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Open Letter From APSA And BAPFF Film Director Maxine Williamson

Maxine Williamson
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

The Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF) international cultural programme will see 102 films from 42 countries and areas to be screened during the 11-day celebration.


Maxine Williamson, the Film Director of Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and BAPFF, has written an open letter about what drives her passion for cinema:

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“I remember exactly what angle of the screen and what side of the cinema I was sitting on when I strapped in for Rolf De Heer's 'Bad Boy Bubby' back in 1994. I walked out a different person.

Like all art, cinema has and continues to blow my mind, sucking out the cobwebs. It confronts, moves, expands and educates the soul and, at times, can change your perception on things.

A lot has changed for me since leaving Dendy Cinemas back in 2007 to start the international competition – of 70 countries and areas of Asia Pacific – the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), now in its ninth year. I watch way more films. More than 350 a year, possibly more, I’ve lost count. I’ve been to countries I never thought I would see – Leh, Ladakh, Kazakhstan, Iran to name a few. A lot of mind expansion.

November is a busy and exciting time for me and the team. Our international guests will soon be on their way to Brisbane. Two of the world's foremost cinematographers will be here – antipodean Christopher Doyle and Taiwanese-revered Mark Lee Ping-bing. Two international juries arrive next week to view films and determine the APSA winners. The connection of APSA and BAPFF offers Brisbane audiences the chance to hear Asia Pacific filmmakers at the top of their game talk about their films and their experiences. This is an unprecedented screen culture coupling and is something all Brisbanites should embrace and be proud of. We are indeed a new world city!

Taking of Tiger MountainThe Taking Of Tiger Mountain

So grab a programme, open your mind and immerse yourself in these wonderful films; many of which are award-winners straight from Venice, Locarno and Toronto Film Festivals. One of my personal highlights includes our 21st anniversary screening of 'Bad Boy Bubby'. We are celebrating this iconic piece of Australian cinema with the inimitable Rolf de Heer. Another highlight will be a special performance by world-acclaimed Tibetan musician/ composer Tenzin Choegyal at the Australian premiere screening of 'River' by Tibetan filmmaker Sonthar Gyal. Brisbane-based Tenzin contributed to the soundtrack and comes home straight off the back of a collaboration with world-renowned musician Philip Glass in New York.

The Assassin1The Assassin

Two Brisbane boys will return to town for the Gala screening of the stunning feature debut 'Spear' by Bangarra Dance Theatre’s extraordinary Stephen Page and producer John Harvey. 'The Assassin', winner of Best Director at this year's Cannes Film Festival for master Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien, will be attended by Mark Lee Ping-bing. And Opening and Closing Night are also wonderful opportunities to see two uplifting, fun films and enjoy the party afterwards. From myself and the APSA BAPFF team, we hope you enjoy what we have on offer for you.”
– Maxine Williamson

The Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival screens 19-29 November.

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