We ought to be in pictures!

HUGH JACKMAN RECEIVES ORDER OF AUSTRALIA MEDAL. In September 2019, Hugh Jackman received his medal as a Companion of the Order of Australia from Governor-General, David Hurley, at an investiture ceremony at Government House. Hugh was recognised in the Queen's Birthday honours in June for his contributions to the performing arts and his work in advocating the end of poverty. Hugh said: ‘As the youngest son of parents who made the decision to immigrate to Australia the year before I was born, this honour is especially emotional and humbling to me… I am an immensely proud Australian, and am so grateful for the opportunities I have received by being raised there.’ Hugh’s iconic portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men films was among the many on-screen performances lauded in the honours list and his stage career has also been celebrated, including the lead role in ‘The Boy from Oz’. In addition to his efforts to halt poverty, Hugh’s philanthropic endeavours include his work with the Fight Cancer Foundation and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. (Photo by L.J. May S/S)


This is Brisbane! Queensland, Australia

Greetings and welcome to WatchwordsThis site is about writers, readers, artists, filmmakers and our beautiful City of Brisbane.


What's happening in film!


The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), through its Australian Cinémathèque, is excited to present its second year of the long-running and much-loved BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.


BIFF is ON NOW and runs until Sunday, 13 October 2019. As well as the ticketed program, the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) has a number of films you can experience (some for free!) at the State Library of Queensland. 

BIFF 2019 is presented in conjunction with cinema and venue partners throughout Brisbane. Across 11 days, BIFF 2019 celebrates contemporary international and Australian screen culture with new-release features, documentaries, short films and curated strands, alongside screenings with live music, conversations, panel discussions and more.

The patrons of this year’s festival are Academy Award-nominated writer, director, and producer BAZ LUHRMANN and his collaborator of over 30 years, Academy Award-winning costume and production designer CATHERINE MARTIN. QAGOMA Director CHRIS SAINES said the Gallery was thrilled Luhrmann and Martin were on board as patrons of BIFF 2019.

‘Together this creative Australian couple have brought to the world a spectacle of opulence and lavish melodrama seldom seen in Australian cinema. With their extensive international presence, we are honoured to have their patronage for the festival this year,’ Mr Saines said.

Amanda Slack-Smith, the festival’s Artistic Director and Curatorial Manager of QAGOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque, said BIFF 2019 would be presented at GOMA and city-wide venues. ‘We are delighted to partner with Dendy Cinemas Coorparoo, The Elizabeth Picture Theatre and New Farm Cinemas, Reading Cinemas Newmarket and the State Library of Queensland to screen more than 100 award-winning new releases, shorts and documentary films from around the globe.’

‘BIFF 2019 celebrates creativity in all its forms and includes film accompanied by both live music and food, workshops, conversations and panel discussions, the inaugural Short Film Awards and the GOMA exhibition ‘Setting the Stage’.

‘Different aspects of the Festival will unpack the creative process, trace new directions in filmmaking, amplify the importance of sound in film and celebrate screen culture in its growing multitude of forms, from silent cinema to artificial intelligence,’ Ms Slack-Smith said.

Celebrate Brisbane International Film Festival this October. Check out the full Brisbane International Film Festival program to plan your visit. Tickets are on sale now. TICKET INFORMATION: Adult $16.50, Concession $12.50, QAGOMA Member $11.50, Child $10.50. A 6+ CINEPASS is available - the more you see, the more you save! Add 6 or more tickets to your cart and get a 15% discount! * Read more info here.  SPECIAL EVENTS ARE AT SPECIAL PRICES – CHECK HERE FOR THOSE at

Stay up-to-date with BIFF 2019 news, screenings and events by subscribing to the BIFF eNewsletter at and follow BIFF on social media @bneintlfilmfest and #BIFFest2019. During BIFF, discounted tickets to selected films will become available. To access these exclusive ticket prices, make sure you sign up to the BIFF eNews. Allocations are selected daily and are offered on a first-in, first-served basis. Sign up for BIFF e-news.

QUEENSLAND PREMIER ANNASTACIA PALASZCZUK said BIFF 2019 was a major highlight in the state’s calendar of must-do arts and cultural events. ‘We’re particularly excited that BIFF 2019 is receiving the support of Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, the powerhouse creative duo whose untitled Elvis project will soon begin filming on the Gold Coast, and which is expected to employ 900 Queenslanders and inject more than $105 million into the local economy.’

Download the BIFF calendar AND brochure here - get the BROCHURE TICKET INFORMATION


The ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL celebrates 20 years and in Brisbane is ON NOW and runs until 16 October 2019. Festival Director, Elysia Seccola says: ‘For 20 years we have shared our love of cinema and Italian culture striving to present the best new films from Italy for film lovers, young and old. Critically acclaimed and award-winning films share the spotlight with the biggest box office hits, creating an entertaining line-up for audiences around the country.

