If you think that the spotlight will be ripped from the Gold Coast the minute the Commonwealth Games wrap up on 15 April, you thought wrong. The Gold Coast Film Festival will be following very closely behind, beginning on 17 April for just under two weeks. As always, the program boasts many female-led projects, something that feels even more significant after a year of silence-breaking, empowerment and support for women in the film industry. As we emerge into a new era of creation and expression, it is vital to celebrate and support the incredible female creators that work in this evolving industry. Here is our guide to the projects showing at 2018 Gold Coast Film Festival that are led by, or celebrate, the film industry’s leading and upcoming ladies:
Directed by Mairi Cameron and starring Rachel Blake
Australian streaming service, Stan, premieres their original film, ‘The Second’ (pictured) on opening night of the festival. Starring Rachel Blake (‘Lantana’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Gods Of Egypt’), the film follows a struggling writer working to create a smash novel to follow her successful debut. Vince Colosimo (‘Underbelly’, ‘The Great Gatsby’) co-stars as a publisher pressuring creative development, pushing Blake’s character to a desolate property in the Australian country for inspiration. However, creative plans come unstuck as she discovers the return of an old friend. Directed and led by Mairi Cameron, an Australian actress by trade, commissioned by Screen Queensland and fronted with an entirely Queensland creative team, ‘The Second’ is an exciting project featuring incredible female talent and is not to be missed on opening night. Tickets here.
Jill Billcock: Dancing the Invisible
Directed by Axel Grigor
Industry-wide, film editing is known as one of the most thankless yet essential and male-dominated professions. ‘Jill Billcock: Dancing the Invisible’ is a documentary celebrating the life and career of legendary film editor, Jill Billcock. Billcock is known for her editing craft on award winning films such as ‘The Dressmaker’ and ‘Strictly Ballroom’. This documentary is sure to empower female storytellers, young and old, to create their piece and push on in the pursuit in their dream career, no matter the odds. Check it out.
Directed by Jo-Anne Brechin, Written and Produced by Claire Harris
A strong and cohesive, predominately female cast and crew have created a fresh and off-beat commentary on modern relationships in their recent indie film,‘Zelos’. A story surrounding a couple’s infidelity and the ways they can overcome it, ‘Zelos’ turns an often heard story into something beautifully tangible. ‘Zelos’ is a clever, low-budget, female led project that will undoubtedly effect audiences. Catch producer and writer of the film, Claire Harris, at a Q+A after the film on Sunday 22 April.
Directed and written by Kirsten Tan, starring Thaneth Warakulnukroh and Bong the Elephant
As a first time writer and director, Kirsten Tan has created a heart-warming buddy comedy-come-adventure-story between man, and elephant. Leading Character, Than, spots a lonely and lost elephant, Pop Aye, on the side of a Thai street, taking it upon himself to protect his new friend at all costs and return him to his true home. ‘Pop Aye’ has premiered at Sundance and Sydney Film Festivals with positive reviews, some saying it is the feel-good film of the Summer. Support Kirsten’s debut production at GCFF on 18, 20 and 26 April.
REELLIFE: Film Industry Workshops at GCFF
If you are a female industry professional or a budding filmmaker, there will be a wide range of filmmaking and production panel discussions held over the course of the Film Festival. Ranging from location scouting to getting a job in film production, whatever your interest, there will be something for you. Workshops will be held in ‘The Basement’ space at HOTA, Home of the Arts and you can book your space online now.
Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Australia Launch
GCFF 2018 will be launching a new national advocacy body for the support of female filmmakers around Australia. The launch of this body will welcome long-needed recognition for funding and awarding of grants and subsidies for female-led projects, specifically within Australia, but will extend this message around the world. The launch will feature a panel discussion with prolific female filmmakers, sure to inspire and educate all about the true potential of women within the film industry. Book your space for the launch online now.
Women in Film Lunch – QT Gold Coast
To recognise the crucial role of women in the film industry now, and especially into the future, GCFF in partnership with legendary talent liaison, Jenny Cooney, will be holding a Women in Film Lunch event at QT Gold Coast to commemorate the works of many innovative women in their field. Jenny Cooney will be the 2018 guest speaker, providing advice and guidance to all upcoming female creators looking to make it big in Hollywood. Book tickets to the lunch.
Celebrate the women who shape our film industry and are at the forefront of innovation and creation at the 2018 GCFF. Please note that all films discussed are not suitable for children under the age of fifteen, however GCFF is proving free childcare at times throughout the festival, book your spaces and check for times online here.