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Ultimate Guide to Brisbane’s Film Festivals

Ultimate Guide to Brisbane’s Film Festivals

Hey there film buffs! Are you tired of the same old blockbuster movies and want to explore something new and exciting? Then you’re in luck because Brisbane has a diverse range of film festivals that cater to all interests.

From indie flicks to international cinema, there’s a festival for everyone. 

Get ready to mark your calendars, because you won’t want to miss out on these cinematic experiences. Keep reading to discover the top film festivals in Brisbane that you should add to your must-watch list!

Overview of Brisbane’s Film Industry

Overview of Brisbane's Film Industry
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Brisbane is known for its thriving arts and culture scene that encompasses a range of creative expressions such as music, theater, dance, and visual arts. But one aspect that is often overlooked is the city’s film industry.

Brisbane has a long history of producing and supporting independent films, and as a result, it has a vibrant film culture. The city’s supportive environment for filmmakers is also one of the key factors for its strong film industry.

The city offers a range of resources, including studios, equipment rentals, and post-production facilities, making it an ideal place for filmmakers to bring their projects to life. 

Additionally, the city has a network of film schools and training programs that help to cultivate a new generation of filmmakers and actors.

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Brisbane’s film culture is celebrated through its numerous film festivals. These festivals showcase the best in local and international cinema, providing audiences with a diverse range of cinematic experiences.

Whether you’re a fan of independent films, documentaries, or international blockbusters, there’s a film festival for you in Brisbane.

In addition to festivals, Brisbane also has a range of events and screenings throughout the year that showcase local talent and emerging filmmakers. These provide a platform for new voices to be heard and offer a glimpse into the future of the city’s film industry.

1. Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF)

Date: 26 October – 5 November

Venue: Brisbane cinemas and theaters across the city.


Contact details: [email protected]

Tickets: The ticket prices for different venues vary. The cost of an adult ticket starts at $18, while concession tickets begin at $15. Additionally, some venues offer tickets for special film events.

The Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) is a premier event that has been entertaining audiences for almost 30 years. With over 150 unique film depictions, the festival showcases both Australian and international film projects.

Here, you expect to see filmmakers, cast members, and crew in attendance, ready to discuss their projects and interact with the audience. It also offers an impressive lineup of international movies with a focus on reflecting Brisbane’s multicultural audience.

With a Film Chooser on their website, festival-goers can receive film recommendations based on their movie preferences. Featuring over 100 feature, documentary, and short films each year, BIFF is a must-see event for any film lover.

Pro tips:

  • Arrive early to secure good seats as some of the screenings tend to get crowded.
  • Make sure to check the film schedule ahead of time to plan which movies you want to watch and when they will be shown.
  • Take advantage of the Film Chooser on BIFF’s website to help narrow down your movie choices based on your preferences.
  • Attend some of the special events like Q&A sessions and masterclasses to gain insights from industry professionals.
  • Try to catch some of the lesser-known films and indie projects, as they can often be hidden gems.
  • If you’re on a budget, look out for discounted tickets or early bird specials.
  • Enjoy the whole festival experience, including the food, drinks, and socializing, as it’s not just about the films.

2. Queensland Film Festival (QLDFF)

Date: The festival’s opening night is scheduled on May 26, and it will continue for several weeks.

Venue: Several venues in Brisbane are involved, including New Farm Cinemas, Elizabeth Picture Theatres, The Gallery of Modern Art, and Institute of Modern Art, which have been part of the festival’s history and are expected to participate again.


Contact details: +617 3358 4444, [email protected]

Tickets: Tickets for adults start at $17, while tickets for children cost $14.

The Queensland Film Festival (QLDFF) is a rapidly growing event that has become one of the biggest and best film festivals in Brisbane since its launch in 2015.

It showcases contemporary cinema at multiple venues across the city, including QAGOMA, the Institute of Modern Art, New Farm Cinemas, and the recently renovated Elizabeth Street Picture Theatre.

