Brisbane has lost yet another film festival. And this time, it’s not getting a direct replacement. In a statement released yesterday, the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) announced that last November’s festival would now be its last.
“After careful consideration and engagement, a decision has been taken to discontinue the festival and focus on a year-round Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA),” reads the statement on the BAPFF website. “We’d like to thank all our fans and supporters. It’s been an honour bringing Asia Pacific cinema to Brisbane screens.”
The BAPFF is being replaced by intermittent screenings and events throughout the year as part of the APSA events program.
Still, it feels like a blow for Brisbane cinema fans. The BAPFF replaced the much-loved – and much larger – Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) in 2014, and while it played to the Queensland capital’s pivot towards the Asia Pacific, it was also greeted with ambivalence in some quarters. In an op-ed at the time, former BIFF director Richard Moore described that festival’s cancellation in favour of BAPFF as “retrograde and short-sighted.”
Either way, Australia’s third-biggest city must now go without a major film festival. And this just two weeks before the Gold Coast Film Festival screens its biggest program yet. Bummer.