Josh Martin steps down as Film Fantastic CEO

Josh Martin.

Film Fantastic, the organisation behind the Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) and Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF), has announced the departure of CEO Josh Martin, with board chair Luke Wheatley taking over the role in an interim capacity.

Martin’s appointment in July 2021 coincided with Film Fantastic’s acquisition of the rights for BIFF.

He has since helped deliver two editions of both BIFF and GCFF, along with activations for the world premiere of Netflix’s True Spirit and the Australian premiere of Story Bridge Films’ The Portable Door.

Martin said he was proud to have led the organisation through such a period of growth.

“A highlight has been establishing strong festival partnerships with strategic funding bodies, sponsors, distributors, and media across both Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as South East Queensland is fast becoming Australia’s favourite screen destination,” he said.

The world premiere Netflix film ‘True Spirit’.

Wheatley, who is known for directing and executive producing last year’s feature documentary Beyond the Reef, will lead the organisation for this year’s BIFF in October while the board determines a long-term direction.

“Our entire Board would like to thank Josh for the tremendous leadership he has shown over the last two years as CEO,” Wheatley said.

“He leaves the company in a fantastic place and we are excited to keep building on this momentum as we head to the next BIFF and GCFF.”

Film Fantastic board member and Village Roadshow Studios president, Lynne Benzie, has been appointed board chair, having served as the deputy chair for the last 12 months. 

Renee Fry, who joined the board in 2022, will take over the deputy chair role.

The 29th BIFF will be held from October 26 to November 5, 2023, with planning already underway for the 22nd celebration year of the GCFF in April 2024.