The only thing bigger than the premieres on screen will be the Australian film industry stars watching them when the 2020 Gold Coast Film Festival explodes to life in April.
Screen industry luminaries including actors Jack Thompson and Hugo Weaving, producers Sue Maslin, Greer Simpkin, John Pilger, Rosemary Blight and Chris Brown and directors Wayne Blair, Kriv Stenders and Warwick Thornton will be among the guests to light up the 12-day event, which will feature four world, nine Australian and 11 Queensland premieres amid an epic schedule of cinematic action from Coomera to Coolangatta.
The 18thannual Gold Coast Film Festival has today officially launched its full program, with a huge array of events for movie lovers of all ages from outdoor pop-up cinemas and filmmaker Q&As to industry galas and workshops.
Running from April 15-26, the festival will open with I Am Woman, the debut feature film from Unjoo Moon and one of the country’s most anticipated films of 2020.
Screenwriter Emma Jensen will walk the red carpet at HOTA ahead of the screening of the biographical drama that captures the life of Australian singer Helen Reddy, whose iconic song I Am Woman became an anthem for the women’s movement in the 1970s.
The screening will be one of 24 premieres held during the festival, including the closing night Australian Premiere of Bloody Hell, a dark, comedic thriller shot on the Gold Coast. Producer Brett Thornquest and actors Ben O’Toole and Meg Fraser will take part in a Q&A following the screening at HOTA.
“With two dozen premieres across 12 days, film lovers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to experiencing unique stories and fresh talent on the big screen,” Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher said.
“In addition to our incredible opening and closing night films, I’m thrilled that we are hosting the world premiere of Slim & I, the incredible documentary that shines a light on Joy McKean, Australia’s own ‘Queen of Country Music’, and her enduring partnership with Slim Dusty.
“It will be an honour to welcome Joy and the film’s director Kriv Stenders and producer Chris Brown on the red carpet at HOTA and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
“This year we also have a first for the festival with a special screening of the first two episodes of the second season of AACTA and Logie-Award winning drama TV series Mystery Road and look forward to hearing the behind-the-scenes stories from directors Wayne Blair and Warwick Thornton and producers Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey.”
More highlights of the festival will be the Gala Screening of Never Too Late with legendary actor Jack Thompson and producer Antony Ginnane in attendance on Saturday 18 April.
Award-winning actor Hugo Weaving will also attend the festival and take part in a Q&A following the screening of the gripping drama Hearts and Bones on Tuesday 21 April.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Gold Coast Film Festival played a crucial role in promoting the talents of local filmmakers.
“With so many Queensland-made films in the program, the festival truly showcases the strength of our state’s growing screen industry which supports jobs for local directors, producers, writers, actors and more,” the Premier said.
“As one of our major film events, supported by Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, the festival presents an opportunity for local audiences to celebrate the hard work and creativity of these Queenslanders, who make movie magic right here in our own backyard.
“This festival is a highlight of the local events calendar and attracts thousands of people each year, shining a spotlight on Queensland’s thriving $1 billion screen industry, which employs more than 7100 people across the State.”
Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said it was proud to be an ongoing major sponsor of the festival through the Screen Culture Funding Program, which supports a multitude of film events around Queensland.
“The Gold Coast Film Festival plays an important role in our state’s screen industry ecosystem. It shows locally-produced films from emerging and established filmmakers, inspires the next wave of creative talent and facilitates vital industry networking,” said Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich.
“We look forward to yet another highly successful year and encourage everyone in the south-east to take advantage of this year’s diverse program, including Screen Queensland-supported films Bloody Hell, Slim & I and Swimming for Gold,” said Ms Munnich.
The festival’s much-loved Women in Film Lunch will feature award-winning children’s content producers Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis of Queensland’s Like A Photon.
The film industry will also come together for the Screen Industry Gala Awards, which will include the awarding of the Chauvel Award for an individual’s significant contribution to the Australian screen industry to film producer, Sue Maslin AO.
