Gold Coast Film Festival announces two flagship events will go ahead online

All is not lost, film lovers! The Gold Coast Film Festival has announced they will move two of its principal events online, following the recent cancellation of the 12 day annual festival.

In exciting news, popular short film festival SIPFEST will be turned into a virtual marathon over the Easter long weekend, and the Screen Industry Gala Awards will be delivered via a live stream presentation.

SIPFEST, the free beachside short film festival presented by Surfers Paradise Alliance, will move online with 13 short films to view for free in isolation comfort over the Easter weekend from Thursday 9 April until Tuesday 14 April, with viewers still able to vote for the $1000 People’s Choice Award.

Create Surfers Paradise beach in your lounge room, and laze around on a beach bag in your PJs or swimwear if you’re feeling brave, to laugh, gasp and cry at the 13 short films on offer from 12pm Thursday 9 April to 12pm Tuesday 14 April.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said she was pleased to see the event go ahead online.

“Events like SIPFEST are vital when it comes to keeping people connected. That’s why it’s great to see the festival go ahead in 2020,” Ms Jones said. “These are incredibly challenging times for our tourism and events industries. It’s more important than ever before that we work together and support each other during these tough times.

“SIPFEST is a great local event with a big future on the Gold Coast. We’ll continue to support this event and help local filmmakers to achieve great things.”

Watch SIPFEST here.

The festival’s Screen Industry Gala Awards will evolve to a live-stream award ceremony, with $20,000 in cash and prizes awarded to filmmakers thanks to prize sponsors HOTA – Home of the Arts, PKF Accounting and Business Advisors, Blackmagic Design, Burleigh Brewing Co., The Heaton Group and Surfers Paradise Alliance.

The online awards will be held on 16 April at 6.30pm, to coincide with the originally planned event date and will feature 14 award categories recognising the best short films, webseries, feature films and scripts that were due to feature at the festival as well as award recognition for Gold Coast screen industry professionals and Queensland screen businesses.

“While we were heartbroken the festival was cancelled after it had already been curated and announced, we were more devasted for the filmmakers. Filmmakers have poured so much of their talent, money and time into their films – sometimes over years – and it is a such a loss to not have the opportunity to screen or premiere now,” said Lucy Fisher, Gold Coast Film Festival CEO/Festival Director.

“We have worked to find the best way to support filmmakers and we are so grateful to our prize sponsors who have still committed to cash and prizes for this event. I’m sure the prizes will come at a vital time for many in the screen industry right now.

“Hopefully, we can all join together for one night and celebrate the winners in this difficult time and support Australian short films by watching SIPFEST for free,” she said.

You can register for the live stream of the award ceremony here.

Things kick off at 6.30pm Thursday 16 April. And while it’s anything goes in terms of dress code, the team at GCFF are recommending red-carpet glamour up top and PJ’s down below. Feel free to snap a pic of yourself in your best glam / PJ combo and post it to Insta with #gcfilmfestival.

The 18th annual Gold Coast Film Festival program was due to feature four world, nine Australian and 11 Queensland premieres and just over 300 films, panels, events across 14 Gold Coast locations. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast and Tourism and Events Queensland.


Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award
Sponsor: Blackmagic Design
Prize: Blackmagic Design product (Pocket Cinema Camera 6K worth AU$4,065)

MORGANA | Isabel Peppard & Josie Hess
A LION RETURNS |Serhat Caradee
DISCLOSURE | Michael Bentham

PKF Best Australian Film Award
Sponsor: PKF Accounting and Business Advisors

Finalists: I Am Woman, Slim & I, Swimming For Gold, Never Too Late, Smoke Between Trees, Disclosure,
Hearts and Bones, Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, A Lion Returns, House of Inequity, Tommy Emmanuel: The
Endless Road, Dark Whispers Vol 1, The Show Must Go On, Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt), Morgana,
Love Opera, Bloody Hell

Queensland Screenwriting Award, thanks to The Heaton Group
Sponsor: The Heaton Group
Prize: $5000 for winner, $500 for second prize, $500 for third prize

How To Kill A Genre – Noah Southam
The Lost girls – Dustin Schmidt
Olivia’s Song – Tim Sayer
The Secret Lives of Dresses – Stephen Lance

SIPFest Short Film Festival presented by Surfers Paradise Alliance
Sponsor: Surfers Paradise Alliance

Best International Film $500
Best Australian Film $3000
Runner up Best Australian Film $1000
Best Actor $500
Best Screenplay $1000
Best Film from a Gold Coast Resident $1000
People’s Choice Award $1000

Date Night – Marni Little, Christine Milo
Eye for an Eye – Elizabeth Cullen
I Don’t Speak – Tess Emmerson
Lost Daylight – Nurdewi Djamal, Callan Murray
MANUS – Angus McDonald
My Name is Mudju – Chantelle Murray
Desert Island Secret Santa – Pearce Hoskinson
Phone It In – Darien Law
The Bus to Birra Birra – TJ Power
The Perfect Spread – Billy Milionis
The Starey Bampire – Dan Farmer, Adam Bigum
Yulubidyi – Until The End – Nathan Mewett, Curtis Taylor
Back to Graceland – Sakari Sankkinen

Webseries Awards
Sponsor: Gold Coast Film Festival

Best International Webseries
Best Australian Webseries – $500

A Werewolf in Australia | Pearce Hoskinson
Sheilas | Eliza Reilly, Hannah Reilly
High Rising | Vidad Narayan, Bruce McCoy
Overqualifed | Megan Chambers, Hamish Thatcher
Man of Joy | Jordan Kenneth Kamp, Rob Johnson
Sporty’s Heroes | Lisa Hughes

Queensland Screen Business of the Year Award

WildBear Entertainment
Essential Crew
The Post Lounge

Gold Coast Screen Professional of the Year

Sponsor: Burleigh Brewing Co.
Prize: Burleigh Brewing Co. beer, Backstage double pass and 4 VIP Burleigh Cinema tickets (valued at $400)

Anna Waters-Massey
Jason Baird
Jude Kalman

EMERGE Best Student Short Film

Sponsor: HOTA – Home of the Arts
Best Student Film $250

DANNY – Nash Lawrence – NYFA
BISCUIT – Andrew Morris – TAFE Coomera
SQUEEZED FRESH – Andrew Morris – TAFE Coomera
THE GOOD DAD – Tallow Montague – SAE
THE WAY HOME – James Curtis – QSFT
STATIC – Ryan Simpson – QSFT
OTHERED – Eden Guade, Jeremy Bobby – Griffith University
NOT SO GRIM – Narissa Amies – Griffith University
THE DRUID PROPHECY – Lauren Hassell – Bond University
ASOS – Dane Holroyd – Bond University
FINDING A VOICE – Kimberley Henderson –
QUT CRACK – Jake Leskarac, Sophie McDuff – QUT

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