Minister Unveils Richest Documentary Prize in Australia

09 May, 2011 by IF

Press Release from Screen Queensland

With the countdown to next week's Cannes Film Festival underway, Queensland Arts Minister Rachel Nolan has unveiled Australia's richest documentary prize.


Ms Nolan said the $25,000 Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) documentary prize puts it at the top of the country's list and highlights the growing global appetite for this film genre.

"The winner will be announced as part of BIFF's 20th anniversary this year when it takes over Brisbane from November 3-13," Ms Nolan said.

"BIFF is big film event in Queensland and one of the leading film festivals in the country, attracting over 20,000 film goers and industry representatives.

"Each year BIFF draws film enthusiasts to view an entertaining mix of local and international films, retrospectives and colourful events.

"This new prize will give audiences another chance to view a premiere and it would be great to see Queenslanders in the running.

"With some of the best locations on earth, our own film schools and accomplished film makers and producers, I would really like to see Queenslanders in the running for the inaugural prize this year."

BIFF was last year applauded for its documentary programming under Screen Queensland's Head of Screen Culture Richard Moore in his first year as the Festival Director.

"We've seen from the 2010 BIFF how strongly our audience responds to the documentary format," Mr Moore said.

"BIFF audiences named documentaries as seven of their favourite BIFF films in the 2010 Showtime Top Ten films, with the number one spot going to Phoebe Hart for her Queensland documentary Orchids: My Intersex Adventure."

Mr Moore said prize entry for the new award, called the BIFFDOCS Prize, would be by invitation from BIFF and open to productions that could guarantee an Australian premiere.

"For this award, BIFF will be connecting with a wide international network of documentary producers to seek out the very best of professional documentary filmmaking for BIFF audiences in 2011," he said.

The BIFFDOCS Prize will be decided by a panel of industry practitioners and BIFF representatives including a working documentary filmmaker, one representative of the documentary industry, Mr Moore and up to two additional people.

"Our criteria encourage documentaries that surprise, entertain, provoke and disturb. There are no restrictions in terms of subject matter, however productions must be more than one hour in length," Mr Moore said.

More information about the BIFFDOCS Prize and the 2011 BIFF can be found on the festival website,