The Gold Coast Film Festival program for 2016 has been announced, with 80 films and film-related events set to feature from 31 March to 10 April.
Celebrating its 14th year, the Gold Coast Film Festival will screen 38 films from 15 countries, including six Australian premieres and seven Queensland premieres, as well as hold workshops, activities and competitions across its ten days.
Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher says the 2016 Festival provides a strong platform for film lovers, aspiring filmmakers, families and students to be entertained, inspired and empowered.
“This year the Festival program offers a diverse selection of some of the most lauded films from Queensland and around the world, and from both first time filmmakers to Academy Award nominees,” she says.
“The Gold Coast is proving itself as the perfect playground for filmmakers with a range of international blockbusters filming in the city, so we are proud to focus on fostering the next generation of local talent by providing students and emerging film professionals with plenty of workshops with leading producers, directors and writers, as well as networking and professional development opportunities.”
“The program is action-packed with 80 screenings, events, seminars and films, offering something for everyone.”
The city’s flagship film event has confirmed Sundance Film Festival favourite Eddie the Eagle will land on the Gold Coast for the film’s Queensland Premiere and the Opening Night on Thursday 31 March.
Inspired by true events Eddie the Eagle, starring Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken, tells the uplifting story of Michael Edwards, better known as ‘Eddie the Eagle’, the courageous British ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics. This feel good movie is sure to delight and inspire film lovers of all ages.
This year, Director Stephen Page will also make his debut at the festival with his genre-bending film Spear. It’s the first feature from Stephen Page of Sydney’s Bangarra Dance Theatre and it marks a pivotal event in Australia’s film history as the world’s first contemporary Indigenous dance movie.
New to the Gold Coast Film Festival this year is YScreen, a program of entertaining and intelligent films and workshops for children and teens, set to encourage young audiences to become active viewers, stimulate critical discussion of film in classrooms and provide an insight into other cultures and ways of life.
For the first time in its 14-year history, the Festival is inviting schools to view selected festival films and has put together special school excursion screenings that will be held alongside film criticism workshops, conducted by professionals from the Australian Film Critics Association on 11 and 12 April.
YScreen films include 2016 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film, Mustang, a confronting coming-of-age tale set in Istanbul where innocent fun leads to house imprisonment and arranged marriages; Landfill Harmonic, an uplifting documentary about the transformative power of music; Boy & The World, a 2016 Academy Award nominee for Best Animation and; Labyrinthus, an action packed film delving into a computer game world.
The Festival has also strengthened its commitment to showcasing women filmmakers through its Women In Film initiative. Where all festival films have been screened through Alison Bechdel’s Bechdel Test to determine whether films have realistic female characters and receive a tick of approval if they pass.
In a first for film festivals around Australia, the Gold Coast Film Festival will also introduce free on-site childcare for the Gender Matters and Producing industry panels on Sunday 10 April. The on-site childcare is offered in a bid to help remove barriers for women within the industry wanting to attend professional development opportunities.
Other films with Queensland premieres at the 2016 Gold Coast Film Festival include Girl Asleep, Louder Than Bombs starring Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg and Isabelle Huppert, and Australian thriller Observance, which recently premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival and London Film Festival.
The festival will also host the Australian Premiere of Atom Egoyan’s powerful drama, Remember, which tells the story of an elderly Auschwitz survivor, suffering from early dementia, who embarks on a mission to find – and kill – the Nazi commander responsible for the death of his family.
During the festival, audiences can participate in video Q&A’s with American director Stephen Littger, producer Farah Abushwesha and director Ron Scalpello.
Other special events throughout the 10-day festival include REELLife, a series of workshops and panels, movie trivia night and SIPFest, an annual short film competition transforming Surfers Paradise beach into a vibrant and unique cinema, featuring 14 short 10-minute cinematic masterpieces by emerging filmmakers from around Australia.
For more information visit www.gcfilmfestival.com