The Gold Coast Film Festival is the largest film festival in Queensland! Lovers of film will be spoilt with around 175 films, 150 guest speakers, world cinema from 15 different countries, virtual reality experiences, a fantastic kid’s program and panel parties … just to name a few.
For the first time, the festival will run a curated selection of web series, shining a light on short-form storytelling. One of the featured series is Stage Mums, produced on the Gold Coast. Creator Anna Waters-Massey stars in the show, alongside her good friend, Tara Page. What started as a series of short segments filmed in her kitchen has since turned into a production with a cast and crew of around 100 people!
While the festival’s home base will fittingly be the Gold Coast’s HOTA: Home of the Arts, there will be plenty of uniquely Gold Coast destinations activated during the film festivities. Expect to see pop-up cinemas on the beach, a floating cinema along the canals, even a horror film in the hinterland! Once you’ve wound your way up a dark Springbrook street, you’ll be dropped off at a spine-tingling location. Here you’ll watch the Australian premiere screening of The Furies, a new bloody Australian survival thriller (just make sure you watch out for what might be lurking in the trees).
With films like Aquaman, King Kong, Dora the Explorer and Thor: Ragnarok recently being produced on the coast – the Gold Coast is fast becoming a filmmaking hotspot. From the beach to the hinterland, and everything in between, you could shoot three different films within the space of a half-hour drive that resemble three different places around the world.
The festival’s closing night film, Escape and Evasion is set in Myanmar, Burma but was actually shot in the Gold Coast Hinterland’s Tamborine Mountain.
“From a producing point of view, that’s gold, really,” the film’s producer, Blake Northfield, explained. “We want to try and minimalise how much we have to travel for a shoot and we find that if we took this kind of film to another state, we would have had to shoot multiple locations to get what otherwise we can get here in a 30-kilometre radius.”
Each year, the festival grows bigger and better and the quality of local and international films are certainly screen-worthy! It runs from the 3rd to 14th of April and you can explore the festival’s program by clicking here.