The world premiere of director Cathy Henkel’s Show Me the Magic: The Adventures of Don McAlpine will anchor the Brisbane International Film Festival’s 15-film-strong documentary competition, BIFFDOCS.
Part personal memoir and part professional tribute, the film is said to weave material from the acclaimed cinematographer’s personal archive with on-set tributes from such high-profile collaborators as PJ Hogan, Hugh Jackman, Gillian Armstrong and Paul Mazursky.
“This film has been five years in the making,” says Henkel. “It is very exciting for me to have the premiere here in Brisbane where I live, and at a festival which has screened three of my previous films.”
The film is supported by Screen Queensland, Screen Australia, Deluxe and Panavision, with international distribution being handled by Films Transit International. Show Me the Magic will premiere on November 22.
Queensland head of screen culture and BIFF programmer Richard Moore has arranged one other world premiere in the section, celebrated Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s Ping’an Yueqing, an investigation of the mysterious death of a Chinese dissident in a rural village.
Of the remaining 13 films in competition, all Australian premieres, well-travelled non-fiction features such as Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles, Amy Berg’s West of Memphis, The Central Park Five from David McMahon, Ken Burns and Sarah Burns and Laurent Bouzereau’s Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir share the slate with lesser known but no less compelling work.
Katrine Boorman’s Me and Me Dad explores life with her celebrated father, director John Boorman, whilst Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze) follows a charismatic mainland boxing coach as he searches the country for the next China Heavyweight.
Director Gabrielle Provaas’ Meet the Fokkens profiles 69-year-old twin prostitutes in Amsterdam’s notorious red light district, as Norwegian doco-maker August B. Hanssen braves the eccentricities of celebrated artist and fellow countryman Terje Brofos in Pushwagner.
A group of Israeli soldiers go back to school in Silvina Landsmann’s Soldier/Citizen, and director Sean Mcallister was in the right place (Yemen) at the right time (early 2011) to chart the spread of the Arab Spring in The Reluctant Revolutionary.
Reindeer herders in northern Siberia are the subject of Aleksei Vakhrushev’s The Tundra Book: A tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock, whilst Three Sisters is Chinese director Wang Bing’s revelatory look at a trio of young siblings living on their own in a remote and mountainous Chinese village.
Billing itself as “Australia’s richest prize for documentary filmmakers,” BIFFDOCS offers a cash prize of A$25,000 to the winner of a juried section comprised of “films that exhibit the ability to surprise, entertain, provoke and disturb.”
Go here for the complete BIFFDOCS schedule, and here for ticketing information on the Brisbane International Film Festival, running November 14-25.
About this writer
Land, Money and Power… Dig deep into Australia’s epic history of mining.
A simple and concise introduction to the life of world champion cyclist, Cadel Evans.
Discover le Tour - the tactics, achievements, scandals and names you should know.