In the lead up to the historic 20th year of the event, the Brisbane International Film Festivalhas unveiled BIFFDOCS, Australia’s richest documentary prize.
Announced yesterday by Queensland Arts Minister Rachel Nolan in the countdown to the Cannes Film Festival, the establishment of the new award puts it at the top of the country’s list and highlights the growing global appetite for this film genre. A cash prize of $25,000 is on offer for documentary filmmakers.
An initiative of Screen Queensland’s Head of Screen Culture and BIFF Director Richard Moore, BIFFDOCS is designed to encourage documentaries that surprise, entertain, provoke and disturb.
The award comes hot on the heels of a successful 2010 event, with the festival applauded for its documentary programming. Indeed, in a strong year for the format, documentaries comprised seven of the top ten films as voted by the BIFF audience, with the number one spot going to Orchids: My Intersex Adventure, and crowd favourites Gasland and Bill Cunningham: New York also placing highly.
Mr Moore said that although there are no limitations in terms of subject matter, prize entry for the award would be by invitation from BIFF and open to productions longer than one hour in length that could guarantee an Australian premiere.
The winner, to be decided by a panel of industry practitioners and BIFF representatives including a working documentary filmmaker, one representative of the documentary industry, Mr Moore and up to two additional people, will be announced as part of the 2011 Brisbane International Film Festival, which takes place from November 3-13.
Further information about the BIFFDOCS prize is available on the BIFF website.