This award acknowledges significant contribution to the Australian screen industry and is named in honour of two of Australia’s pioneering filmmakers, Charles and Elsa Chauvel.

Leah is one of Australia’s most respected and admired screen professionals with a hefty list of accolades.

She is an AACTA, Helpmann, Deadly’s, ADG, AWGIE, IF, Logie award winning and nominated artist for her outstanding work on iconic feature film and TV such as Lantana and Jindabyne, The Proposition and Last Cab to Darwin, Redfern Now and Cleverman, The Secret Daughter and Janet King.

Leah’s actor, writer, director theatre credits include Box the Pony, Bran Nue Dae, Low, Black Chicks Talking, The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table, Stuff Happens, The Marriage of Figaro, The Dark Room, Brothers Wreck and Radiance. Leah’s current actor role is playing opposite Sigourney Weaver in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart for Amazon Original.

Her latest work is the award winning The Drover’s Wife. This play written by and starring Purcell swept all before it in 2017 winning the VIC and NSW Premiers Literary, Helpmann and AWGIE Awards for Best Play, Best Book, Prize for Literature.  On the back of the play’s success, she launched The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson novel in late 2019 and it has gone on to become a best-seller.

The film of the same title World Premiered at the SXSW South By Southwest Film Festival in the USA in March 2021 and also opened the Brisbane International Film Festival, In-Competition at the Sydney Film Festival and screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2021.

Leah became the first Australian to win the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Awards Jury Grand Prize for her multi-faceted work across her debut feature in November 2021. The film opens across Australia on 5 May, 2022.

Leah is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from QLD and joins a long list of worthy recipients including producers Anthony Buckley, Sue Maslin, Sue Milliken and Jan Chapman, directors George Miller, Rolf de Heer and Gillian Armstrong, actors Sigrid Thornton, Bryan Brown, Deborah Mailman, Heath Ledger and Claudia Karvan, and cinematographer John Seale.

Screen Industry Gala Award Winners

SPONSOR Award Winner / Recipient
Chauvel Award Leah Purcell
The Heaton Group Queensland Scriptwriting 4th Prize Call of the Warrigal – Richard John Jameson
The Heaton Group Queensland Scriptwriting 3rd Prize My Ex-Husband is a Warlock – Drew Macdonald
The Heaton Group Queensland Scriptwriting 2nd Prize Outlaws Callum Taylor, Courteney Osborne
The Heaton Group Queensland Scriptwriting 1st Prize Roxbury Manor – Paul Clarke
Best International Web Series WIC 300
Best Australian Web series Diana – Peter Koevari
Event Cinemas Queensland Screen Business of The Year The Edit Suite
Event Cinemas Gold Coast Screen Professional of the Year Tom McSweeney
Dendy Best Australian Independent Film Friends & Strangers
PKF Best Australian Film The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson – Leah Purcell and Bain Stewart

Celebrating its 20th year, Queensland’s biggest celebration of cinema, the Gold Coast Film Festival is on now until May 1, 2022.

The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by its major partners Screen Queensland, City of Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland and HOTA, Home of the Arts.

For tickets and information;