editor Ross Dunkley who was recently released by the Burmese military regime; and This is Not a Film from Iranian dissident Jafar Panahi. Panahi is under house arrest and his film was shot on an iPhone, copied to a USB and smuggled out in a cake. Another story to prove that 'truth is stranger than fiction'.

Bubbles at BIFF
This new program offers a glass of bubbly before you head in for gala Australian premiere screenings of high profile titles such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - the latest treatment of John Le Carre's famous spy novel; and Like Crazy, winner of the Grand Jury prize for Drama at this year's Sundance Festival.
Image from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - from Festival website

Drive-In to BIFF
If you lament the demise of the drive-in theatre then BIFF has got you covered this year. A purpose-built drive-in will take up residence at Hamilton Northshore for the duration of the Festival, and will show various movies, including Australian favourite Red Dog.

Let's Go Surfing
If you weren't a teenager in the Seventies names like Crystal Voyager and Morning of the Earth probably don't mean much to you. And you may not be aware of the seminal role played by Australian film makers in the surf movie genre. You'll be stoked to find out what all the buzz was about.
Image from Crystal Voyager - From Festival website

Horror Marathon
In its swansong the Tribal Theatre will present a horror movie marathon that will run from 8 pm Saturday 12 November until 6 am Sunday 13 November. It includes Argentina's Phase 7 and Canada's The Corridor.

The full program is available online here. Tickets can be purchased online here or via phone (between 10am and 7pm) from Tuesday 11 October. Tickets will also be sold from the ticket booth in the Regent Foyer on Queen Street Mall. Prices range from $16 ($14 concession) for regular sessions to $30 for opening and closing night extravaganzas. Phone and Online bookings attract a $2 transaction fee, and must be made with a Visa or Mastercard. Discounts are available for multi - movie tickets. A Take 6 package costs $84 ($75 concession). Take 12 packages are $156 ($132 concession) and a Take 25 ticket (who wants to see 25 movies in 11 days?) will set you back $300 ($250 concession).

Join in the festivities. BIFF has proven its popularity and credibility as one of Australia's premier Film Festivals. If you can't find anything you like in the 2011 Program then you must be fussy indeed.

But don't forget that Brisbane has a lot to offer cinephiles. It's a film hot-spot over the coming weeks with other festivals including Radical Reels, Alfred Hitchcock: A Retrospective, Brisbane Underground Film Festival, Brazil Film Festival, and Italian Film Festival currently or soon underway.
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Why? Who can resist a little movie magic?
When: 3 to 13 November 2011
Where: Various locations
Cost: Ranges from $16 to $30 for one session. See article for full details.
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