‘With 18 locations attracting over 80,000 admissions each year, this is the biggest celebration of Italian culture in the Southern Hemisphere, and the biggest Italian film festival in the world outside of Italy, so come and enjoy a film, a coffee, a vino, an aperitivo, la dolce vita, and the magic of cinema. Viva il cinema!

Venues in Brisbane for the film festival are the Palace Barracks, 61 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane (07) 3367 1356, and the Palace James Street, 39 James Street, Fortitude Valley (07) 3852 4488. General admission prices are: Palace Golden Movie Club $12.50, Palace Movie Club $14.00, Concessions $15.50, Adult admission $19.50. There are 5, 10 and 20 film passes available. Check the website for special events which are priced separately.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS: In CINEMAS at box offices daily until sold out – note that cinemas can only sell tickets for their respective venues. You can buy tickets ONLINE at where major credit cards are accepted and booking fees apply. You can book BY PHONE by credit card only (ex. Diners). Credit card must be produced when collecting tickets, and booking fees may apply. NOTE that festival films are restricted to persons aged 18 years and over unless specified.


TINA ARENA: Tina is an internationally renowned singing artist with total album sales topping ten million. She is also the only Australian artist to earn a gold or platinum certification for original album releases in every decade since the 1970s right through to today. Tina has also forged a stellar theatre career both in Australia and abroad. As her parents underwent one of the last Sicilian arranged marriages, Tina related to the film Promised on a personal level, which is why she chose it to be her debut feature film.

MEGAN GALE (FESTIVAL AMBASSADOR): Born and raised in Perth, Megan began modelling during her final year of high school and rose to international fame when she was cast in a series of advertisements for Italian Omnitel (Vodafone). Megan became an overnight sensation when her first advertisement aired and a devoted Italian fan base was born. She embraced the chance to live and work in the country that would quickly become her second home, modelling for numerous Italian fashion houses and starring in several Italian movies and television shows. These were followed by appearances in major international feature films such as Russell Crowe’s directorial debut The Water Diviner and George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

PAUL MERCURIO: Paul is one of Australia’s most accomplished and recognised television personalities, and has succeeded in many facets of the entertainment industry, including dance, choreography, acting and television presenting. He has also authored three cook books and founded the Beerlicious condiment range. Many people will remember Paul from his role in Baz Luhrmann’s critically acclaimed film, Strictly Ballroom. Since then he has performed in 14 feature films, countless Australian television shows, choreographed over 30 dance works for stage and screen, and performed in various theatre productions. Like Tina Arena, Paul related to Promised on a personal level as the people and stories are very familiar to him.


In Brisbane, this event will be held at the Palace James Street, on Wednesday, 16 October 2019. Join fellow enthusiasts for cocktails and Connoisseur Gourmet Ice Cream during the reception at 6.00 p.m., and from 6.30 p.m. see the film screening of Ron Howard’s highly anticipated biopic Pavarotti.

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI is one of the most famous tenors in history. His charm, charisma, and impressive ability to hit the high-C earned him a level of renown on par with the biggest pop stars. He brought opera to the masses, and in Ron Howard’s inspiring documentary it’s easy to see why. Howard pays homage to the late star, casting a warm and informative light on his life and career with a light-hearted joy, romance, sadness, and hope that will make you fall in love with Pavarotti all over again.

Pick up a hard copy of the program at your local library or visit the website at and go to 'Brisbane' on the website menu for the Brisbane schedule and ticket information. 



THE EMMY FOR OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL GOES TO HANNAH GADSBY FOR ‘NANETTE!’ Hannah’s honest stand-up performance in which she shares intimate details of her life, including growing up gay in Tasmania, beat fellow nominees Adam Sandler, Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Beyonce for the top honour. The Television Academy awarded Hannah the ‘Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special’, and shared the award on Twitter, which was immediately flooded with praise from fellow Aussies, including Russell Crowe, David Campbell and Charlie Pickering. The much-loved comedian was also nominated for Outstanding Variety Special (pre-recorded) but that went to ‘Carpool Karaoke’. Hannah was made aware of the nominations in July, and at the time she said she was ‘pretty chuffed’ about it. Hannah’s Netflix stand-up special ‘Nanette’, filmed at the Sydney Opera House, brought her to the attention of international audiences and her live performances and video of the work have received much critical praise. Hannah was born in Tasmania and, after life as a promising perpetual student, graduated from the Australian National University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Curatorship. Naturally, with those qualifications in the bag, she then went on to work as a cinema projectionist and a tree planter. Hannah finally settled on comedy, but still presents documentary specials, gives talks on art, and opens the odd exhibition. She performed ‘Hannah Gadsby: Arts Clown’, a series for BBC Radio 4 based on her comedy art shows. Can’t get enough of her? Hannah is currently on tour overseas with her follow up to Nanette, ‘Douglas’, which she says ‘is a very specific dog.’ See for tweets about her current adventures. (Photos by L.J. May)