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:: Spotlight :: 2015 Gold Coast Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The 13th annual Gold Coast Film Festival will screen 43 films from 15 countries and includes one world premiere, 10 Australian premieres and 10 Queensland premieres this April 9 - 19. The Gold Coast’s biggest film event will host the World Premiere of locally produced thriller, Fear of Darkness (Saturday April 11) as well as the Australian Premiere of international action movie Skin written by and starring legendary action star Dolph Lungdren, who will be attending the screening on Sunday April 19. On Saturday April 18, George Takei will attend and take part in a special one-off Q&A screening of his documentary film To be Takei which takes a look at the many roles played by the eclectic 77-year-old actor, gay rights activist and internet phenomenon with over 8 million Facebook fans.

Opening night (Thursday April 9) of the Gold Coast Film Festival will see Cannes Film Festival favourite Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Kristin Stewart and Juliette Binoche, screening at The Arts Centre Gold Coast with a special introduction by Australia’s most respected and loved movie critic, Margaret Pomeranz. Australian film Infini, starring Luke Hemsworth and Daniel Macpherson will also screen at the festival with a filmmaker Q&A, ahead of its Australian release.

The Festival will also feature some of the most lauded films from around the world straight from major international film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance and Berlin, including the Australian Premiere of Sundance Film Festival favourite Rudderless, William H Macy’s directorial debut.

Gold Coast Film Festival Director Kylie Pascoe said: “This year the Festival program offers a diverse selection of films that will illuminate and entertain and one which we are proud to bring to Gold Coast audiences. By broadening our geographic footprint across the Gold Coast from Helensvale to Coolangatta, we have made the Gold Coast Film Festival and the critically acclaimed films being screened more accessible than ever before. This year’s festival also sees the return of Queensland Showcase; an integral strand of the festival that supports and showcases the directors, producers and writers from our own backyard. We are proud to host the World Premiere of Fear of Darkness - a film directed by Gold Coaster Chris Fitchett."

Margaret Pomeranz will be joined by her daughter-in-law Philippa Whitfield Pomeranz, a producer, director and co-creator of the TV series Fashion Bloggers, speaking at the Gold Coast Film Festival’s inaugural Women in Film Luncheon on Friday April 10 at QT Hotel.

This year, the Gold Coast Film Festival will screen at even more venues including The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Coolangatta Birch Carroll and Coyle, Helensvale Cultural Centre, Surfers Paradise beach, Robina Common, Palm Beach Park and Broadbeach Park where a special 30th anniversary screening of Back to the Future will be held on Saturday April 18. The outdoor screening of Back to the Future will feature a real-life Delorean - the infamous time-travelling car in the iconic 80’s film.

The festival will also screen documentaries, including the Queensland premiere of locally produced, Frackman, which tells the story of accidental activist Dayne Pratzky and his struggle against international gas companies as they prepare to sink 30,000 ‘fracked’ wells in Queensland.

Screening at Birch Carroll & Coyle Coolangatta is the festival’s first 3D documentary film, African Safari, a family documentary showcasing the sights and sounds of Africa, a great film to take the kids to in the school holidays! On Sunday April 19, thought-provoking sci-fi UK film, Ex Machina, will screen as the festival’s closing night film in its Australian Premiere event. Other films with Australian Premieres at the Gold Coast Film Festival include Song of The Sea, The Incident, The Voices, Luna, Cheatin’ and African Safari.

Tickets for all events are now on sale here

OPENING NIGHT
Clouds of Sils Maria
Premiere: Queensland Premiere
Country: France/Switzerland/Germany/USA/Belgium
Length: 124 minutes
Language: English/French/German
Year: 2014
Classification: MA15+ for strong coarse language
Genre: Drama
Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloe Grace Moretz

Synopsis: A veteran actress comes face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself when she agrees to take part in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years earlier. Quote: “A multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved - including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz - to new heights.” – Peter Debruge, Variety.

Awards/Notable Festivals: Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Nominated for the Audience Choice Award - Olivier Assayas, Chicago International Film Festival. Won Best Actress, Best Screenplay - International Cinephile Society Awards.

Our thoughts: Our three leads, all of whom having found fame in different ways, deftly handle the contrast of starpower across generations in this clever meta-fiction that ran in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

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CLOSING NIGHT
Ex Machina
Premiere: Australian Premiere
Country: UK
Length: 108 minutes
Language: English
Year: 2015
Classification: TBC - Please check website for information.
Genre: Sci-fi
Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander

Synopsis: A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I. Quote: “ Ex Machina is thought-provoking sci-fi that addresses big questions in a gripping and hugely entertaining way.” - IGN.com

Our thoughts: ‘Psy-fi’ Ex Machina is a timely film that asks the same daunting questions of A.I. that have become prominent in the musings of some of our most smartest minds. Lead by Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson (both of whom will star in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) it is intelligent, entertaining, and simply brilliant.

For more information, visit

www.gcfilmfestival.com