The Gold Coast Film Festival was cancelled just two days after it was announced in 2020. This year, organisers say they’re ready for anything.
The Gold Coast Film Festival will make a triumphant return this year with major stars like Hollywood A-listers Margot Robbie and Baz Luhrmann on the invite list to walk the red carpet.
Whether Robbie or Luhrmann can attend the April 14-25 event may ultimately depend on international and local borders being open – although Luhrmann is on the Gold Coast filming an Elvis Presley biopic.
All event CEO Aimee Lindorff can do is pray the pandemic does not play havoc with the festival for the second year running.
Last year it was cancelled two days after it was launched, with Robbie named as patron, following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Robbie is believed to be in the UK after recently being spotted in Clapton, according to media reports.
This year the GCFF will be held regardless of border closures, with a virtual event already organised as a back-up.
“The festival will be going ahead as we have developed a hybrid model which is completely scalable from borders open to complete lockdown,” Ms Lindorff told NCA / Newswire.
“We are the first to run for 2021 and on schedule per our usual program . and what is good about this digital model, is that if we do go into lockdown, we can still invite people to participate.
“It doesn’t have the same allure as a physical event but it does mean we are going to get some of the big names involved.”
While it’s unknown if Robbie and Luhrmann will walk the red carpet or appear virtually, The Dressmaker producer Sue Maslin will attend to receive the Chauvel Award that honours Australia’s most significant filmmakers.
Also confirmed is Jenny Cooney, executive vice president of Bunya Productions which produced TV series Mystery Road and Sweet Country, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2017.
“For the A-listers on the invite list, it is all schedule-dependent and they don’t know at the moment,” Ms Lindorff said.
The 12-day film festival includes an awards ceremony, the festival’s first ever online program and more than 100 film screenings.