GCFF TEAM + BOARD
Lucy Fisher | Festival Director/CEO
After 11 years working on public relations strategies for some of the world’s leading tourist attractions and major events in Australia and the UK, Lucy took the reigns of the Gold Coast’s flagship film event, the Gold Coast Film Festival, in June 2015. In two years as Festival Director, Lucy has doubled the festival’s sponsorship revenue, doubled box office takings and increased attendance to the festival by 21%. In 2016, the festival became the first in Australia to offer free childcare and and in 2017, Lucy developed the city’s first film tourism product – the Gold Coast Movie Locations Tour. Lucy is a regular panellist on ABC Gold Coast radio’s ‘Spin Doctors’ segment and was a recipient of a City of Gold Coast Women In Leadership Award in 2016. Lucy was appointed to the Executive Committee of WIFT (Women in Film and Television) Australia in June 2017.
Isabella Schoonenberg | Festival Coordinator
Isabella began working with the Gold Coast Film Festival as part of a Bond University internship in 2016 and returned as Festival Coordinator in 2017 after graduating Bond University with a Bachelor of Communications (Business). In 2018, she became Festival Coordinator full-time year-round, allowing the Gold Coast Film Festival to present screenings and industry events throughout the year. Issy has a strong interest in marketing, design and Gold Coast cultural events and is a horror movie buff.
Sasha Close | Program Manager
Sasha has worked on both sides of the Australian cinema industry, starting in distribution before moving into exhibition and programming. From 2016 to 2019, Sasha was the Programming Manager for South Australian independent cinema chain Wallis Cinemas, where she implemented numerous event schedules targeting diverse audiences and generating box office. A highly regarded programmer of independent cinema and film, Sasha has sat on the Board of the Independent Cinemas Association and been a regular contributor at conferences and festivals. In 2016, Sasha was the recipient of the Natalie Miller Fellowship recognising female leadership in the screen industry and is a current member of the Screen Australia Gender Matters Taskforce. Sasha is interested in ensuring the diversity of content and stories on screens in Australia and is delighted to be curating the 2020 the Gold Coast Film Festival.
Kristi Ogston | Event Producer
Kristi is an experienced Event Producer having previously worked in the sporting industry with over fifteen years major event experience. Kristi brings a creative outlook with expertise in running large scale events and started with us as our Event Producer for the 2019 Gold Coast Film Festival. Kristi is delighted to work on some exciting and unique events for the 2020 Festival Calendar.
Amanda Thompson | Short Film & Web Series Coordinator
Wayne Froneman – Oyo Studio | Creative Design
Ruby Communications | Publicity
Margot Robbie | Festival Patron
Sue Maslin | Festival Ambassador
David Stratton | Festival Ambassador
Jenny Cooney | Festival Ambassador
Andrea Lewis | Chair
Andrea is the Festival Director of the Somerset Celebration of Literature and has over 20 years’ experience in the events industry both within Australia and overseas. Andrea is a panel assessor with the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). As a Gold Coast native, with a passion for culture and arts, Andrea joined the Board in 2017 and is excited by the potential growth opportunities for the film industry on the Gold Coast.
Sue-Anne Chapman | Deputy Chair
Sue-Anne is an established senior arts, tourism, sports and events administrator and manager with over 15 years in executive positions working for a wide range of state and national organisations including the Australian Football League, National Rugby League, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and The Arts Centre Gold Coast. Former executive for over six years with The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Sue-Anne’s attributes and skills, extensive marketing, commercial and artistic strategic acumen saw the Centre’s visitiation grow from 300K to over 700K in five short years. Sue-Anne is a proven business leader with a dedication to, and passion for, excelling in complex arts and culture industry development and stakeholder management environments.
Michael Selwyn | Board Member
Michael Selwyn is a very experienced film industry professional having spent over 35 years in distribution, working for several major studios across a broad range of international markets. He is a current Member of the International Chapter of AACTA and his most recent role was as Managing Director, Australia and Vice President Australia/New Zealand for Paramount Pictures, a position that he left in late 2016. He is now working as a Production and Distribution Consultant and looking to continue his involvement with film schools and film festivals. Michael has been on the Board of the Gold Cast Film Festival since 2002.
Ted Cawrey | Board Member
Ted is an extensively experienced lawyer specialising in media, and has worked in the film industry since 1998. As Special Counsel at Blueprint Law, Ted advises on complex financing, corporate matters, content creation and exploitation with a focus on the media sector, for clients that produce, sell, distribute, bond and finance. He was previously Director of Legal and Business Affairs at Ingenious Media and has worked on many films including Slumdog Millionaire, Suffragette, Jungle, Guardians of the Tomb (pka Nest), 2:22, Selma, A United Kingdom and 6 Days.
Brett Thornquest | Board Member
Brett has a 10 year+ history of providing specialist advisory, consulting and financing services to Australian and international film and television productions, government organisations, banks, distributors, sales agents, completion guarantors, US studios and Networks via his Contrarian Group of companies. Prior to forming the Contrarian Group, Brett began his entertainment industry career with Moneypenny Services, working on the set of multiple film/television projects as a production accountant. In 2013, Brett was also a founding partner of the Eclectik Vision group, a creative media entertainment company, focusing on the development, financing and production of film and television properties.
Lynne Benzie | Board Member
Lynne Benzie has over 27 years in the film, television and entertainment industry. Her career started in the United Kingdom in Engineering, she then migrated to Australia in 1979 where she developed a very diverse background in the Insurance, Finance, Legal, building and Information Technology industries, which led her to a position with EMI Records in promotion and marketing. Lynne joined Village Roadshow Studios in 1990 as PA to the General Manager of the Studios, after 5 years of being involved in the operations of the Studio Complex she was promoted to Studio Manager, then to Vice President Studios Operations and in January 2008 was promoted to President of the Studios. In her capacity as President of Studios she is responsible for the day to day running and operations of the Studio Complex including, financial planning and marketing the studio facility, travels to U.S.A. twice a year and works closely with Screen Queensland and City of Gold Coast to attract productions in Queensland and lobby governments to increase incentives. Lynne was on the Board of the PFTC for 7 years and was Chair on Film Gold Coast and a committee member for REDAB (Regional Economic & Advisory Board for the film industry) and is currently on the Board of Ausfilm Australia. Bond University – Film and TV advisory board, QUT – CI Faculty Advisory Committee Meeting.
Luke Wheatley | Board Member
A passionate creative marketer, Luke has worked in various marketing roles across the FMCG range category including natural health, entertainment, food and now travel. Majoring in Marketing and Law, Luke has used his skills across multiple roles where he is the Creative and Content Manager for one of the largest travel companies in the world, Flight Centre. Recent work has had him launch the new brand direction and created their first ever travel series ‘The 48 Hour Destination’ on network 10 and is now working on bringing the knowledge and passion to life through the WOW series.
If you are interested in any upcoming board vacancies, please email Sue-Anne Chapman on email@example.com