Escape and Evasion, produced by Blake Northfield for Bronte Pictures, was filmed on the Gold Coast in the Currumbin Valley. It explores the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on a lone surviving soldier.
The Gold Coast Film Festival will this year screen some 107 films over 12 days, with three world premieres and 10 Australian premieres.
Among the other world premieres are Caitlin Farrugia and Michael Jones’ comedy drama Maybe Tomorrow, about young artists juggling the challenges of new family, and Heath Davis’ Locusts, which follows a tech entrepreneur who has reluctantly returned to his remote hometown for his father’s funeral. The latter had its genesis at the 2016 Gold Coast Film Festival when Davis met radiologist and emerging writer and producer Dr Angus Watts after speaking on a panel about directing.
Australian premieres include documentary Waiting: The Van Duren Story, from directors Greg Carey and Wade Jackson, and an outdoor screening of Tony D’Aquino’s survival thriller The Furies in the Gold Coast Hinterland. The festival will also hold a gala screening of Top End Wedding from director Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and star and co-writer Miranda Tapsell. Elements, an episodic portrait of Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands, will also make its Australian premiere with a Q&A after the screening.
In addition, there will be more than 40 industry events, including panels and workshops, filmmaker Q&As, screen industry guild nights and the Women in Film Lunch, with guest speaker producer Greer Simpkin (Mystery Road, Sweet Country). The festival has a commitment to gender parity across all speakers.
At the Screen Industry Gala Awards, over $25,000 in prizes will be awarded, while actress Sigrid Thornton will be presented with the Chauvel Award and appear in conversation with journalist Jenny Cooney.
Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher said the volume of industry-focused events on offer provided a great opportunity for trip to Queensland.
“The festival creates an opportunity for screen industry professionals nationwide to connect with the Queensland screen industry in one place,” she said.
“Our industry panels, workshops and guild events are a perfect excuse to come together to share ideas, encourage each other and form connections.”
In conjunction with Dame Changer and Screen Queensland (SQ), the festival will also host a workshop on pitching, with speakers from Animal Logic and Easy Tiger. Participants will get the opportunity to pitch to Beatrice Neumann, the acting director of operations for Inside Pictures in Brisbane in May 2019.
SQ CEO Tracey Vieira said the agency was proud to support a festival playing such a vital role in promoting the talents of the state’s filmmakers.
“The festival program is packed with content that was conceived and created in Queensland by Queenslanders,” Vieira said.
“From the world premiere of Escape and Evasion and Australian premiere of Elements to the screening of 35 short films and web series across sections including Scream, Emerge, Sipfest and B.old, we are excited Queensland filmmakers have the GCFF to showcase their stories here in the State.”
WIFT Australia will hold a Inclusion by Design session and the Australian Writers’ Guild QLD will host a session on the State of the Writer. There will a short film festival on the beach, SIPFEST and a virtual reality program presented in partnership with Byron Bay Film Festival, which will include works such as Lynette Wallworth’s Awavena.