Gold Coast Film Festival launches Stellar Program

March 13, 2020
Screening a wide selection of Australian features and the best of international, along with special events and workshops.

The festival will open on April 15 with the highly anticipated Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman and close on April 26 with the Gold Coast shot Bloody Hell, from director Alister Grierson (Kokoda) starring Ben O’Toole (Nekrotronic, 12 Strong), Meg Fraser, Travis Jeffery (Love Child, The Heights) and Jack Finsterer.

“In addition to our incredible opening and closing night films, I’m thrilled that we are hosting the world premiere of Slim & I, the incredible documentary that shines a light on Joy McKean, Australia’s own ‘Queen of Country Music’, and her enduring partnership with Slim Dusty,” said Festival Director Lucy Fisher, who has taken the festival from strength to strength over the last few years, including bringing Gold Coast’s own Margot Robbie onboard as Festival Patron last year.

“This year we also have a first for the festival with a special screening of the first two episodes of the second season of AACTA and Logie-Award winning drama TV series Mystery Road and look forward to hearing the behind-the-scenes stories from directors Warwick Thornton and Wayne Blair and producers Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey,” she said, focusing on the number of special guests expected at this year’s festival.

These include Jack Thompson and producer Antony Ginnane in support of Never Too Late, director Kriv Stenders, producer Chris Brown and subject Joy McKean for Slim & I, Hugo Weaving for Hearts & Bones, and many more.

Apart from Slim & I, world premieres include Swimming for Gold, the latest tween concoction from producer Steve Jaggi (Rip Tide, Back of the Net), directed by Hayley MacFarlane and starring Peyton List; Josh Hale’s Gold Coast shot horror, House of Inequality; and Serhat Caradee’s highly anticipated follow up to Cedar Boys, the highly topical A Lion Returns, which explores a young man returning to Australia after fighting with ISIS in the Middle East.

Other Australian films bowing at GCFF, include Monica Zenneti’s Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt), which recently opened the Mardi Gras Film Festival; documentaries Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road, The Show Must Go On, Morgana and the Queensland produced Love Opera and Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, about the Shaw Brothers legacy; Michael Joy’s long-awaited follow-up to Men’s Group, the indigenous-themed Smoke Between Trees; thriller Disclosure starring Geraldine Hakewill; and female horror anthology Dark Whispers Vol 1.

International film highlights have been separated into various strands with documentaries including dance-themed Cunningham, music-themed White Riot, and fashion-themed House of Cardin; a ‘remarkable women’ strand consisting of Roger Michell’s Blackbird starring Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill, Kitty Green’s MeToo themed The Assistant starring Julia Garner, Marie Curie biopic Radioactive starring Rosamund Pike and Sam Riley, Proxima starring Eva Green as an astronaut, and Maryam Touzani’s acclaimed debut feature Adam. The ‘world cinema showcase’ includes Monsoon starring Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Mika Kaurismaki’s food-themed Master Cheng, French hand-drawn animated masterpiece The Swallows of Kabul, Swedish coming of age drama And Then We Danced, US indie bromance comedy The Climb, Argentinian child-focused drama Delfin, and Spanish drama Window to the Sea. In the ‘family journeys’ strand, there’s Kiwi rural drama Bellbird, Italian comedy An Almost Ordinary Summer, and French road trip film Venice Calling. In the ‘arthouse edge’ strand you have Iceland’s A White, White Day, Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin starring Jean Dujardin and Dominik Moll’s Only the Animals.

There’s also Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots The Art of Self-Defense reunion, Vivarium, Irish horror Sea Fever, a 40th anniversary screening of Friday the 13th, a Jennifer’s Body screening with live commentary by Ladyparts, short film screenings galore, screen industry events and panels, a Women in Film Lunch with guest speakers Nadine Bates and Kristen Souvlis of Queensland’s Like A Photon Creative, and producer Sue Maslin (The Dressmaker) to receive the 2020 Chauvel Award.

“With so many Queensland-made films in the program, the festival truly showcases the strength of our state’s growing screen industry which supports jobs for local directors, producers, writers, actors and more,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.  the Premier said.

“The Gold Coast is famous for rolling out the red carpet and it’s no different for the filmmakers who choose to create their film and television productions here,” says City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. “We have a thriving film community on the Gold Coast, which is reinforced each year by this tremendous festival that unfolds in cinemas, parks, hotels and other venues across the city.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit




  1. I live on the Gold Coast and unfortunately this event has been cancelled due to the Corona Virus outbreak.

Leave a Comment