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Melding stage and screen: Brisbane Festival reimagines live performance through film

1 Sep

Melding stage and screen: Brisbane Festival reimagines live performance through film

An exciting new partnership with Screen Queensland will liberate performances from the stage and create immersive multimedia environments in this year’s Brisbane Festival.

Exploring the symmetries of stage and screen, the genre-crossing partnership reimagines the boundaries of live performance through a camera lens across the 23-day Festival from 3 – 25 September.

The two elements’ combined creative power is on display in First Nations Fashion: Walking In Two Worlds on Sunday 5 September, supported by Screen Queensland. 

The First Nations-led fashion, dance, film and live music experience combines a live runway show with pre-recorded video filmed on Country at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha by First Nations company, Wirrim Media.

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said the overarching concept by First Nations Fashion + Design Creative Director Grace Lillian Lee showcases and honours how contemporary First Nations people have a foot in two worlds.

"This event is completely unique to Brisbane Festival and will highlight the duality with the cinematic edit of the First Nations models among on Country combined with the live experience of more than 20 local and interstate models walking the runway in collections by 11 Indigenous designers,” Ms Bezzina says. 

“The experience will be very atmospheric and take audiences to that parallel world, providing a sense of the richness of culture and stories behind the designs and a connection to Country.

"The unique First Nations-led soundtrack and cinematic beauty really elevate the show from just a runway into a multidisciplinary experience."

Louise Bezzina
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director

Photos by Atmosphere Photography

Screen Queensland also supports Ishmael, a world premiere work by Brisbane-based theatre company Dead Puppet Society, in the Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) until Saturday 18 September.

Ishmael is the company’s first production to include live filmmaking and uses state-of-the-art technology system creation and automated camera techniques in partnership with industry world leaders Christie Digital and eMotimo.

Melding live filmmaking and projections with miniature sets, live actors and music, Ishmael is a retelling of classic novel Moby Dick as a contemporary space saga.

"Effectively, we are creating a live film on stage that plays out right in front of the audience’s eyes."

Nicholas Paine
Dead Puppet Society Executive Producer

Audiences can watch the action on a big screen or gaze to the left or right of the stage to see how the layered elements of the individual miniature sets with custom laser-cut models and objects combine against projections on green screens to create the different environments captured by camera.

"Ultimately, the live theatre and filmmaking will transport the audience to a completely different realm while sitting in the same seat, which is only possible to do digitally," Mr Paine says.

"We cherish the opportunity to partner with Screen Queensland and hope to continue working together in the future to create these innovative types of works."

Photos by Dean Hanson

Screen Queensland is invested in growing a successful screen industry throughout the state, supporting a wide range of local, interstate and international productions, talent development programs and film festivals.

Ishmael is presented by Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Dead Puppet Society, and Brisbane Festival, in association with Screen Queensland.

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Brisbane Festival expresses deep respect to and acknowledges the First People of this Country.