This year’s Gold Coast Film Festival will be bookended by two Aussie features, opening with Unjoo Moon’s Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman, and closing with the locally shot comedic thriller Bloody Hell, directed by Alister Grierson.
The April festival dropped its full program today, announcing more than 100 films, including four world premieres: Kriv Stenders’ documentary on Silm Dusty’s wife Joy McKean, Slim & I; Hayley MacFarlane’s Swimming for Gold; Josh Hale’s House of Inequity and Serhat Caradee’s A Lion Returns.
Other local films to screen include Never Too Late, Smoke Between Trees, Disclosure, Hearts and Bones, Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road, Dark Whispers Vol 1, The Show Must Go On, Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt), Morgana, and Love Opera.
Ahead of its premiere on the ABC April 19, the festival will also screen the first two episodes of the second season of Mystery Road, with a Q&A from directors Warwick Thornton and Wayne Blair and producers Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey.
The festival’s Australian premieres include Australian director Kitty Green’s The Assistant;Roger Michell’s Blackbird, which stars Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill and Mia Wasikowska; Miguel Ángel Jiménez’s romance Window to the Sea; Neasa Hardiman’s Irish sci-fi Seafever, and documentaries White Riot, Cunningham and Well Groomed.
This year GCFF has introduced a tandem market event, Pitch in Paradise, to be held across April 16-17. The forum is designed as a pitching and one-to-one meeting opportunity for screenwriters, producers, production companies, broadcasters and financiers. In partnership with Queensland Writers Centre, the event also includes the book-to-screen pitching event Adaptable, with 25 authors set to attend to pitch their works.
The Screen Industry Gala Awards will be held April 16, with producer Sue Maslin to be presented the Chauvel Award, recognising significant contribution to the Australian screen industry. Competing for the Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award, which recognises features made without significant screen agency funding are Disclosure, Smoke Between Trees, A Lion Returns and Morgana.
There will also be a number of industry panels throughout the festival, including Documentary Producing for Social Change with guest speakers including Maslin, John Pilger and Anna Kaplan, and Non-Linear Storytelling with panellists including Blair, Simpkin and Vicki Madden. The festival’s Women in Film Lunch will feature guest speakers Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis of Queensland’s Like A Photon, whose animated feature The Wishmas Tree was recently released in cinemas.