As you may or may not know, I am currently studying a Master of Arts, and for one of my subjects I put together an article on the Queensland film industry. I interviewed a number of individuals including Kylie Pascoe, the director of the Gold Coast Film Festival. I have decided to share the entire five-question Q&A / interview with her on The Otaku’s Study as only a section of the content was eventually used in the article.
The Gold Coast Film Festival is an annual twoish-week long event held in April on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and last year saw many events including the world premiere of Makoto Shinkai’s The Garden of Words and several other Australian premieres. I attended many of the films during the event, and thanks to the team at the event I was able to have some fantastic interviews with the likes of Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai.
This interview discusses the goals and ambitions of the festival, film production events, plans for 2014 and much more!
1. First of all, in your own words could you share a bit about the goals and ambitions of the Gold Coast Film Festival?
The Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) is a celebration of screen culture and through our film and film related activities, we aim to engage and entertain our audiences with exciting and innovative film experiences. Our goal is to position the Gold Coast as a culturally diverse city that embraces our filmmaking heritage and while audiences can enjoy a diverse range of international feature films during the festival, we will also promote the local film industry and its practitioners to Australia and the world.
2. How was the public reception and attendance for GCFF 2013 in comparison to previous years? Were there any trends in interest or particular films that drew in greater than expected crowds?
The attendance at GCFF13 was only marginally more than GCFF12, due we believe, to the road works and other activity going on around the Broadbeach area at the time. Had this interruptive activity not been happening, we feel the festival would have shown a much greater box office increase to the previous year. As always, our Anime offerings drew great crowds and our World Premiere of GARDEN OF WORDS saw guests come from intra and interstate, as well as overseas. Anime always does well at the festival and our Cool Japan program is something we are very proud of. Additionally, our closing night film – EVIL DEAD also saw two screens sell out, as news that the much anticipated remake was scheduled for straight to DVD hit the horror fandom universe, making our screening the one and only chance to see the film on the big screen.
3. There were quite a few Australian premieres and even the world premiere of Makoto Shinkai’s “The Garden of Words” held during this years festivities. Given the selection of films screened, how do you think this reflects on the demand and reception of Gold Coasters / the Gold Coast to local/international film studios? Also, what else do you see about the Gold Coast that would make studios want to showcase their work in the city?
Being a hub for filmmaking in Australia, Gold Coast audiences enjoy films that provide a different cultural cinema experience. For this reason, films of critical acclaim, foreign language and animation are important elements of our festival program. From a distributor perspective, the Gold Coast Film Festival provides a great opportunity to reach an audience that is often bypassed by the more mainstream exhibitors.
4. During GCFF 2013 you promoted a number of events such as the Screenwriting Master Class and the Future Filmmakers Program alongside Bond University. From your experience, do you foresee further local interest in film production and more locally produced films showcased at the festival in upcoming years?
One of the areas of development for GCFF2014 is to increase our educational activities and promote both filmmaking and filmmakers on the Gold Coast. Our free workshops and seminars will be extended throughout the year and delivered to a broader audience at various locations. Our QLD Showcase program will also continue to feature the works of QLD film practitioners, highlighting the depth and breadth of talent that lies hidden in our city.
5. With the 2013 events well and truly over, it seems like you are about to unveil the 2014 festivals website. Would you be able to share a bit about what filmenthusiasts could expect to see next year?
Our Program Director – Mitch Ziems answered this question… Though we are still relatively early in the programming stage, we have no doubt 2014 will feature our best and most culturally diverse line-up yet. The goal is to broaden our appeal, making it clearer than ever before, as to what Gold Coast locals and visitors alike can expect from the festival, while taking our programming strands to the next level. As you said, 2013 saw us screen our most Australian premieres yet, as well as the incredible world premiere of The Garden of Words, so what does the next level mean for film fans? Take another look at the Gold Coast Film Festival website soon to find out.