The festival encourages filmmakers to submit their works for consideration, provided they have not been previously screened on TV or online in Australia and Queensland, respectively.

Moreover, QLDFF aims to re-energize local film culture by fostering discussions about the movies screened and encouraging people to share their thoughts and opinions.

Pro tips:

  • Take advantage of the multiple venues hosting the festival. Each venue has its own unique vibe and atmosphere, so try to experience as many as you can.
  • Check out the film schedule in advance and plan your screenings accordingly. This will help you avoid missing out on movies you really want to see.
  • Consider attending the Q&A sessions with filmmakers, actors, and other industry professionals. This can provide valuable insights and a deeper appreciation of the films you watch.
  • Keep an open mind and explore films from different countries and genres. QLDFF is known for its variety, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
  • Lastly, support local filmmakers by attending screenings of their films. QLDFF is a great platform for showcasing local talent, so show your support and help promote the growth of the local film industry.

3. Australian Cinematheque

Date: Throughout the year, movies are screened every Wednesday and Friday evening, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with the exception of holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Venue: Gallery of Modern Art


Contact Details: +61 (0)7 3840 7303

Tickets: The majority of the time, admission to this recurring event is free. However, there may be some instances where certain movie events require a ticket, but these will be announced beforehand to prevent unexpected charges at the entrance.

The Australian Cinémathèque is a year-round film festival held at QAGOMA in Brisbane that showcases classic cinema. Screenings are held every Wednesday and on weekends, and occasionally, there are free screenings.

This festival is a haven for movie enthusiasts who are into rare movies, 35mm projections, and digital restorations.

Each week, there is a screening of a classic film with a thematic approach that showcases original cinematic techniques, presented as if it was in its infancy. Entry is generally free, except for special focus days.

If you’re a fan of classic cinema, the Australian Cinémathèque is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the nostalgia of the past.

Pro tips:

  • Take advantage of the opportunity to see rare movies that you might not have had the chance to watch before.
  • Be aware that some screenings may not have subtitles, so brush up on your foreign language skills if necessary.
  • Take the time to appreciate the original cinematic techniques and the history behind each film.
  • Check the schedule ahead of time to see which classic films will be playing during your visit.
  • Arrive early to ensure a good seat, especially for popular films.
  • Consider bringing snacks or purchasing them at the venue, as some screenings can be quite long.

4. BrisAsia

4. BrisAsia
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Date: This festival is typically scheduled for the initial three weeks of February, and it is expected to continue following this tradition.

Venue: Different locations within Brisbane city will be used for the festival depending on the particular event selected.


Tickets: You can buy tickets for each individual event, and the prices are available online.

BrisAsia is a vibrant and diverse festival celebrating the rich and varied cultures of Asia in Brisbane.

Held annually in the early months of the year, the festival offers a wide range of events such as live performances, music, theater, talks, panels, and films that showcase traditional and contemporary Asian art and culture.

The festival’s film program is a particular highlight, featuring some of the best Asian cinema shown in Brisbane’s finest locations.

With a multi-performance style approach, BrisAsia offers a unique experience for attendees to immerse themselves in Asian culture through various genres, food, and more.

The festival also brings together famous performers from all over the Asian cultural scene, creating a vast collection of intriguing features. Whether you’re interested in exploring traditional or modern Asian culture, BrisAsia has something for everyone.

Pro tips:

  • Take advantage of the food options available and try some traditional Asian dishes.
  • Engage with the performers and artists to learn more about their culture and art forms.
  • Bring cash, as some events and food vendors may not accept cards.
  • Respect the performers and other attendees by turning off your phone and refraining from talking during performances.
  • Consider attending talks and panels to learn more about Asian culture and its influence on art and society.
  • Check the festival schedule ahead of time to plan which events you want to attend.
  • Take breaks between events to rest and recharge, as the festival can be quite busy and overwhelming.

5. Greek Film Festival

5. Greek Film Festival
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Date: August

Venue: All around Brisbane in various cinemas, galleries, and theaters.


