Gold Coast Film Festival highlights yet to come

It’s been a massive few days for Gold Coast Film Festival organisers but some of the best is yet to come.

With opening night attracting a hefty crowd, including cast and crew for the Australian premiere of ‘The Second’ (and a little unplanned intermission dealing with a false fire alarm) and then a special ADG Guild panel capturing the essence of surf cinematography with none other than Simon Baker and Rick Rifici, it’s been a busy few days. Then they held the Australian premiere of Baker’s new film ‘Breath’ where he stars and also makes his directorial debut, managing a busy red carpet with the associated glitz and glam at Pacific Fair with Simon Baker appearing alongside co-stars Samson Coulter and Ben Pence.

But the action kept on coming… sold out films, oversubscribed free childcare sessions, industry panels, the launch of Women in Film and Television Australia, a Women in Film lunch with guest speaker Jenny Cooney, four Movie Locations Tours and dozens of films… and that’s just in the Festival’s first five days. And all that comes on the back of the announcement that the Gold Coast Film Festival has scored a new patron in Margot Robbie and four new ambassadors to bolster its industry cred (not that it really needed any).

Seriously, it’s one of those Gold Coast events that attracts awesome numbers and does so without the fanfare it deserves. But what’s even more surprising is the quality of events yet to come. We thought you might want a run-down on what to expect for Gold Coast Film Festival’s second week…

Virtual Reality, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April

We’re pretty excited about this opportunity. In partnership with Byron Bay Film Festival and for the first time, the festival takes punters to the forefront of cinematic innovation with a program of virtual reality experiences. It’s an initiative which clearly shows how VR is set to push the boundaries of what’s possible for audience experiences. Attendees will get 45 minutes of VR experiences with possibilities including a home-grown Gold Coast production full of blood and gore, a look inside Manus Island which takes you behind the razor-wire to meet people being denied their freedom, there’s a look inside street artist Rone’s world, an animated documentary capturing stories from the time bombers strafed Darwin in 1942 and then there’s ‘Chorus’ which comes straight from SXSW and pushes the boundaries of VR with crystals, lasers, monsters and heroines. And that’s just a small taste of what’s on offer. It’s only $15 and there are nine sessions each day. Suggest you sort your tickets stat.

Coolangatta screenings

Once again, BCC Coolangatta is acting as a satellite cinema for many of the films featuring in the Gold Coast Film Festival program and many of the festival’s most popular films will show at least once for southern Gold Coasters and our northern NSW friends. How’s this?

Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible, 10.30am on Monday 23 April
The Stolen, 12.30pm on Monday 23 April + 10.30am on Sunday 29 April
The Bookshop (with seniors morning tea), 10.30am on Tuesday 24 April
No Ordinary Sheila, 10.30am on Thursday 26 April
See you Up There, 6.30pm on Thursday 26 April
Double Lover, 6.30pm on Friday 27 April
I Kill Giants, 10.30am on Saturday 28 April
Back to Burgundy, 4.00pm on Saturday 28 April
Cargo, 4.00pm on Sunday 29 April

Movie AND music trivia, Tuesday 24 April

Tickets are moving fast for this event which combines movie and music trivia with a focus on music in movies. Taking place at QT and presented by Gold Coast Film Festival and Gold Coast Music Awards, there’s a tonne of prizes on offer and good vibes guaranteed, especially with Bern Young on the mic duties. Tickets are only $14 and that includes finger food, plus there’s a cash bar. Doors open 6.00pm with first questions at 6.30pm. Teams of between two and six should probably buys tickets about now.

Outdoor screenings with a difference

There ain’t no toddler screenings here, this is all about the cult. On Thursday 26 April the floating cinema returns loaded up with hot apple pie for a special screening of ‘American Pie‘. Then on Saturday 28 April, Burleigh Brewing Co. is hosting a screening of ‘Fight Club‘ on their new outdoor cinema screen (18+) and on Friday 27 (6.00 and 8.00pm)  and Saturday 28 April (4.00 and 6.00pm) you can catch a bunch of anime films in Broadbeach Mall. Some of these screenings are ticketed and some are free, get all the details at

Gold Coast Movie Locations Tours

It’s an Australian first and it happens just four more times before next year’s Film Festival. These Gold Coast Movie Locations Tours, which depart HOTA – Home of the Arts on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April at 9.00am and 2.00pm take in a bunch of film locations made famous by both international blockbusters and Australian classics. There are stories, interviews and behind-the-scenes tales you won’t hear anywhere else. You’ll visit four locations, see stunt professionals in action, watch exclusive video interviews and enjoy sweet treats onboard from Shingle Inn. There’s been nothing but rave reviews for these tours and it’ll be a whole year before you’ll get to do one again, so the time is ripe.

Closing Night

If opening night is anything to go by, this one is set to be a doozy. ‘Brothers’ Nest’, starring the Jacobson Brothers – who will walk the red carpet and be in conversation afterwards – is a very black comedy. Don’t be expecting ‘Kenny’, which first introduced you to this pair, though. Clayton sums it up perfectly. “The soup of life is never more salted than when dealing with family, and the film places this fact front and centre and over a burner.” Closing night is Sunday 29 April from 6.00pm and tickets are $20.

And you know what, we haven’t even given you a run-down of the awesome films yet to screen. There’s a heap of French films and a bunch of indie gold. There’s ‘Summer 1993’ focused on 6yo orphan Frida who moves from Barcelona to the Spanish countryside; there’s Pop Aye, a story about a man and his elephant, there’s The Desert Bride, which immerses the viewer in the middle of nowhere, Argentina. ‘No Ordinary Sheila’ tracks the story of the legendary New Zealander Sheila Natusch – a naturalist, author and historian. ‘Ideal Home’ tells the story of a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out by a ten year old boy claiming to be a grandson. And there’s ‘The Stolen’ which for all intents and puposes is a New Zealand Western (think chicks, with guns).

Look, you’re going to have to sort the rest out for yourself. Believe us when we say there’s something for everyone.

Gold Coast Film Festival runs until Sunday 29 April. Get all the details at

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