The Gold Coast City Council is one of the main drivers behind the launch this year of a film festival that it hopes will draw attention to the filmmaking capabilities of the region, and boost economic development. Over $54,000 (A$100,000) has already been raised from government sources.
Queensland's Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, already hosts the Warner Roadshow MovieWorld Studios and the annual Australian International Movie Convention but does not have the depth of crew or services of Melbourne or Sydney.
Gold Coast Film Fantastic is modelled on the Brussels event and will include science fiction, horror, special effects and animated films, although no films have yet been locked down. Organisers are starting small with a three-day event from August 15 that overlaps with the International Movie Convention, but they expect it to grow quickly.
The program committee includes Richard Payten, joint general manager of locally-owned sister distributors Becker and Globe, producer Chris Brown, and UIP Australia managing director Mike Selwyn, who used to work in Brussels and is liaising with that festival.
Meanwhile in other Queensland news, Michael Lake, who is also Warner Roadshow Studios president, has been awarded the Kinetone Award for his contribution to the local industry and for his support of young filmmakers.