Tickets: The prices of the tickets begin at $22, but can increase based on the number of events you choose to attend, as well as the package price.

The Greek Film Festival showcases the best of the Greek film industry, featuring both native and international filmmakers and a wide range of genres.

Thanks to the recent success of filmmakers like Yorgos Lanthimos and Athina Rachel Tsangari, the festival provides a great opportunity to discover the talent emerging from Greece.

Supported by the government, the festival features a diverse range of projects on the big screen in various formats.

Whether you’re looking for stunning visuals, thought-provoking themes, or exceptional acting, you’re sure to find something that captures your interest at the Greek Film Festival.

Pro tips:

  • Try to attend one of the Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors if possible. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the films and get insight from those who made them.
  • Consider trying some Greek food at the festival. Many Greek festivals offer traditional food and drinks that can add to the overall experience.
  • Be respectful of the culture and traditions represented at the festival. It’s important to remember that festivals like these are a celebration of a particular culture, so be mindful of that in your interactions and behavior.

6. Iranian Film Festival Australia

Date: This festival hosts events throughout November.

Venue: New Farm Cinemas, Brisbane


Contact Details: [email protected]

Tickets: The opening night tickets are usually priced at $30, while package deals are offered for a three, five, or full-week pass depending on the films you want to see. For instance, a five-film pass costs $88 and an eight-day pass is available for $135.

The Iranian Film Festival Australia (IFFA) is an annual event that showcases the best of Iranian cinema. While it has its home in Brisbane, the festival also travels around the country to bring the most impactful films from the Middle East to a wider audience.

Held each November at the New Farm Cinemas, the festival highlights the successes of the Iranian film scene and brings new, emotive, and creative developments to the forefront.

IFFA celebrates Iranian culture and its contributions to the world of film. It offers a unique opportunity for audiences to experience the richness and diversity of Iranian cinema, with a wide range of genres and themes explored in the films showcased.

From thought-provoking dramas to heartwarming comedies, the festival presents an immersive experience that captures the essence of Iranian storytelling and filmmaking.

Pro tips:

  • Keep an open mind and be prepared to experience different perspectives and styles of filmmaking.
  • Try Iranian food at local restaurants or food stalls that may be available during the festival, for a full cultural immersion.
  • Consider attending one of the special events or workshops that are sometimes offered in conjunction with the festival to learn more about Iranian culture and the film industry.
  • Take time to explore the beautiful New Farm area where the festival is held, and enjoy the cafes and other attractions nearby.

7. British Film Festival

Date: 19 October – 16 November

Venue: The festival is held in various Palace Film Cinemas located in Brisbane.


Contact Details: [email protected]

Tickets: To be announced at 

The British Film Festival, sponsored by Cunard, presents a collection of over 30 new films that feature emerging British talent.

As the name suggests, the festival is dedicated to celebrating the British film industry and offers a unique platform for new artists to showcase their work to a wider audience.

The festival has something for everyone, with a diverse range of genres, styles, and themes featured throughout the event. Whether you are a fan of drama, comedy, or action films, you will find plenty to enjoy here.

In addition to the film screenings, the British Film Festival also offers attendees the opportunity to interact with the filmmakers themselves.

Many of the directors and actors behind the films are in attendance at the premieres, and there are often Q&A sessions and meet-and-greet events where fans can engage with their favorite stars.

Pro tips:

  • Keep in mind that filmmakers and actors may be in attendance at certain screenings, so stay after the film for Q&A sessions or the chance to meet them.
  • Take advantage of the festival atmosphere and enjoy the British-themed food and drinks available at the cinema.
  • Consider purchasing a multi-film pass or ticket package if you plan on seeing several movies. This can often save you money compared to buying individual tickets.
  • Don’t forget to turn off your phone or set it to silent during the movie to be respectful of others’ viewing experiences.

8. Spanish Film Festival

Date: April – May

Venue: The festival is held in various Palace Film Cinemas located in Brisbane.


