GCFF - Bringing films to life - 17-29 April 2018 GCFF - Bringing films to life - 17-29 April 2018


Submissions are now open for the Gold Coast Film Festival 2020!

You’ve put blood, sweat, tears and money into your feature film, screenplay, short film or web series, and now it’s time to build your profile and find audiences.

The Gold Coast Film Festival brings diverse Australian and International films, filmmakers and film events to the Gold Coast.

In 2017, Gold Coast Film Festival became an AACTA-Award qualifying film festivals for feature films.

Our location is one with a heritage of filmmaking, with international filmmaking introduced on the Gold Coast in the late 1980’s. Fast-forward to 2019 and major international films Unbroken, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor: Rangarok, Dora The Explorer and Aquaman have chosen the Gold Coast’s incredible locations and highly competent crew to shoot their multi-million dollar films.

The 18th annual Gold Coast Film Festival will run from 15-26 April, 2020 bringing 100+ films and film events to life across the Gold Coast.

Download the submissions guide here for an overview of submission categories and prizes. 


We accept feature films, short films and web series, from Australia and around the world, and feature film scripts from Queensland-based writers.


We are an AACTA-Award qualifying film festival for feature films.

In 2020, we’ll be awarding our fourth Blackmagic Design Best Australian Indie Film Award, open to all Australian independent films. The winner will receive $4,000+ in camera equipment thanks to Blackmagic Design!

We’ll also be awarding the PFK Best Australian Film Award open to all Australian features.

For international filmmakers, all “Official Selection” films will be paid a screening fee.


$8,000 up for grabs in seven categories of SIPFEST, thanks to Surfers Paradise Alliance.

  • Best Australian Film: $3000
  • Runner up Best Australian Film: $1000
  • Best International Film: $500
  • People’s Choice (voted for by the audience on the night): $1000
  • Best Film by a Gold Coast resident: $1000
  • Best Screenplay: $1000
  • Best Actor (male or female): $500
  • Best Australian Web Series – $500 cash prize
  • Best International Web Series

The Queensland Screenwriting Award will be awarded to a Queensland-based screenwriter with $5,000 cash for 1st place, $500 for 2nd and 3rd place, thanks to The Heaton Group, and the opportunity to participate in a live script read with actors during the 2020 Gold Coast Film Festival.


* AACTA-Award Qualifying Film Festival for Features
* We look after indie filmmakers and will try wherever possible to fly selected cast/crew in and accommodate you.
* Dedicated award/prize categories for Australian features, shorts, scripts and web series
* You can take part in professional development through relevant, useful and engaging Q&As, panels and workshops – in 2019, we offered industry events with more than 150 guest speakers, panellists or moderators
* Opportunities to make valuable connections with Queensland, national and international industry guests
* SIPFEST offers some great cash prizes – $8000 across 7 categories
* Blackmagic Design Best Australian Indie Film Award – Blackmagic Design camera equipment valued at over $4,000+, open to independent Australian features
* PKF Best Australian Feature Film open to all Australian features
* $5000 cash prize for Queensland Screenwriting Award winner and $500 to 2nd and 3rd place winners, plus the opportunity to participate in a live script read at the 2020 Gold Coast Film Festival
* $500 cash prize for Best Australian Webseries

We highly encourage entries from independent filmmakers and films with creative leads from under-represented backgrounds. We deliver a program that supports equality with a commitment to having 50% women speakers across the festival, all films rated by the Bechdel Test and Australia’s first film festival childcare offering.

If you would like to speak to any filmmakers who have screened at GCFF in the past, please let us know – we’d be happy to put you in touch.


We only accept submissions digitally through FilmFreeway, not on physical media (DVD/hard drive). For submission guidelines for each category, head to Film Freeway.

Even if you don’t have a film to submit to Gold Coast Film Festival this year, attending the festival is a fantastic way to acquire valuable experience and knowledge, meet collaborators, learn from experts and get inspired!  Our REELLIFE seminars and panels present varied topics and are intimate to ensure you get a chance to chat with the speakers.

But don’t take it from us, this is what some of our past filmmaker guests had to say:

“The Gold Coast Film Festival is welcoming and totally unpretentious – a great Australian film festival”   

Reg Cribb


“Great films, special guest seminars, retrospectives and parties! Gold Coast Film Festival is the number one genre event in Australia and you need to pay attention to what’s being discovered here.”

Joseph Sims-Dennett

Writer/Director, OBSERVANCE

“SIPFEST is an amazing short film festival and I highly recommend it to filmmakers everywhere! The entry process was so simple and easy to navigate and the team at SIPFEST were wonderfully supportive and made the entire process fun and stress-free. The cast and crew of überRICH had an awesome time at SIPFEST. It was great to mingle with fellow creatives and passionate filmmakers. It was such a treat to share our short film with a great audience and what a way to do it – on the beach of Surfers Paradise under the stars! Thank you SIPFEST for having us! It was an incredible honour and such a privilege to be able to showcase our film on the Gold Coast at your amazing film festival! SIPFEST has truly been one of the best film festivals we’ve had the privilege of being a part of.”   

Christine Milo

Writer/Director, UBERRICH (People’s Choice and Best Gold Coast Film – SIPFest 2017)

Ready to submit your project?

Entries are now open through Film Freeway!
Regular deadline for submissions is January 5, late deadline February 2, 2020.



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