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Get set for world premieres and red carpet events when Queensland’s biggest celebration of cinema lands on the Gold Coast from April 14 to 25, 2021. 

The Gold Coast Film Festival has just announced its eagerly awaited program  after a year-long hiatus, and the blockbuster line-up is truly world class. The 2021 festival will showcase the latest and greatest premieres from all over the world, provide access to exclusive preview screenings, and highlight the homegrown filmmaking talent we’ve got right here in Australia.

The 19th annual Gold Coast Film Festival  launched its full program yesterday, boasting an impressive  line-up of more than 100 exciting films, pop-up cinemas, red carpet screenings, industry panels,  and special events. A selection of the program will also be 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, plus Q&As with filmmakers and some of Australia’s leading cast and crew. 

Headlining on Opening Night is the illuminating, captivating Sundance-selected documentary Valerie Taylor: Playing with Sharks, directed by Sally Aitken and produced by Bettina Dalton. The film shines the spotlight on the Australian icon’s extraordinary life as a fearless marine protector and ocean explorer – her up-close-and-personal experience with sharks is truly unparalleled.

Valerie says she is honoured the documentary 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,” she says. “I commend them for taking interest in my lifelong pursuit of saving our marine life in order to get this message out to the masses.”

Catch the screening at HOTA, Birch Carroll & Coyle Coolangatta and Event Cinemas Coomera.

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.

Festival director Aimée Lindorff says this year’s program offers something for everyone and is sure to inspire 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 Aimée. “The prestigious Screen Industry Gala Awards will return to 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.” 

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich says the return of the Gold Coast Film Festival is a celebratory moment for the Queensland screen industry in the wake of a challenging past year for productions, live events, and festivals.

“This festival plays a central role in connecting local practitioners, showcasing Queensland-made screen content and creating memorable experiences for filmmakers and film buffs alike,” says Kylie.  

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.

Head to www.gcfilmfestival.com for the full festival program, and to purchase tickets.

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.