World premieres and red-carpet events announced as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival’s 2021 program

Queensland’s biggest celebration of cinema is set to be one to remember in 2021, with the Gold Coast Film Festival announcing its eagerly awaited program after a year-long hiatus.

The line-up showcases brand new World and Australian premieres, exclusive preview screenings, and filmmaking talent hailing from Australia and around the globe, taking over the Gold Coast from 14 to 25 April.

The 19th annual Gold Coast Film Festival has today launched its full program, with an impressive line-up of more than 100 exciting films, pop-up cinemas, red carpet screenings, industry panels,
and special events with a selection of the program also available to watch online.

The 12-day event will feature four World premieres, six Australian premieres, nine Queensland premieres, and two exclusive preview screenings across the Gold Coast from Coomera to Coolangatta, alongside Q&As with filmmakers and some of Australia’s leading cast and crew.

Headlining on Opening Night is the illuminating and captivating documentary ‘Valerie Taylor: Playing with Sharks’, which shines the spotlight on Australian icon Valerie Taylor’s extraordinary
life as a fearless marine protector and ocean explorer whose up-close-and-personal experience with sharks is unparalleled.

The red carpet will be rolled out at multiple locations for the screening including at HOTA Home of the Arts, Birch Carroll & Coyle Coolangatta, and Event Cinemas Coomera, to celebrate the
Sundance-selected documentary directed by Sally Aitken and produced by Bettina Dalton.

Valerie Taylor says she is honoured the documentary about her life’s work is the Gold Coast Film Festival’s Opening Night feature and hopes it may influence others to continue fighting for
conservation of the world’s oceans.

“It was a privilege to work with Sally and Bettina,” says Ms Taylor. “I commend them for taking interest in my lifelong pursuit of saving our marine life in order to get this message out to the

From ‘Valerie Taylor: Playing with Sharks’

Other films set to debut during the festival include the World premieres of ‘This Little Love of Mine’, an Australian romantic comedy shot entirely in Far North Queensland; ‘Rhapsody of Love’,
an Asian-Australian rom-com many are calling the ‘Aussie Crazy Rich Asians’; local horror film ‘House of Inequity’ from Gold Coaster Josh Hale; and teen series ‘Dive Club’, set to screen on
Network 10 in Australia and Netflix globally later this year.

The festival line-up also boasts never-before-seen special preview screenings of J.J. Winlove’s ‘June Again’ starring industry icons Noni Hazelhurst, Claudia Karvan, and Stephen Curry; and ‘The
United States vs. Billie Holiday’ on the festival’s Closing Night, directed by Oscar-winner Lee Daniels (The Butler; Precious) and starring Grammy-nominated musician Andra Day in her
Golden Globe-winning role as Billie Holiday.

Gold Coast Film Festival Director Aimée Lindorff says this year’s program includes something for everyone and is a celebration of the industry, inspiring movie fans to return to the cinema and
cinema-hopefuls to pursue their passion for the silver screen.

“We have an incredible mix of national and international films and documentaries starring some big names and tackling even bigger story lines,” says Ms Lindorff.

“The prestigious Screen Industry Gala Awards will return at Movie World, where we will celebrate the Festival’s award winners and finalists alongside an In Conversation with producer Sue Maslin
AO (‘The Dressmaker’).

“Pitch In Paradise, the Festival’s new industry market, will also take place over two days with filmmakers invited to pitch their work to production companies, commissioners, and networks, as
well as a program of industry panels designed for established and emerging filmmakers alike.”

Special events in the program include Festival favourite SIPFest Short Film Festival at its new home at Burleigh Brewing Co., and a new addition to the pop-up cinemas line up Film at the
Footy, with a screening of Gladiator at Cbus Super Stadium as part of a new partnership with Gold Coast Titans.

Most of the premiere showings will take place at HOTA, Home of the Arts, the Gold Coast Film Festival’s home venue, which CEO Criena Gehrke says is the perfect setting to showcase films
and documentaries with Surfers Paradise skyline as the backdrop.

“We love rolling out the red carpet for the Gold Coast Film Festival every year,” says Ms Gehrke. “Showcasing stories of pioneers and rebels, their fierce support for Australian filmmakers,
independent cinema and great storytelling really shines through this year’s program and we’re proud that the Festival calls HOTA its home.”

The Gold Coast Film Festival will operate under stringent COVID safety guidelines, providing patrons a safe and comfortable environment to enjoy their favourite films.

The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland
events calendar. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast and Major Events Gold Coast.

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