GCFF - Bringing Films To Life - April 20 - May 1 2022 GCFF - Bringing Films To Life - April 20 - May 1 2022


Three world, 10 Australian and four Queensland premieres, 107 films, 13 locations, 12 days and one incredible celebration of all things cinematic – such are the numbers behind the 2019 Gold Coast Film Festival.

The event, which officially launches its full program of 178 films and events today, has earned a reputation for offering something for everyone and the 2019 instalment is no different with a plethora of additions aimed at fostering a love for film in people of all ages.

From a unique array of outdoor pop-up cinemas to Q&As with various filmmakers, organisers have assembled an innovative program centred on adding to the audience’s cinema experience.

Now in its 17th year and running from April 3-14, the festival will explode to life when award-winning filmmaker Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) walks the red carpet at HOTA, Home of the Arts for the Australian premiere of 2040, his inspiring exploration of solutions for the planet’s modern-day problems.

The screening, which will be followed by a Q&A, will be the first of more than a dozen premieres across the 12 days, including the Closing Night world premiere of Australian war film Escape and Evasion to be held at HOTA on Sunday, 14 April.

Directed by Storm Ashwood and filmed in the Gold Coast’s luscious Currumbin Valley, it explores the troubling effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on a lone surviving soldier.

“The Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to be a major supporter of the Gold Coast Film Festival,” said Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Meaghan Scanlon.

“It was only 12 months ago that the feature film Escape and Evasion supported by the Palaszczuk Government was shooting on the Gold Coast and this year it makes its world premiere at the Festival.

“I am thrilled to announce that Loveland, the latest feature film from Brisbane-based Ivan Sen and Bunya Productions, the same creative team behind Mystery Road and Goldstone, is also currently filming on the Coast. Greer Simpkin of Bunya will be the special guest of the annual Screen Queensland Women in Film Lunch.

“With Godzilla vs. Kong and TV series Reef Break in production whilst the curtains rise on the Gold Coast Film Festival, the spotlight is well and truly on the Gold Coast attracting visitors, boosting the economy and supporting local jobs.”

The film industry will also come together for the inaugural 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 icon Sigrid Thornton.

With a career spanning both the big and small screens in Australia, Thornton is best known for her roles in some of the classics of Australian cinema including box-office hits The Man From Snowy River and The Lighthorsemen and memorable TV roles in Sea Change, All The Rivers Run, Paradise/Guns of Paradise and more recently Wentworth.

Sigrid is currently Executive Producer and lead actor on a series reboot of the much-loved Australian drama, Sea Change, which is now in pre-production.

The icon of the Australia screen and stage will attend the inaugural Screen Industry Gala Dinner and treat guests to an ‘in-conversation’ with Hollywood journalist Jenny Cooney.

Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher said the quality of the films to screen during the event was only surpassed by the wide variety of experiences on offer.

“I’m a firm believer that the best film festivals offer the public so much more than just the chance to watch movies and we have once again raised the bar on that front,” she said.

“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.

“Given the festival will be held in the Queensland school holidays, we’ve even expanded our free creche to open on three days instead of the previous two 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.”

Among many highlights, the festival will hold a gala screening of the much-anticipated Top End Wedding from director Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and writer-producer-star Miranda Tapsell on Friday 12 April.

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.

In a festival first, the event will also host children’s events every day including acting, filmmaking and photography workshops, a dedicated schools program and free outdoor movies across the city.

Families are also 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 blindfolded adults.

Another sensation is sure to be ‘Virtual Reality’, a partnership with Byron Bay Film Festival that allows audiences to strap on a headset and be taken into the world of VR.

Audiences can travel from deep inside the mind of a coma patient in Lucid, outer space in Space Dream and the London of 1916 in The Unknown Patient to journeying with the first woman shaman of an Amazonian tribe in Awavena, who, along with her fellow tribespeople, is using VR to share their story and shift our consciousness.

Other new highlights include pop-up outdoor cinemas in some of the Gold Coast’s most picturesque locations and the Laneway Cinema in Chinatown screening Jackie Chan classics Karate Kid and Drunken Master.

The festival will also provide filmmakers, actors and film students with a wide range of professional development opportunities, including 25 industry panels and in-depth workshops on pitching, screenwriting and editing.

