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Gold Coast Film Festival 2023 Programme

Top-Bottom, L-R: 'Big Vs Small', 'Polite Society', 'The Last Daughter', 'The Survival Of Kindness'
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

In 2023, Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) celebrates 21 years.


The festival brings 12 days and nights of film featuring 3 world, 3 Australian and 15 Queensland premieres, as well as 25 short films, exclusive preview screenings and filmmaking talent. It’s an impressive line-up of films, outdoor cinema, red carpet screenings, industry panels, filmmaker Q&As and special events.

The red carpet will be rolled out for Opening Night, for the Queensland premiere of ‘Polite Society’ from Director Nida Manzoor. It stars Priya Kansas and Ritu Arya and follows a British Pakistani teenager (and aspiring stuntwoman) who attempts to save her older sister from a semi-arranged marriage by performing an elaborate heist.

Then, to close out the festival in another red carpet event will be ‘The Last Daughter’, a moving, unique documentary about one woman’s mission to unearth the truth about her past and reconcile the two sides of her family. Gold Coaster Brenda’s first memories were growing up in a loving, white foster family – before being taken away and returned to her Aboriginal family.

GCFF goes back to its sci-fi and fantasy origins, with a special preview of the first two episodes of ‘Sweet Tooth’ season two.

Stories of the ocean will make a splash in Making Waves, perfect for the Gold Coast. This film strand includes Queensland premieres ‘Big Vs Small’, ‘Birth Of The Endless Summer’ and ‘The Road To Patagonia’, along with the Australian premiere of ‘Big Wave Guardians’.

Australian features will be given the spotlight in a showcase of original stories and captivating characters, revealing the country’s diversity and highlighting talent. There’s ‘The Survival Of Kindness’, ‘Monolith’, ‘Sweet As’, and ‘The Giants’. Local filmmakers get their time too – with a selection of feature films made and produced locally and featuring emerging and talented directors, actors, producers and creatives: ‘Against The Tide’, ‘Girls’ Night Out’ and ‘Red Dust Challenge’.

Gala GCFF2022

Then things go beyond Australia as the world is showcased through unique, distinctive stories including festival favourites, award winners, critical darlings, films worthy of attention, and some feel-good vibes. There’s the Oscar-nominated ‘EO’, Cannes award winner ‘Cairo Conspiracy’ and the Australian premiere of ‘I Like Movies’.

SIPFEST is the Gold Coast’s premier short film competition and will showcase 14 of the best short film finalists from submissions around Australian and internationally.

“We have an incredible mix of national and international films as well as short films and documentaries showcasing immense talent,” GCFF CEO Josh Martin says. “Our team has worked tirelessly to put together a programme of incredible films and special events that we can all enjoy from free outdoor cinema on the HOTA Outdoor Stage through to walking the red carpet with the cast and crew.”

Head Of Programming Sasha Close is just as excited about the line-up.

“The 2023 festival programme is a delightful, insightful, and fun programme of global and local films. Opening night and closing night feature films are directed by women sharing powerful and engaging stories and in between these gala nights are an array of feature films and shorts plus numerous panels and special events.”

Gold Coast Film Festival 2023 is on at Home Of The Arts Gold Coast from 19-30 April.

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