Gold Coast movie buffs, have your popcorn at the ready. The 2018 Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) has just been unveiled and this year’s event is jam-packed with more than 100 (yes, 100), film and film-related events taking place across the city from April 17 to 29.
With the event in its 16th year, the Gold Coast’s very own festival dedicated to the blossoming film and screen industries has certainly come of age. The 2018 Gold Coast Film Festival will screen 40 feature films including one world premiere, seven Australian premieres and seven Queensland premieres. The program will also feature a host of short films, intimate filmmaker Q&A’s and an incredible virtual reality (VR) film experience.
The stellar line-up will kick off with the Film Festival’s Opening Night at HOTA, Home of The Arts, which will include the special Australian premiere screening of Queensland-shot thriller, The Second. It’s also the first feature film to be commissioned by Stan and Screen Queensland. The night will be complete with red carpet arrivals and special guests including The Second director Mairi Cameron, as well as cast members Rachael Blake and Vince Colosimo.
The festival will also screen the Queensland premiere of Simon Baker’s Breath in a special red-carpet gala event at Pacific Fair on Thursday, April 19, with Mentalist star Simon Baker hitting the red carpet.
Virtual reality is new to this year’s program, in partnership with Byron Bay International Film Festival, with festival-goers able to experience cutting edge VR including the Australian premiere of Chorus, created by VR pioneers Tyler Hurd and Chris Milk, as well as The Peeler, crafted by homegrown talent Harrison Norris and produced by Emily Tate.
Audiences will witness first-hand the imprisonment of asylum seekers as the VR film goes behind the razor-wire to meet the people who are being denied their freedom with Inside Manus, while Rone takes audiences inside the famous street artist’s world, following him into rarely-explored spaces, such as abandoned houses and crumbling historic buildings.
There is plenty of family fun to be had as the Film Festival spreads the love to the southern end of the Coast with Dance Classics at Kirra. Grab your picnic blanket (kids optional) for a fun night under the stars at Gilltrap Park. Enjoy Strictly Ballroom on Friday, April 20 and Happy Feet on Saturday, April 21. Food trucks and energetic dance demonstrations are also in order, making for a fun, family-friendly night out.
For serious film lovers wanting to get an insider view of the industry, be sure to add the Queensland premiere screening of Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible in your diary. Shining a light on one of the world’s most legendary film editors (think: Australia, Strictly Ballroom and Muriel’s Wedding), this event also features an intimate Q&A will Jill after the screening.
Continuing its commitment to supporting women in the film industry, the Gold Coast Film Festival will host the fourth annual Women In Film Luncheon at QT Hotel on Friday, April 20 with special guest speaker Jenny Cooney.
Hollywood powerbroker Jenny Cooney has affectionately earned herself the title of the ‘Hollywood Godmother for Australian actors’ and is known as the go-to person for Aussie talent wanting to take on the bright lights of Hollywood.
Short films will have their moment with Queensland Scream Fest, showing six Queensland short film horrors; Emerge, screening short films from recently graduated film students; and SIPFest, a collection of 12 short films screened on iconic Surfers Paradise beach.
The famous open-air Floating Cinema is also returning to the Festival program, this year screening 1999 teen comedy American Pie in celebration of the iconic film’s 20th anniversary. Go back in time to band camp for what promises to be an unforgettable night of teenage angst, mum jokes and hot apple pie, whilst on board the Wyndham Cruises boat.
The Film Festival also has movie buffs and music geeks covered with the Movie & Music Trivia Night at QT. If you and your friends wait to read the film credits, live tweet the Oscars, or know every song to the Ten Things I Hate About You soundtrack, then get your crew together for a night of competitive fun. One team will take out the trivia championship, plus there will be free finger food, a cash bar and some epic prizes up for grabs.
If you’ve ever wondered where the celebs hang out when filming on the Gold Coast, then book your seat on the second annual Gold Coast Movie Locations Tour. The tour – the only one of its kind in Australia – takes guests on an adventure exploring blockbuster film locations and celebrity hot spots throughout the city.
Our city’s senior residents have also been accommodated with two Senior Morning Teas included in the program. Enjoy New Zealand documentary No Ordinary Sheila and English drama The Bookshop at Birch, Carroll and Coyle Coolangatta for a bargain price inclusive of tea, coffee and tiny cakes.
The Film Festival will go out with bang thanks to the Australian premiere of black comedy Brothers’ Nest secured for the Festival’s Closing Night on Sunday, April 29. Starring brothers Shane Jacobsen and Clayton Jacobsen (Kenny), the night is set to be a highlight with both Shane and Clayton in attendance for the red-carpet arrival and Q&A following the screening.
Helping parents get out and about, the Gold Coast Film Festival will provide free childcare available to book across four films and four panels. The Festival became the first in Australia to offer such a service in 2016.
Tickets for all events and films are now on sale. For more information visit www.gcfilmfestival.com.