Screen Queensland (SQ) CEO Tracey Vieira said SQ was proud to support a festival playing such a vital role in promoting the talents of the state’s filmmakers.

“The festival program is packed with content that was conceived and created in Queensland by Queenslanders,”
Ms Vieira said.

“From the world premiere of Escape and Evasion and Australian premiere of Elements to the screening of 35 short films and web series across sections including SCREAM, EMERGE, SIPFEST and B.OLD, we are excited Queensland filmmakers have the GCFF to showcase their stories here in the State.”

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the film industry was so active on the coast, he was thinking about ordering new red carpet.

“We’ve worn out our red carpet with world premieres, major television series and locally-grown productions. It’s probably best to order gold carpet as the Gold Coast is the place to be when it comes to the film industry.’’

With events from Coomera to Coolangatta, there are more opportunities for locals and visitors to not only experience the festival but also promote the Gold Coast as a filmmaking destination with a diverse range of iconic locations.

The festival will see events hosted at the city’s newest cinema in Coomera, taking the excitement of filmmaking to the growing northern Gold Coast corridor, along with events at the Helensvale Culture Centre and libraries across the city.

In the spirit of giving back to the local community, the festival is embarking on a Pay It Forward ticket initiative at this year’s festival in conjunction with Gold Coast Hospital Foundation. The public will be able to purchase tickets and ‘pay it forward’ to someone in need, with the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation delivering tickets to cancer patients, volunteer patient drives and nurses.

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.

For tickets and more information, visit www.gcfilmfestival.com.



World premieres – Maybe Tomorrow, Locusts, Escape and Evasion

Australian premieresUnder The Silver Lake, 2040, Happy New Year Colin Burstead, Breaking Habits, Romantic Road, Tito and The Birds, Mia and the While Lion, The Furies, Waiting: The Van Duren Story, Elements

Queensland premieres – Little Woods, Number 37, 1985, Emu Runner

Screen Industry Gala Awards (Saturday, April 4) – 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. 

Women in Film Lunch (Friday, April 5) – Proudly brought to you by Screen Queensland and on the back of 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.

Laneway Cinema: The Legend of Jackie Chan (Saturday, April 6) – 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.

SIPFest: Short Film Festival (Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 7) – 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.

Gold Coast Movie Locations Tours (Saturday, April 6 – Sunday, April 7, Saturday, April 13) – 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. 

Lady Parts Live Commentary Screening: Scream (Tuesday, April 9) – 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.

Floating Cinema: 50 First Dates (Wednesday, April 10) – 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.

Movie and Music Trivia (Thursday, April 11) – 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.

Brewery Night Outdoor Cinema: Boogie Nights (Friday, April 12) – 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.

Gold Coast Superhero Weekend: Movies In The Mall (Friday, April 12 – Saturday, April 13) – 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.

Blind Cinema (Friday, April 12 – Saturday, April 13) –  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.

Virtual Reality (Saturday, April 13, Sunday, April 14) – 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.

Horror in the Hinterland (Saturday, April 13) – 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.

Surf Films At Cooly (Sunday, April 14) – Dive into the epitome of surf culture as three films are screened exploring the conversations, community, challenges, and conversation around surfing and our coastlines.


Gold Coast Film Festival

Date: Wednesday, April 3 until Sunday, April 14

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 13 locations including BCC Coolangatta, Event Cinemas Coomera, Surfers Paradise Beach, QT Gold Coast, Broadbeach, and Bond University.

Cost: Free and ticketed events

Accommodation: Visitors travelling to the Gold Coast for the 2019 Gold Coast Film Festival can stay in style at partner hotel QT Gold Coast. Located just a 5-minute drive from all 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.qtgoldcoast.com.au and enter the promo code ‘GCFF19’ for your special rate.


The Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) celebrates and promotes all aspects of film and filmmaking from one of Australia’s leading filmmaking locations and holiday destinations – The Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by its major partners Screen Queensland, the 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 2019 Gold Coast Film Festival.  The festival is also supported by gold partners PKF, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, The Edit Suite, Movie World and Blackmagic Design.


For media enquiries, contact Jacqueline Bojanowski at Ruby Communications on (07) 5532 3808 / 0424 360 986 or email Jacqueline@weareruby.com.au.


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