Three world, 10 Australian and four Queensland premieres, 107 films, 13 locations, 12 days and one incredible celebration of all things cinematic – such are the numbers behind the 2019 Gold Coast Film Festival.

The event, which officially launches its full program of 178 films and events on Friday 1 March, has earned a reputation for offering something for everyone and the 2019 instalment is no different with a plethora of additions aimed at fostering a love for film in people of all ages. From a unique array of outdoor pop-up cinemas to Q&As with various filmmakers, organisers have assembled an innovative program centred on adding to the audience’s cinema experience.

Now in its 17th year and running from 3 to 14 April, the festival will explode to life when award-winning filmmaker Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) walks the red carpet at HOTA, Home of the Arts for the Australian premiere of 2040, his inspiring exploration of solutions for the planet’s modern-day problems. The screening, which will be followed by a Q&A, will be the first of more than a dozen premieres across the 12 days, including the Closing Night world premiere of Australian war film Escape and Evasion to be held at HOTA on Sunday, 14 April.

Directed by Storm Ashwood and filmed in the Gold Coast’s luscious Currumbin Valley, it explores the troubling effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on a lone surviving soldier. “The Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to be a major supporter of the Gold Coast Film Festival,” said Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Meaghan Scanlon. “It was only 12 months ago that the feature film Escape and Evasion supported by the Palaszczuk Government was shooting on the Gold Coast and this year it makes its world premiere at the Festival. I am thrilled to announce that Loveland, the latest feature film from Brisbane-based Ivan Sen and Bunya Productions, the same creative team behind Mystery Road and Goldstone, is also currently filming on the Coast.”

The film industry will also come together for the inaugural Screen Industry Gala Awards, which will include the awarding of the Chauvel Award for an individual’s significant contribution to the Australian screen industry to film icon Sigrid Thornton. The icon of the Australia screen and stage will attend the inaugural Screen Industry Gala Dinner and treat guests to an ‘in-conversation’ with Hollywood journalist Jenny Cooney. Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher said the quality of the films to screen during the event was only surpassed by the wide variety of experiences on offer. “I’m a firm believer that the best film festivals offer the public so much more than just the chance to watch movies and we have once again raised the bar on that front,” she said.“With record numbers of films from both Gold Coast and Australian filmmakers and films from more than a dozen countries to be screened, we are proud of the platform we are providing local, national and international filmmakers to be seen and rewarded with deserving accolades.”

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the film industry was so active on the coast, he was thinking about ordering new red carpet. “We’ve worn out our red carpet with world premieres, major television series and locally-grown productions. It’s probably best to order gold carpet as the Gold Coast is the place to be when it comes to the film industry.’’

With events from Coomera to Coolangatta, there are more opportunities for locals and visitors to not only experience the festival but also promote the Gold Coast as a filmmaking destination with a diverse range of iconic locations. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast.

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