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Gold Coast Film Festival, HOTA

Funding allows film festival to target a new generation of filmmakers

Gold Coast Film Festival is one of nine organisations to share in $1.8 million in funding from City of Gold Coast over the next three years.

The Arts Organisations Triennial Funding Program supports organisations that deliver an annual program of arts and cultural activity across the City. The Program supports the growth of the sector, building capacity for these arts organisations to grow and deliver high-quality cultural products for the community.

Now in its 18th year, the Festival brings diverse Australian and International films as well as filmmakers and events to the Gold Coast over 12 days in April. The Triennial grant will support the promotion and skills development of emerging local and Australian filmmakers.

Lucy Fisher is the Director of the Gold Coast Film Festival and she said the funds will help the organisation deliver a sustainable year-round program of screen industry events. Lucy said, the events had run previously as a trial.

“We set them up because we wanted to trial them before applying for triennial funding,” she says.

“We’ll now be delivering specific student events to help the next generation of filmmakers find creative teams of their peers to work together and hopefully encourage them to stay on the Gold Coast,” Lucy told We Are Gold Coast.

The events will help filmmakers to work creatively and also to network with other members of the screen industry. There will also be an increased number of films by Gold Coasters screened across the Festival’s annual programming.

“Those filmmakers might not necessarily get mainstream distribution,” Lucy says, “but we’re helping to elevate them and to find audiences.”

Most of the events will take place at HOTA, Home of the Arts and will generally involve Q+As with filmmakers, giving locals the opportunity to hear from industry folk and for aspiring screen professionals to learn from those more established.

“It’s fantastic to see the City of Gold Coast supporting the development of arts and culture organisations and there’ll be a trickle-down affect,” Lucy says. “Individual arts and culture workers across the city also audiences and audience development will all benefit as a result.”

This year’s Gold Coast Film Festival takes place 3 – 14 April and the first program announcement focusses heavily on events for families and children. Workshops will help young people develop acting, filmmaking and photography skills, there’s a dedicated schools program and a series of free outdoor movies across the city. There’s also a blind cinema experience where children are coached on narrating and interpreting a film before doing so for a blind-folded audience of adults.

“We relish the chance to inspire a passion for filmmaking and screen culture in the next generation of film buffs,” Lucy says.

“With this year’s Gold Coast Film Festival falling in the Easter school holidays, we have been gifted a wonderful opportunity to devise a program that lights up the eyes of youngsters.”

All-in-all this year’s event will feature more than 100 films, panels, parties and events, including unique pop-up outdoor cinemas on the beach, in the Hinterland, in a laneway and even floating on a boat.


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