BIFFDOCS 2012 winner announced
22 Nov 2012
The winner of the 2012 BIFFDOCS competition, Australia’s richest documentary prize, has been announced by the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF).
American Director Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles, has been chosen as the 2012 BIFFDOCS winner in a unanimous decision by the BIFFDOCS jury.
BIFF Festival Director and Head of Screen Culture at Screen Queensland, Richard Moore, said The Queen of Versailles was an extraordinary film that resonated with the jury and strongly delivered on the BIFFDOCS competition criteria.
“The BIFFDOCS jury is looking for the film that surprises, disturbs, provokes and entertains audiences,” Moore said.
“Even in a very strong field of BIFFDOCS contenders, which included filmmakers of the ilk of Ken Burns and Peter Jackson; Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles, stood out as a vital and honest film that delivered on all fronts.”
Director Lauren Greenfield’s character driven documentary, about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the global financial crisis, is a documentary of epic proportions.
The Queen of Versailles follows two unique characters, David and Jackie Siegel, owners of a sprawling real estate empire, triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America but when the economy falters the film becomes an exploration of what happens to the family when the financial bubble bursts.
The 2012 BIFFDOCS judges; Richard Moore, Head of Screen Culture and BIFF Director; Michael Angus, celebrated documentary filmmaker and film producer; Sandy George, film critic, author and correspondent for global industry information portal, Screen Daily; and Kim Longinotto, internationally acclaimed British documentary filmmaker; agreed, The Queen of Versailles is a truly extraordinary documentary.
“The Queen of Versailles is an engrossing film that offers audiences an honest portrait of the effect of economic forces on real lives and real relationships. Director Lauren Greenfield takes us into the home of a family living the American dream that rapidly turns into the American nightmare delivering audiences an often shocking and thought-provoking experience.”
Lauren Greenfield was ecstatic when she received the call from Richard Moore advising her of the win.
“I am so honored to be the recipient of this incredible award from the esteemed jury of the Brisbane International Film Festival,” Greenfield said. “I am thrilled that the jury and the Australian audience have responded to the film and its characters. The Queen of Versailles is an allegory about the overreaching of America and the mistakes that were made on all levels that led to the financial crisis, and it is deeply satisfying to know that these themes have resonated with the Australian audience.”
Lauren Greenfield will receive a $25,000 cash prize as the winner of BIFFDOCS and confirmed her film will now enjoy a theatrical release in Australia through a partnership with local distributer, Madman Entertainment.
Festival Director Richard Moore invites audiences to experience the winner of the 2012 BIFFDOCS competition, when it enjoys an encore screening this weekend at Palace Barracks cinema on Sunday at 4.30pm.
“We are thrilled at the calibre of documentaries that BIFFDOCS has attracted in 2012 which bring the best films of this type in the world to have their premiere screening in Brisbane.”
“We encourage audiences to see not just the winning film of the 2012 BIFFDOCS competition, but other entries also enjoying encore screenings at various festival venues this weekend.”
BIFFDOCS is an initiative to recognise the best of international documentary making. Together with Screen Queensland’s support of documentary production in the state, it demonstrates the Queensland Government’s commitment to this immensely popular art form.
Show Me the Magic Thursday 22 November Palace Barracks 1 6.30 PM
China Heavyweight Thursday 22 November Tribal Theatre 2 6.30PM
Reluctant Revolutionary Thursday 22 November Tribal Theatre 2 8.30 PM
Sunday 25 November Palace Barracks 5 12.00 PM
Ping’an Yuequing Friday 23 November Palace Barracks 4 7.00 PM
Pushwagner Friday 23 November Palace Barracks 5 5.30 PM
Sunday 25 November Palace Barracks 5 3.00 PM
Meet the Fokkens Saturday 24 November Tribal Theatre 2 9.30 PM
Soldier/Citizen Saturday 24 November Tribal Theatre 2 8.00 PM
The Tundra Book: A tale of Vukvukai, The Little Rock Saturday 24 November Palace Barracks 5 12.00 PM
Me and Me Dad Saturday 24 November Tribal Theatre 2 6.30 PM
Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir Sunday 25 November Tribal Theatre 2 4.00 PM
Queens of Versailles Sunday 25 November Palace Barracks 4 4.30 PM
“The Queen of Versailles is a serious film that exhibited all the elements we were looking for in our guidelines – it’s provocative, disturbing , full of surprises and importantly for all the jury members , an entertaining watch. This tale of an American family living the American Dream and then the American economic nightmare of the GFC, is a microcosm of a story that is playing out all over the globe. But The Queen of Versailles is far from a dry stock market report at the end of the nightly television news; it’s a vital and honest portrait of the effect of economic forces on real lives and real relationships. We congratulate Lauren Greenfield for absolute excellence in documentary filmmaking.”
The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) is the premier film event in Queensland, and provides a focus for film culture in the state by showcasing the best and most interesting cinema from around the world.
BIFF celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2012, taking over city cinema screens for 12 intense days of screenings, premieres and conversations with film makers, from 14 – 25 November.