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Browse BIFF strands – a collection of films grouped by features, documentaries and curated programs.


‘Belonging’ presents a selection of documentaries that explore humanity’s innate search for family and community. The desire to belong meets no strict definition, nor is it bound to any time, place or generation. These films illustrate the many forms this pursuit can take, from the fraught to the existentially fulfilling.


This year’s selection of documentaries proves just how powerful true stories can be. From the streets of Ramallah to the exuberant drag scene of 1950s New York, BIFF 2020 brings together captivating people and places, politics, and perspectives.


BIFF 2020 serves up the most exciting new feature films from around the world. From celebrated stars to cult directors and emerging voices, this year’s festival brings together the joyous, the mind-bending and the utterly affecting. Presented exclusively on the big screen, these films will fuel your imagination for months to come.


‘Homecoming’ brings together a selection of locally made films showcasing the diverse creative talent working in front of and behind the camera from Queensland.

Jack Thompson Performs

Selected by the master himself, these four films traverse the storied career of Australian screen icon Jack Thompson, highlighting some of his most considered and lesser-seen performances. In Burke & Wills 1985, join the two legendary explorers on their journey across Australia before going on the run in New Zealand in the darkly thrilling Bad Blood 1981. The Assassination of Richard Nixon 2004 finds Thompson sharing the screen with Hollywood stars like Sean Penn and Don Cheadle in a compelling portrait of obsession. Also showcased is the first collaboration between Thompson and Stephen Maxwell Johnson, director of BIFF 2020 Opening Night film High Ground 2020, in the powerful Australian film Yolngu Boy 2001.

Jill Bilcock Edits

A salute of one of Australia’s most celebrated editors, Jill Bilcock, BIFF 2020 presents four captivating films which showcase her flair and precision. From the game changing opening sequence of Baz Luhrmann’s Shakespeare adaptation Romeo + Juliet 1996, which quickly became one of the most influential montages in modern cinema, to Sam Mendes measured 1930s Chicago drama Road to Perdition 2002, Ana Kokkinos’s moving social drama Blessed 2009 and Jocelyn Moorhouse’s delightful small town tale The Dressmaker 2015, this is just a taste of Jill’s extensive involvement behind some of the great films in cinema.

Power of Pictures

Cinema’s unique ability to create alternative visions of the world is at the heart of the four films featured in ‘Power of Pictures’. Ben Rivers and Anocha Suwichakornpong’s elegant new release Krabi, 2562 questions film as a medium that documents or transforms its surroundings, while veterans of experimental film Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, Ulrike Ottinger and Christoph Schlingensief interrogate the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Through personal memoir and interviews, Ottinger and Schlingensief reflect on their impressive and eclectic artistic careers in Paris Calligrammes and Schlingensief: A Voice that Shook the Silence. In his final and genre-jumping film, Labyrinth of Cinema, Ôbayashi concocts a kaleidoscopic caper through Japanese cinema history.


From cinematography to choreography, this selection of films looks at how we use creative expression to find release from the everyday. Documentaries Bring Down The Walls and If It Were Love explore the dance floor as a space of connection, transformation and liberation. In The Earth is Blue as an Orange and Wake Up On Mars, two families choose to escape the harsh realities of armed conflict and social displacement by creating their own fantastical, alternative worlds.

Short Films

BIFF 2020 Shorts show us the rich and varied world of short filmmaking. This selection champions films by emerging filmmakers and seasoned professionals from Australia and abroad. Each film selected has been shortlisted to compete in the BIFF 2020 Short Film Awards. Judged by a panel of industry professionals, the winners of this year’s Awards will be announced on the final night of the Festival.


‘Transcendence’ brings together films that explore the extraordinary. From the liminal space between sleep and wakefulness teased out in the eight-hour performance documented in Max Richter’s Sleep 2020, the poetic musings of our future selves advising the present day in Last and First Men 2020, to meditations on being and not being in Nine Days 2020 and Meanwhile on Earth 2020, these films prompt us to consider life beyond the minutiae of our everyday and embrace larger philosophical questions surrounding our existence.


Belonging Documentaries Features Homecoming Jack Thompson Performs Jill Bilcock Edits Power of Pictures Release Short Films Transcendence