Brisbane International Film Festival announces 2020 program

More than 70 films will screen across 11 days

The Brisbane International Film Festival has announced its 2020 program, which runs from October 1-11.

The 11-day event will feature more than 70 films, screened at six different venues around Brisbane.


There’s a veritable mix of documentaries, panel discussions and films in this year’s program, which opens with the Australian premiere of Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s High Ground.

Catherine Dwyer’s film on the women’s liberation movement in Australia, Brazen Hussies, is also on the BIFF list, featuring a soundtrack courtesy of Courtney Barnett and Milk! labelmate Evelyn Ida Morris. The film will screen on October 3 and October 6, with the first screening followed by a panel discussion with Dwyer.

Another activism documentary, Rubika Shah’s White Riot, will also host a panel discussion after its Australian premiere on October 2. Shah’s first film, it follows the Rock Against Racism movement sparked in the UK in the ‘70s, featuring interviews with artists from the time, such as The Clash, Steel Pulse and Tom Robinson.

Having made its premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival last month, Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky will also screen as part of BIFF. The documentary pulled a lineup of First Nations musicians together to create a contemporary musical storyline about Captain Cook’s landing, including Alice Skye, Mo’Ju, Birdz and Trials, among others.

Speaking to NME last month, Skye reflected on embracing writing music that incorporated the themes of first contact, resistance, language and the truth.

“When I was asked to write a song with all those things in mind, I was unsure about where to begin,” she said. “I did have a pre-existing song that was unfinished; this opportunity drove me to finish it.”


The program will conclude with Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, a documentary by Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin about the Bangarra Dance Theatre company.

Tickets and the full program can be found here.