See & do

Forget Netflix and chill: Gold Coast Film Festival is going digital

April 9, 2020

Grab your Easter egg stash and comfiest pair of PJs; Gold Coast Film Festival is moving two of its flagship events SIPFEST and the Screen industry Gala Awards online over the Easter weekend, starting Thursday 9 April.

Normally set on the sands of Surfers Paradise beach, free  beachside short film festival SIPFEST will move 13 short films online from Thursday 9 April until Tuesday 14 April so viewers can enjoy in isolation comfort over the Easter weekend.  Don’t worry – budding film critics will still able to vote for their pick in the $1000 People’s Choice Award.

The festival’s Screen Industry Gala Awards will evolve to a live-stream award ceremony, with $20,000 in cash and prizes awarded to filmmakers thanks to prize sponsors HOTA – Home of the Arts, PKF Accounting and Business Advisors, Blackmagic Design, Bond University, Burleigh Brewing Co., The Heaton Group and Surfers Paradise Alliance.

The online event will be held on 16 April at 6.30pm, to coincide with the originally planned event date and will feature 14 award categories recognising the best short films, webseries, feature films and scripts that were due to feature at the festival as well as award recognition for Gold Coast screen industry professionals and Queensland screen businesses.

“While we were heartbroken the festival was cancelled after it had already been curated and announced, we were more devasted for the filmmakers. Filmmakers have poured so much of their talent, money and time into their films – sometimes over years – and it is a such a loss to not have the opportunity to screen or premiere now,” says Lucy Fisher, Gold Coast Film Festival CEO/Festival Director.

“We have worked to find the best way to support filmmakers and we are so grateful to our prize sponsors who have still committed to cash and prizes for this event. I’m sure the prizes will come at a vital time for many in the screen industry right now.”

“Hopefully, we can all join together for one night and celebrate the winners in this difficult time and support Australian short films by watching SIPFEST for free,” she says.

The 18th annual Gold Coast Film Festival program was due to feature four world, nine Australian and 11 Queensland premieres and just over 300 films, panels, events across 14 Gold Coast locations.

Kylie Munnich, CEO of major sponsor Screen Queensland, congratulated the Gold Coast Film Festival in their flexibility to present these popular festival events online.

“Now more than ever people are engaging with screen content to connect, entertain and inspire, and they want to support local creatives,” said Ms Munnich.

“We are thrilled that the team at Gold Coast Film Festival have responded swiftly to this audience demand for Queensland content, and are continuing to celebrate and recognise local industry talent.”

The Gold Coast Film Festival is also supported by Tourism and Events Queensland. The Gold Coast Film Festival is supported by the City of Gold Coast.


Sipfest Online

What: 13 brand new short films that will make you laugh, cry and be amazed
When: Easter Weekend: 12pm Thursday 9 April until 12pm Tuesday 14 April
Where: Isolation comfort. It’s Surfers Paradise beach in your imagination.
To view:
Dress code: Who knows right now? PJs? Activewear? Yesterday’s clothes?

Screen Industry Gala Awards

What: A live-stream award ceremony.
When: 6.30pm, Thursday 16 April 2020
Where: Isolation comfort. Register here:
Dress code: We personally like red-carpet glamour up top and PJ’s down below.

Awards and Nominees

Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award
Sponsor: Blackmagic Design
Prize: Blackmagic Design product (Pocket Cinema Camera 6K worth AU$4,065)

MORGANA | Isabel Peppard & Josie Hess
A LION RETURNS |Serhat Caradee
DISCLOSURE | Michael Bentham

PKF Best Australian Film Award
Sponsor: PKF Accounting and Business Advisors
Finalists: I Am Woman, Slim & I, Swimming For Gold, Never Too Late, Smoke Between Trees, Disclosure, Hearts and Bones, Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, A Lion Returns, House of Inequity, Tommy Emmanuel: The Endless Road, Dark Whispers Vol 1, The Show Must Go On, Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt), Morgana, Love Opera, Bloody Hell

Queensland Screenwriting Award, thanks to The Heaton Group
Sponsor: The Heaton Group
Prize: $5000 for winner, $500 for second prize, $500 for third prize
How To Kill A Genre – Noah Southam
The Lost girls – Dustin Schmidt
Olivia’s Song – Tim Sayer
The Secret Lives of Dresses – Stephen Lance

SIPFest Short Film Festival presented by Surfers Paradise Alliance
Sponsor: Surfers Paradise Alliance
Best International Film $500
Best Australian Film $3000
Runner up Best Australian Film $1000
Best Actor $500
Best Screenplay $1000
Best Film from a Gold Coast Resident $1000
People’s Choice Award $1000

Date Night – Marni Little, Christine Milo
Eye for an Eye – Elizabeth Cullen
I Don’t Speak – Tess Emmerson
Lost Daylight – Nurdewi Djamal, Callan Murray
MANUS – Angus McDonald
My Name is Mudju – Chantelle Murray
Desert Island Secret Santa – Pearce Hoskinson
Phone It In – Darien Law
The Bus to Birra Birra – TJ Power
The Perfect Spread – Billy Milionis
The Starey Bampire – Dan Farmer, Adam Bigum
Yulubidyi – Until The End – Nathan Mewett, Curtis Taylor
Back to Graceland – Sakari Sankkinen

Webseries Awards with thanks to Bond University
Sponsor: Bond University
Best International Webseries
Best Australian Webseries – $500

A Werewolf in Australia | Pearce Hoskinson
Sheilas | Eliza Reilly, Hannah Reilly
High Rising | Vidad Narayan, Bruce McCoy
Overqualifed | Megan Chambers, Hamish Thatcher
Man of Joy | Jordan Kenneth Kamp, Rob Johnson
Sporty’s Heroes | Lisa Hughes

Queensland Screen Business of the Year Award
WildBear Entertainment
Essential Crew
The Post Lounge

Gold Coast Screen Professional of the Year
Sponsor: Burleigh Brewing Co.
Prize: Burleigh Brewing Co. beer, Backstage double pass and 4 VIP Burleigh Cinema tickets (valued at $400)

Anna Waters-Massey
Jason Baird
Jude Kalman

EMERGE Best Student Short Film
Sponsor: HOTA – Home of the Arts
Best Student Film $250

DANNY – Nash Lawrence – NYFA
BISCUIT – Andrew Morris – TAFE Coomera
SQUEEZED FRESH – Andrew Morris – TAFE Coomera
THE GOOD DAD – Tallow Montague – SAE
THE WAY HOME – James Curtis – QSFT
STATIC – Ryan Simpson – QSFT
OTHERED – Eden Guade, Jeremy Bobby – Griffith University
NOT SO GRIM – Narissa Amies – Griffith University
THE DRUID PROPHECY – Lauren Hassell – Bond University
ASOS – Dane Holroyd – Bond University
FINDING A VOICE – Kimberley Henderson – QUT