Contact Details: [email protected]

Tickets: To be announced at 

The Spanish Film Festival is an annual event that showcases a range of films from Spain and Latin America. It is a celebration of the rich culture and diversity of Spanish-speaking countries, with a focus on film as the medium of expression.

The festival features a variety of genres including drama, comedy, romance, and documentaries, allowing audiences to experience the vibrancy and creativity of Spanish and Latino filmmaking.

Aside from the screenings, the festival also provides opportunities for attendees to interact with filmmakers, actors, and other industry professionals through Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and other events.

The Spanish Film Festival is a highly anticipated event in Brisbane, and with its diverse selection of films and engaging programming, it offers a unique cultural experience that is not to be missed.

Pro tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to try out films that you may not be familiar with or haven’t heard of before. The festival offers a great opportunity to discover new Spanish and Latin American films.
  • Consider attending some of the festival’s special events, such as opening or closing night celebrations or themed parties. These can be a great way to meet fellow film enthusiasts and immerse yourself in Spanish and Latin culture.
  • Make time to explore the other offerings of the festival beyond just the films, such as art exhibitions or live music performances. This can provide a more comprehensive experience of Spanish and Latin culture.
  • Take advantage of any Q&A sessions or filmmaker talks that may be available. This can provide unique insights into the creative process and the stories behind the films.

9. Flickerfest Short Film Festival

Date: March

Venue: Palace James St Cinemas


Contact Details: 0414 779 881

Tickets: General admission tickets are priced at $27.50, while concession tickets (students, seniors, and pensioners) are $24.50.

Flickerfest Short Film Festival is a renowned event that showcases short films made by both emerging and established filmmakers from all over the world.

The festival aims to promote and celebrate the art of short film-making, providing a platform for filmmakers to showcase their works and engage with audiences.

Flickerfest has been around for over two decades, and it continues to grow and evolve, staying true to its mission of bringing the best of short films to audiences.

The festival takes place across various cities in Australia, including Brisbane, where it screens for a number of days. Flickerfest offers a diverse range of short films that explore different genres, themes, and styles.

From comedies to dramas, animations to documentaries, there is something for everyone at Flickerfest.

Pro tips:

  • Arrive early to get a good seat, especially if it’s a popular screening. Some of the venues are quite intimate, so arriving early will give you a better chance of getting a good view of the screen.
  • Be open to different genres and styles of films. The festival features a range of short films, from drama to comedy to animation, so be open to trying something new.
  • Take advantage of the Q&A sessions after some of the screenings. This is a great opportunity to hear from the filmmakers themselves and gain insights into their creative processes.
  • Consider attending one of the special events or workshops that are part of the festival program. These provide a chance to learn more about the industry and network with like-minded individuals.

10. German Film Festival

Date: 3 May – 24 May

Venue: The festival is held in various Palace Film Cinemas located in Brisbane.


Contact Details: (07) 3852 4488, (07) 3367 1356

Tickets: Ticket prices are being posted at

The 2023 German Film Festival is set to showcase the best contemporary German cinema, including a selection of films from Austria and Switzerland.

With a lineup of 33 films, this festival includes key selections direct from the Berlinale and features a music-focused retrospective, a focus on female filmmakers, and the popular Kino for Kids sidebar presented by the Goethe-Institut.

This year’s festival highlights include the drama A Thousand Lines, based on true events and directed by Michael ‘Bully’ Herbig, which opens the festival.

The festival’s centerpiece is the tense drama The Teachers’ Lounge, starring Leonie Benesch, which follows an idealistic teacher investigating a series of thefts at her new school.

There are also two Special Presentations, including the stylish biopic Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey into the Desert, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, and the thought-provoking drama SISI & I, starring Susanne Wolff and Sandra Hüller.

Pro tips:

  • Buy your tickets in advance. German Film Festival screenings can be popular, so it’s a good idea to purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment. You can usually buy tickets online or at the cinema box office.
  • Brush up on your German language skills. While most films will have English subtitles, it can still be helpful to have a basic understanding of the German language and culture when watching German films. Consider learning a few key phrases or reading up on German cinema history before attending the festival.

