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

The Gold Coast Film Festival will move two of its flagship events to online events and still announce all filmmaker awards, following the cancellation of the 12 day annual festival.

SIPFEST, the free beachside short film festival presented by Surfers Paradise Alliance, will move online with 13 short films to view for free in isolation comfort over the Easter weekend from Thursday 9 April until Tuesday 14 April, with viewers still able to vote for the $1000 People’s Choice Award.

The festival’s Screen Industry Gala Awards will evolve to a live-stream award ceremony, with almost $20,000 in cash and prizes awarded to filmmakers thanks to prize sponsors HOTA – Home of the Arts, PKF Accounting and Business Advisors, Blackmagic Design, Burleigh Brewing Co., The Heaton Group and Surfers Paradise Alliance.

The online event will be held on 16 April at 6.30pm, to coincide with the originally planned event date and will feature 14 award categories recognising the best short films, webseries, feature films and scripts that were due to feature at the festival as well as award recognition for Gold Coast screen industry professionals and Queensland screen businesses.  

“While we were heartbroken the festival was cancelled after it had already been curated and announced, we were more devasted for the filmmakers. Filmmakers have poured so much of their talent, money and time into their films – sometimes over years – and it is a such a loss to not have the opportunity to screen or premiere now,” said Lucy Fisher, Gold Coast Film Festival CEO/Festival Director.

“We have worked to find the best way to support filmmakers and we are so grateful to our prize sponsors who have still committed to cash and prizes for this event. I’m sure the prizes will come at a vital time for many in the screen industry right now.”

“Hopefully, we can all join together for one night and celebrate the winners in this difficult time and support Australian short films by watching SIPFEST for free,” she said.

The 18th annual Gold Coast Film Festival program was due to feature four world, nine Australian and 11 Queensland premieres and just over 300 films, panels, events across 14 Gold Coast locations.

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he was thrilled filmmakers were still being recognised for their contribution.

“The Gold Coast Film Festival is one of our most exciting annual cultural events and, whilst I share the disappointment in the cancellation of the event, I am thrilled our community can continue to access the short film program online and that our many and talented filmmakers are recognised for their contribution,” he said.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said she was pleased to see the event go ahead online.

“Events like SIPFEST are vital when it comes to keeping people connected. That’s why it’s great to see the festival go ahead in 2020,” Ms Jones said.

“These are incredibly challenging times for our tourism and events industries. It’s more important than ever before that we work together and support each other during these tough times.

“Moving SIPFEST and the Screen Industry Gala Awards online means film fans will still have the opportunity to connect with the festival and we’ll be able to celebrate the industry’s recent achievements.

“SIPFEST is a great local event with a big future on the Gold Coast. We’ll continue to support this event and help local filmmakers to achieve great things.”

Kylie Munnich, CEO of major sponsor Screen Queensland, congratulated the Gold Coast Film Festival in their flexibility to present these popular festival events online.

“Now more than ever people are engaging with screen content to connect, entertain and inspire, and they want to support local creatives,” said Ms Munnich.

“We are thrilled that the team at Gold Coast Film Festival have responded swiftly to this audience demand for Queensland content, and are continuing to celebrate and recognise local industry talent.”

The Gold Coast Film Festival is also supported by Tourism and Events Queensland. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast.


What:  13 brand new short films that will make you laugh, cry and be amazed
When: Easter Weekend: 12pm Thursday 9 April until 12pm Tuesday 14 April
Where: Isolation comfort.  It’s Surfers Paradise beach in your imagination.
To view:  www.gcfilmfestival.com/sipfest-online
Dress code: Who knows right now? PJs? Activewear? Yesterday’s clothes?


What:  A live-stream award ceremony.
When: 6.30pm, Thursday 16 April 2020
Where: Isolation comfort.  Register here: www.gcfilmfestival.com/screen-industry-gala-awards
Dress code: We personally like red-carpet glamour up top and PJ’s down below.


Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award
Sponsor:  Blackmagic Design
Prize: Blackmagic Design product (Pocket Cinema Camera 6K worth AU$4,065)


  • MORGANA | Isabel Peppard & Josie Hess
  • A LION RETURNS |Serhat Caradee
  • DISCLOSURE | Michael Bentham

PKF Best Australian Film Award 

Sponsor: PKF Accounting and Business Advisors
Finalists: 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

Queensland Screenwriting Award, thanks to The Heaton Group
Sponsor:  The Heaton Group
Prize: $5000 for winner, $500 for second prize, $500 for third prize


  • How To Kill A Genre – Noah Southam
  • The Lost girls – Dustin Schmidt
  • Olivia’s Song – Tim Sayer
  • The Secret Lives of Dresses – Stephen Lance


SIPFest Short Film Festival presented by Surfers Paradise Alliance

Sponsor: Surfers Paradise Alliance
* Best International Film $500
* Best Australian Film $3000
* Runner up Best Australian Film $1000
* Best Actor $500
* Best Screenplay $1000
* Best Film from a Gold Coast Resident $1000
* People’s Choice Award  $1000


  • Date Night – Marni Little, Christine Milo
  • Eye for an Eye – Elizabeth Cullen 
  • I Don’t Speak – Tess Emmerson 
  • Lost Daylight – Nurdewi Djamal, Callan Murray
  • MANUS – Angus McDonald
  • My Name is Mudju – Chantelle Murray
  • Desert Island Secret Santa – Pearce Hoskinson
  • Phone It In – Darien Law
  • The Bus to Birra Birra – TJ Power
  • The Perfect Spread – Billy Milionis
  • The Starey Bampire – Dan Farmer, Adam Bigum
  • Yulubidyi – Until The End – Nathan Mewett, Curtis Taylor
  • Back to Graceland – Sakari Sankkinen


Webseries Awards

Sponsor: Gold Coast Film Festival
* Best International Webseries
* Best Australian Webseries  – $500


  • A Werewolf in Australia | Pearce Hoskinson
  • Sheilas | Eliza Reilly, Hannah Reilly
  • High Rising  | Vidad Narayan, Bruce McCoy
  • Overqualifed | Megan Chambers, Hamish Thatcher
  • Man of Joy | Jordan Kenneth Kamp, Rob Johnson
  • Sporty’s Heroes | Lisa Hughes


Queensland Screen Business of the Year Award


  • WildBear Entertainment
  • Essential Crew
  • The Post Lounge

Gold Coast Screen Professional of the Year

Sponsor: Burleigh Brewing Co.
Prize: Burleigh Brewing Co. beer, Backstage double pass and 4 VIP Burleigh Cinema tickets (valued at $400)


  • Anna Waters-Massey
  • Jason Baird
  • Jude Kalman


EMERGE Best Student Short Film

Sponsor: HOTA – Home of the Arts  
* Best Student Film $250


  • DANNY – Nash Lawrence – NYFA
  • BISCUIT – Andrew Morris – TAFE Coomera
  • SQUEEZED FRESH – Andrew Morris – TAFE Coomera
  • THE GOOD DAD – Tallow Montague – SAE
  • THE WAY HOME – James Curtis – QSFT
  • STATIC – Ryan Simpson – QSFT
  • OTHERED – Eden Guade, Jeremy Bobby – Griffith University
  • NOT SO GRIM – Narissa Amies – Griffith University
  • THE DRUID PROPHECY – Lauren Hassell – Bond University
  • ASOS – Dane Holroyd – Bond University
  • FINDING A VOICE – Kimberley Henderson  – QUT
  • CRACK – Jake Leskarac, Sophie McDuff – QUT

For more information visit www.gcfilmfestival.com



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 Zac Fahey or Lucy Fisher –zac@gcfilmfestival.com or  lucy@gcfilmfestival.com


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