We're Here All Week: Public Formation and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival (Report) - Queensland Review

We're Here All Week: Public Formation and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival (Report)

By Queensland Review

  • Release Date - Published: 2007-08-01
  • Book Genre: History
  • Author: Queensland Review
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We're Here All Week: Public Formation and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival (Report) Queensland Review read online review & book description:

The Brisbane Powerhouse was reopened in 2000, an election year for the Brisbane City Council, by then Lord Mayor Councillor Jim Soorley. Built in a decommissioned power station, the 'Centre for the Arts' was one of the culminations of Soorley's $4 billion Urban Renewal Program ('About Urban Renewal'). It was also a major--$22 million worth, to be precise--addition to the Brisbane arts scene (Buzacott: 11). It is of particular interest, then, that one of the highest profile events of the Brisbane Powerhouse's inaugural program was the first screening of the Brisbane Queer Film and Video Weekend (now the Brisbane Queer Film Festival or 'BQFF'). Now in its eighth year, and still screened at the Brisbane Powerhouse, the BQFF continues to be Queensland's only regular public film festival dedicated to explicitly queer films. (1) But at a time when queer film festivals around the world are under increasing pressure to disband, given claims that 'queer' is supposedly such an accepted part of mainstream media that separate events are superfluous, what role--if any--does the BQFF have in Brisbane's and Queensland's queer culture (see Rich 2006)? This paper explores the BQFF as a potential site for the articulation and enactment of a queer Queensland presence. To this extent, I am interested in the BQFF as an event and space, rather than as a collection of individual texts. I explore the BQFF's queer cultural potential from three angles. First, I look at the BQFF's spatial context by examining the Brisbane Powerhouse as a socio-sexual space. Second, I develop these spatial readings into an industrial analysis by contextualising the BQFF as part of the international queer film festival circuit. Third, I query the BQFF's queer potential by discussing its temporality; after all, what kind of queer presence is it really possible to mobilise with an event that lasts less than one week each year? And what might it mean to broader considerations of the BQFF's attendees or of 'queer publics' in Brisbane and Queensland? This paper offers answers to these questions.

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