11. Italian Film Festival

Date: September – October

Venue: The festival is held in various Palace Film Cinemas located in Brisbane.


Contact Details: [email protected]

Tickets: Check the festival’s website for updates on ticket prices.

The Italian Film Festival is an annual event that showcases the best of contemporary Italian cinema. It is presented by Palace and sponsored by Lavazza, and it usually takes place in major cities, including Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Adelaide.

The festival typically features a diverse range of films that reflect Italy’s rich cultural heritage, as well as its modern and vibrant identity.

During the festival, audiences can immerse themselves in Italian cinema and culture, with screenings of the latest films, as well as special events and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and industry professionals.

The festival also includes a number of sidebars, such as the Lavazza Italian Film Festival Opening Night Gala, the Aperol Spritz Sunset Cinemas, and the Kids’ Festa, which is a special program of films and activities designed for younger audiences.

Pro tips:

  • Be prepared to read subtitles, as most films will be in Italian with English subtitles. However, some films may be dubbed in English, so check the schedule for details.
  • Don’t forget to try some Italian food and drink at the festival if available. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in Italian culture and enhance your overall experience.

12. Japanese Film Festival

Date: November

Venue: Check the festival’s official website for venue announcements.


Contact Details: (02) 8239 0055, [email protected]

Tickets: Information regarding ticket prices will be available on the festival’s website.

The Japanese Film Festival, presented by The Japan Foundation, is a highly anticipated annual event that showcases the best of Japanese cinema to audiences worldwide.

This festival brings the latest and greatest Japanese films to the screen, including award-winning dramas, anime, and documentaries, providing a unique cultural experience for movie lovers and Japanese enthusiasts alike.

The festival offers a diverse range of films that reflects the rich and unique culture of Japan, providing a window into the country’s art, history, and contemporary society.

It also includes events and activities such as filmmaker Q&As, workshops, and cultural experiences that give attendees a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and its connection to film.

Overall, the Japanese Film Festival is a must-attend event for anyone interested in Japanese cinema and culture.

Pro tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. The festival showcases a variety of films, from classic Japanese cinema to new releases, so take the opportunity to explore different genres and styles.
  • Take advantage of the Q&A sessions and discussions with filmmakers. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the films and the creative process behind them.
  • Consider attending some of the festival’s special events, such as opening or closing night. These events often include additional activities and can provide a unique festival experience.
  • Check the schedule ahead of time and plan which films you want to watch. Some films may have limited screenings, so it’s important to plan ahead to make the most of your festival experience.

13. Australia Independent Film Festival

Date: 27 October – 29 October

Venue: Metro Arts West Village, West End Brisbane


Contact Details: +61 493 389 629, [email protected]

Tickets: Each screening session costs $15 per ticket along with an additional booking fee.

The Australia Independent Film Festival is an annual celebration of independent filmmaking in Australia. It showcases a diverse range of films made by up-and-coming filmmakers and established industry professionals.

The festival features a program of screenings, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, and industry networking events. It provides a platform for emerging filmmakers to showcase their work and connect with industry professionals.

The festival also offers a unique opportunity for audiences to discover new and exciting voices in Australian cinema. With a focus on storytelling and originality, this film festival celebrates the creativity and innovation of independent cinema.

Pro tips:

  • Engage with the filmmakers: Many screenings at the festival will have Q&A sessions with the filmmakers and actors after the film. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the film, and the creative process, and ask any burning questions you may have.
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities: The festival provides a great opportunity to network with other filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals. Attend the festival events, such as parties or industry forums, and make connections with like-minded individuals.
  • Bring cash and cards: Some festival vendors may only accept cash, while others accept both cash and cards. Be prepared by bringing both payment methods to avoid missing out on merchandise or food and drinks.
  • Dress appropriately: The festival is a great opportunity to dress up and enjoy the atmosphere. Check the dress code for any special events or premieres and dress appropriately.


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