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Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:09

Brisbane Queer Film Festival

Festival Director Interview

Returning for another year, Brisbane’s Queer FIlm Festival will kick off in early April and features films from all over the world. Sarah Neal as the Festival Director is responsible for the selection of films on offer this year - and the lineup looks good.

Q: How do you choose films for this festival?
I start programming each festival as soon as the previous one has concluded, I attend international festivals to see the latest films and also sit on judging panels. Films are sent to me before any festival screenings by Australian and international filmmakers and distributors, so throughout the year I watch hundreds of features, documentaries and shorts to select films for BQFF. The films I choose are the ones I believe are the best on offer from around the world.
Q: Do you aim to have even lesbian/gay spread?
Yes - it's always my aim to have an even mix of titles including representation of the trans community, but this of course depends on what is being produced. If filmmakers aren't making lesbian films (for example) - I can't screen them!

Q: Response from people when talking about BQFF?
Very positive. People recognise that all kinds of communities have film festivals to celebrate their culture and to see themselves on screen.

Q: Best queer film you have ever seen and why?
‘Coming Out’. Ignore the lame title, this is an incredible film. Made in 1989 by the East German film monopoly, it's astounding that it was made at all. It's shot on location and features the gay clubs that were operating in East Berlin at the time. The film premiered the night that the Berlin Wall came down.

Q: Top 3 picks for this year's festival?
‘The Last Summer of La Boyita’, ‘The Secret Diaries of Miss Ann Lister’, ‘Undertow’.

Q: What do Brisbane audiences think of Queer film and do you think that is different to other places in Australia?
The audience in Brisbane is sophisticated in its tastes and extremely loyal. It's also very vocal! I think it's quite unique that Brisbane audiences aren't afraid to vocalise or to spontaneously applaud - I love that!

Q: When do you think Queer film will be seen via mainstream cinemas?
Mainstream cinemas do screen queer films - but only those which have major actors attached, such as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘The Kids Are Alright’. All the other queer films that are produced each year rely on film festivals to reach an audience, which is why queer film festivals play such an important role for audiences and filmmakers alike.

The 12th Annual Brisbane Queer Film Festival is on at the Brisbane Powerhouse from April 8-17.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 16:24

Brazil Film Festival


There is a surplus of amazing film surrounding Brisbane at the moment. Keeping the Gold Coast Film Festival and the 19th St. George Bank Brisbane International Film Festival company is the lesser known but just as exciting Brazil Film Festival. Claudio Climaco is the man bringing it all together in Brisbane.

What is your role in the festival?
I am the local coordinator for the Brazil Film Festival in Brisbane. The festival ran for the first time in Australia in Sydney last October 2009 and due to its success they decided to expand it to Melbourne and Brisbane this year. My qualifications include a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media through Griffith (QCA) and I have also worked with Brazilian culture in Brisbane for the last 12 years, teaching Capoeira, a Brazilian form of Martial arts combining music, dance and acrobatics.

How would you describe Brazilian film?
Brazilian films mirror the Brazilian take on life - they are often critical of the social conditions and at the same time humorous, artistic, passionate and hopeful of overcoming their difficulties.

Are there any famous actors we may recognise who are Brazilian?
Few Brazilian actors have 'made it' on the international scene. But most recently Rodrigo Santoro appeared as one the Generals in the ‘Che’ movies released last year as well as having spots on Charlie's Angel sequel and ‘Love Actually’. Veteran Sonia Braga had her share of Hollywood appearances including ‘Sex and the City’.

What can we expect from this festival and how is it different to other festivals?
The Brazil Film Festival is offering a variety of elements of the Brazilian cinema production focusing on the most recent films produced and/or released in 2009 and 2010. The festival is also a celebration of Brazilian culture, bringing together the music and dance of Brazil in a number of events surrounding the screening of the festival. There will be live entertainment in the opening and closing night parties as well as cocktails before the first screening where a VIP guest - the Embassador of Brazil in Australia will be doing an introduction to the festival.

The Brazil Film Festival runs from November 18-21. For screening times and more details, check out

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