One of the city’s most significant cultural events returns this April and it brings with it three world, ten Australian and four Queensland premieres.
Gold Coast Film Festival has established itself as one of Australia’s leading screen industry events. In 2019, as well as the premieres, it’s offering more than 100 films across 13 locations, celebrating all things cinematic. There are unique pop-up open air cinema experiences spanning the length of the coast, a smattering of celebrity appearances, a gala awards night, a full program of industry panels (25, to be exact) and networking events and serious opportunities for women in film and emerging filmmakers.
Celebrating its 17th year, Gold Coast Festival runs 3 – 14 April and opens with the red carpet Australian premiere of ‘2040’ by award-winning filmmaker Damon Gameau, best known for his work with ‘That Sugar Film’. The film, which will be followed by a Q+A with the filmmaking team explores solutions for the planet’s modern-day problems.
There’s a bunch of films with local connections in the program too. The festival’s closing night world premiere of ‘Escape and Evasion’ was filmed in our luscious Currumbin Valley. Another world premiere will be the eagerly awaited screening of stylish noir film ‘Locusts’, a thriller from Gold Coast writer/producer and radiologist Dr Angus Watts and director Heath Davis, featuring an ensemble of Australian character actors including Ben Geurens and Jessica McNamee.
Sigrid Thornton, who is currently Executive Producer and lead actor on a series reboot of Australian drama ‘Sea Change’ is popping in to the inaugural Screen Industry Gala Awards to accept the Chauvel Award and will be in conversation at that event with Hollywood journalist Jenny Cooney.
The Lady Parts podcast team will deliver feminist commentary for classic 90s pop culture icon ‘Scream’, there’s horror films screening in the deep woods of Springbrook and a gala screening of much-anticipated ‘Top End Wedding’ from director Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and writer-producer-star Miranda Tapsell. Festival favourites including movie locations tours, music and movie trivia, the Women in Film lunch and floating cinema also make a return.
Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher is equally pleased with the quality of films as well as the wide variety of experiences on offer.
Lucy believes that the best film festivals offer people so much more than just the chance to watch movies.
“We have once again raised the bar on that front,” she says. “From unique pop-up cinemas on the water, in the bush and on urban streets to daily workshops for children and wine and cheese events, our massive program of events and screenings allows people to immerse themselves in film and have a little fun along the way.
The festival will be held in the Queensland school holidays and the event will host children’s events every day, including acting filmmaking and photography workshops as well as free outdoor movies across the city. And families are expected to flock to ‘Blind Cinema’, the ground-breaking live event where children use hushed voices to describe a film that only they can see to their blindfolded adults. In an additional coup for families, organisers have also expanded their free creche program to open on three days to ensure parents can enjoy the event with and without their kids.
“With record numbers of films from both Gold Coast and Australian filmmakers and films from more than a dozen countries to be screened, we are proud of the platform we are providing local, national and international filmmakers to be seen and rewarded with deserving accolades,” Lucy says.
All-in-all more than 120 film-related events will be delivered from Coomera to Coolangatta across the Festival’s 12 days. Gold Coast Film Festival runs Wednedsay 3 – Sunday 14 April with HOTA – Home of the Arts as its main festival hub. BCC Coolangatta and Event Cinemas Coomera also host festival screenings. Find out more and book your tickets now.
The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland and is supported by the City of Gold Coast.
Saturday 4 April
A ticketed event hosted at Movie World to celebrate and recognise the achievements of winners and finalists of the festival’s awards across feature films, short films, webseries and screenwriting.
The centerpiece of the night is the Chauvel Award. The 2019 winner, Sigrid Thornton will be present at this years’ awards, and will take part in an interview with Jenny Cooney. The Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award, PKF Best Australian Independent Film Award – Peer Award, Queensland Screenwriting Award finalists and winner, SIPFEST (Shorts in Paradise) finalists, and Webseries finalists + award winners will be announced at the event.
Friday 5 April
Proudly brought to you by Screen Queensland and following back-to-back sell-outs, the hugely popular event returns in 2019 with ABC Gold Coast’s Nicole Dyer hosting an intimate and insightful ‘In Conversation’ with producer Greer Simpkin about her stories, perspectives, and experiences.
Saturday 6 April
Immerse yourself in Jackie Chan’s unique slap-stick Kung Fu for a night of authentic Asian food experiences and the screening of two Chan classics in Gold Coast Chinatown; Karate Kid and Drunken Master.
Saturday 6 April – Sunday 7 April
This annual short film festival transforms the iconic Surfers Paradise beachfront into an iconic open-air cinema. Watch on as 14 finalists are screened all vying for their share in $8,000 in prize money. Sunday sees the screening of B.OLD a series of short films that challenge our views on ageing and classic dance films Strictly Ballroom and Dance Academy The Movie.
Saturday 6 April – Sunday 7 April, Saturday 13 April
Ever wondered where the Gold Coast’s famous film locations are? If so, climb on board for a 3.5 hour guided bus tour of the film locations made famous by both international blockbusters and Australian classics.
Tuesday 9 April
Hosted by the Lady Parts podcast team, Aimee Lindorff and Sophie Overett, with guest Maria Lewis, film critics will love the casual conversation that flows in the comfort of the cinema as the 90s horror film is dissected to discover the techniques and tools used to ensure Scream left its mark on teen film, horror, and pop culture.
Wednesday 10 April
Enjoy a night cruising the Gold Coast waterways before relaxing under the stars on top of the luxe Spirit of Elston riverboat to watch the adorable rom-com about falling in love every day.
Thursday 11 April
Join ABC Gold Coast’s Bern Young at the QT Hotel as she goes in search of the Gold Coast’s ultimate team of film and music trivia champions.
Friday 12 April
Hosted at the Gold Coast’s favourite brewery, Burleigh Brewing Co, this outdoor cinema gives film and beer lovers the chance to combine their two loves for an epic night following the interesting journey of Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights.
Friday 12 April – Saturday 13 April
Grab a beanbag and your headset to go on a film adventure as Spy Kids 3: Game Over, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Angry Birds Movie, and the hilarious old-school video game nostalgia of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is screened over two nights.
Friday 12 April – Saturday 13 April
The Blind Cinema will see a row of blindfolded adults sit in the darkness of a movie theatre while children seated behind them whisper descriptions of what is unfolding on screen.
Saturday 13 April – Sunday 14 April
In partnership with Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF) festival-goers can strap on a headset and be taken to the world of virtual reality. A carefully curated mix of Immersive Virtual Reality Experiences awaits, transporting you to places, plot lines and perceptions you didn’t think were possible.
Saturday 13 April
The spine-tingling outdoor event will be hosted in the most unique cinematic location of Springbrook. Those who dare brave the darkness will be treated to the Australian Premiere screening of The Furies followed by the screening of 2012 twisted slasher flick, Cabin in the Woods.
Sunday 14 April
Dive into the epitome of surf culture as three films are screened exploring the conversations, community, challenges, and conversation around surfing and our coastlines.