An addition to the Gold Coast Film Festival calendar in 2020 is Dark Nights and Fantastic Fans, which is dedicated to bringing audiences the best in cult and genre films all at the one venue.
This year’s focus will see Events Cinema Coomera become home to a Harry Potter Marathon across 20 hours from 12pm on Saturday, 18 April to 8am on Sunday, 19 April.
With the boy wizard’s eight classic films to be screened back to back for the first time on the Gold Coast, fans will be urged to stay well nourished, wear their house colours and stand up once in a while.
Parents will also be sure to relish the chance to attend a ground-breaking workshop on Saturday 18 April with Angie Simpson, the mother of Cody and Alli who have established themselves in the competitive show biz world.
Navigating your Child’s Career with Angie Simpson will see the Gold Coast mum share advice and tales from her own amazing journey, which saw the family move to Los Angeles for eight years as she successfully supported her children’s dreams after a 13-year-old Cody was ‘discovered’ on YouTube.
Pup-Up Cinema will also come to the Gold Coast on Sunday, 26 April when Queen Elizabeth Park at Coolangatta hosts the Dog-umentary Movie Night, including best-dressed dog competitions, a selection of pup-friendly market stalls and Australian premiere of Well Groomed, a dog-umentary that explores the creative and humorous world of competitive dog grooming.
Held in partnership with Paws at the Park, the canine-friendly social event will even see the pooches walk the red carpet as they enjoy their well-deserved moment in the spotlight.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said events like the Gold Coast Film Festival were important contributors to the Queensland economy.
“We invest in events because we know they drive people to the region, boosting the economy and supporting local jobs,” Ms Jones said.
“The Gold Coast Film Festival is expected to welcome close to 10,000 people, many visiting from outside the region.
“This program has something for every film buff. You can’t go wrong with an awesome lineup of movies on the Gold Coast – one of the most sought-after tourism destinations in the world.
“From humble beginnings, the festival has grown to become an important fixture on the Gold Coast’s events calendar. We know 2020 will be bigger and better than ever.”
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the film industry continued to embrace the benefits of working in the city.
“The Gold Coast is famous for rolling out the red carpet and it’s no different for the filmmakers who choose to create their film and television productions here,” he said.
“We have a thriving film community on the Gold Coast, which is reinforced each year by this tremendous festival that unfolds in cinemas, parks, hotels and other venues across the city.”
Among many highlights, the festival will host the cast and crew of Swimming for Gold at its world premiere at HOTA – Home of the Arts on Saturday, 18 April. Filmed entirely in Queensland, the film tells the story of a young woman who must overcome a secret fear after her father sends her to Australia to coach an elite boys swim team.
The festival will also provide filmmakers, actors and film students with a wide range of professional development opportunities, including industry panels and in-depth workshops on pitching, screenwriting and editing.
The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, worth $880m to the state’s economy in 2020.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.gcfilmfestival.com
World premieres – Slim & I, Swimming for Gold, House of Inequity, A Lion Returns
Australian premieres– Bloody Hell, Cunningham, White Riot, The Assistant, Blackbird, Window to the Sea, Sea Fever, Disclosure, Well Groomed
Queensland premieres – I Am Woman, Radioactive, Delfin, Bellbird, Adam, Master Cheng, Dark Whispers Vol 1, Iron Fists, Morgana, Smoke Between Trees, Mystery Road
Dark Nights and Fantastic Fans (Saturday, 18 April) – Dark Nights and Fantastic Fans brings the best in cult and genre cinema to Event Cinemas Coomera. From gory horror to twisty sci-fi, suspenseful thrillers to fan favourites, this is a collection of films for true film fans. Don’t miss the Harry Potter Movie Marathon with all eight Harry Potter movies screened back-to-back on the big screen for the first time on the Gold Coast.
Pup-Up Cinema: Dog-umentary Movie Night (Sunday, 26 April) – Bring your dog to this pop-up outdoor cinema night and dog market at Coolangatta. Held in partnership with Paws At The Park, the night will feature best dressed dog competitions, dog grooming demonstrations, a selection of pup-friendly market stalls and conclude with the Australian premiere of Well Groomed, a dog-umentary that explores the creative and humorous world of competitive dog grooming.
