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Alfred Hitchock, Louise Alston and cane toads (opening night film) sit side by side and the extensive list of festival sections Ė from animation, local heroes, music and shock corridor to world cinema Ė all point to the extensive Brisbane Film Festivalís ambitions to be provocative, comprehensive and relevant, under its new director Richard Moore and its new spring date of November (4th- 14th). Andrew L. Urban reports.

ďThere is plenty of spark and flammable political material in this yearís program, particularly in our new Soapbox programming stream,Ē said Moore. ďIf you are interested in the Middle East, the documentary Precious Life, direct from Toronto, will force a rethink of your perceptions of the so called Israel /Palestinian Ďproblemí. The documentary Gasland has local resonance as Queensland explores the mining of natural gas and the documentary Restrepo Ė set right on the front line in Afghanistan Ė couldnít be more timely as Australia debates its ongoing military presence there.Ē

"the festivalís evolution in 2010"

The Festivalís tag line this year is ďthe plot thickensĒ reflecting the festivalís evolution in 2010 with new dates, new venues, a new director, a new website, and a new ticketing system. ďItís the beginning of a new era for the festival and one that weíre really excited about,Ē said Moore as he anticipated the Festival back in September. Screen Queensland CEO Maureen Barron said that while the festival would still feature the distinct flavour people have come to know and love, it would be revitalised with some exciting and original elements.

One of the Festival components to receive a significant makeover this year is the Queensland Short Film Competition (QSFC), a program designed to reward and develop the creative talents of Queensland short filmmakers.

The judges and audience awards of previous years will be maintained and joined by a new award for best project pitch for a new project and short film.

The new Chauvel Award will attract a development investment of $15,000 from Screen Queensland. This joins two other awards being the Kinetone Award for Best Short Film with a cash prize of $2,500 and the Audience Favourite Award, cash prize $2,500.

Alfred Hitchock is represented with his second colour film, Under Capricorn (1949), set in 1830s Australia, starring Joseph Cotton, Ingrid Bergman and Michael Wilding.

Louise Alston is presenting her second feature, Jucy (2010), following her debut with All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane. She describes it as a Ďwomanticí comedy also set in Brisbane.

"An equally unconventional, funny and disturbing film"

The Opening Night film, Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3D, sees director Mark Lewis, granted honorary Queenslander status for the night by St.George Bank BIFF, revisit the topic of his quirky 1988 documentary, Cane Toads: An Unnatural History, with an equally unconventional, funny and disturbing film. The film charts the spread of the toad across Australia whilst profiling the eccentric characters who have embraced the amphibious invaders, and those who have found a way to earn a quick buck off the toad's back.

It is a suitably iconic opening film, given that the cane toad has become the ugly face of Queensland of late.

Published October 28, 2010

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Cane Toads

All films will screen at Palace Barracks, Palace Centro and Tribal Theatre (the old Dendy Cinema in George Street) with the exception of the Opening Night screening at Myer Centre and a special diveĀ]in screening at Centenary Pool.


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