QT BITES: Food + Film Fest (Thursday, 16 April) – Take a trip around the world with delectable food, drink and bite-sized films celebrating Japanese and Mexican cuisine. Held at The Spring, QT Gold Coast, guests will celebrate film, indulge in food and drink and escape from the everyday.
LadyParts Live Commentary: Jennifer’s Body – Dark Nights (Sunday, 19 April) – watch cult favourite Jennifer’s Body in this very special screening of Diablo Cody and Haryn Kusama’s cult classic, while our panel of cultural commentators and film experts explore not only Megan Fox’s iconic turn in the titular role, but the shifting narratives and meanings of genre horror. Hosted by the Lady Parts podcast team of Aimée Lindorff and Sophie Overett and featuring exclusive special guests, this event will be a lively discussion about film history, killer women and feminist horror.
Workshop: Navigating your Child’s Career with Angie Simpson (Saturday 18 April) – do you have a highly talented child who is keen to pursue a career in the industry and wonder how you can best support them? Angie Simpson – mother of globally renowned Cody and Alli – has successfully managed to support her children’s careers, including moving the family to Los Angeles for eight years, and will share her wealth of experience, great stories and excellent tips to get you started.
Kids + Families – looking to inspire your kids and engage their creative side? The festival is packed to the brim with screenings and workshops for kids designed to foster creativity, film literacy and filmmaking skills including the Harry Potter Movie Marathon, Wide Angle Film Festival, Sky High Cinema and Film Music and Dance.
The Art of Sound Effects – learn the secret art of Foley and Sound Design for film and television in this one-hour, hands-on kids workshop. Develop your listening skills as we explore the layers of sound used to create landscapes in cinema. Get creative using everyday items, food and musical instruments to create a unique soundscape for a favorite animated film.
World premieres – Slim & I, Swimming for Gold, House of Inequity, A Lion Returns
Australian premieres– Bloody Hell, Cunningham, White Riot, The Assistant, Blackbird, Window to the Sea, Seafever, Disclosure, Well Groomed
Queensland premieres – I Am Woman, Radioactive, Delfin, Bellbird, Adam, Master Cheng, Dark Whispers Vol 1, Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, Morgana, Smoke Between Trees, Mystery Road episodes 1 & 2
Australian Films (18)–I Am Woman, Slim & I, Swimming For Gold, Never Too Late, Smoke Between Trees, Disclosure, Hearts and Bones, Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, A Lion Returns, House of Inequity, Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road, Dark Whispers Vol 1, The Show Must Go On, Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt), Morgana, Love Opera, Bloody Hell
Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award– Disclosure, Smoke Between Trees, A Lion Returns and Morgana.
Gold Coast Film Festival
Date:Wednesday, April 15 until Sunday, April 26
Locations: The main festival hub for screenings, special events, and industry panels is HOTA – Home of The Arts. Additional screenings and events are held at 14 locations including BCC Coolangatta, Event Cinemas Coomera, Surfers Paradise Beach, QT Gold Coast, and Bond University.
Cost: Free and ticketed events
Accommodation:Visitors travelling to the Gold Coast for the 2020 Gold Coast Film Festival can stay in style at partner hotel QT Gold Coast. Located just a five-minute drive from the GCFF action, QT Gold Coast is the perfect destination for an inspired stay. Special GCFF room rates available. To book online, please visit www.qthotels.com/gold-coast/and enter the promo code GCFF20 for your special rate
ABOUT THE GOLD COAST FILM FESTIVAL
The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by its major partners Screen Queensland, City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland and HOTA – Home of the Arts. Event Cinemas/BCC Coolangatta, QT Gold Coast, Bond University and Surfers Paradise Alliance are event partners of the 2020 Gold Coast Film Festival. The festival is also supported by gold partners PKF, Movie World, Blue Shadow Group and The Edit Suite.
For media enquiries, contact Pippa Jeffries at Ruby Communications on 0417 785 737 or email email@example.com.