Being totally photogenic, renowned and always being splashed on the cover of magazines, the Gold Coast could be easily mistaken for being a bit of a star. So it’s only fitting that the Gold Coast has its own Gold Coast Film Festival to showcase how the region has contributed to Australia’s film industry. Ahead of the Film Festival, which commences on Thursday 15 April, we sat down for a chat with the newly appointed Director of the Goldy’s 12-day event, Aimée Lindorff. She delves into her career to date, what she’s looking forward to the most in this year’s program and what she loves about the GC since making the move here.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’m a recent transplant to the Gold Coast, having only recently moved from Brisbane in January 2021. I’ve lived in Brisbane most of my adult life and established my career there, so moving to Gold Coast was a big change. A completely different vibe and lifestyle. It’s been great so far!
Tell us a bit about your career to date.
I’ve been involved in the arts industry since I was a kid. I studied Arts at University, so it wasn’t a big leap to a career – albeit it took me nearly 10 years after uni to settle into cultural production. I’ve primarily worked in literature and community arts, working with not-for-profit agencies and community groups to design and deliver arts programs around writing, publishing and storytelling. And for the last few years, I’ve been working predominately in film and television production. I’ve worked on projects for Netflix, Discovery Channel and Network Ten, as well as international broadcasters. I’ve been freelancing in content production and cultural events, emceeing festivals and hosting podcasts for the better part of six years. During this time, I’ve worked with organisations that do really cool arts events across Brisbane and the Gold Coast. I love working with practitioners to release their project in whatever medium they work in. I actually worked with the Gold Coast Film Festival as the Events Producer back in 2017, so it was a pleasure to rejoin the organisation in 2020. The great thing about this role is it incorporates so much of what I love – storytelling, events, community, industry and strategic engagement.
What’s one of your career highlights?
By and far one of my most rewarding career opportunities was working on feature film documentary ‘Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks’ – an exploration of the evolution of kung fu cinema from Hong Kong to Hollywood. It combined archival footage and interviews from across the globe. Documentaries operate with very small teams, so I was involved in a lot of areas that a production coordinator wouldn’t normally get to do. A lot of the footage was from lost Chinese-language cinema, or back alley New York street theatre, so it was a challenge tracking down the right people and films. Plus, arranging interviews in Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong and London all from the office in Brisbane was a challenge in itself. So to tackle that, there was a lot of detective work and meetings at 2am! It was a tad stressful, but also immensely rewarding. I was also fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to produce an interview that appeared in that film. It was amazing working with an incredible group of people, on a topic that speaks to my heart – it was the first major film project I ever worked on!
What excites you the most about the film scene/industry on the Gold Coast at the moment?
The screen industry on the Gold Coast is ridiculously busy and hosts some of the best filmmakers and creatives in the world. It’s an exciting time to be working in the screen sector at the moment. Not only for the large-scale international productions but the local independent market as well. The Gold Coast is truly one of the most welcoming communities. Everyone is excited to share and support your ideas, and it’s truly a privilege to support local filmmakers through showcasing their work and professional development programs.
What makes the Gold Coast so perfect to host a festival like the Gold Coast Film Festival?
The Gold Coast has such an array of locations that make pop-up cinemas so interesting. From the beach to Skypoint, it’s a fantastic selection of venues and styles to make any screening unique. And Gold Coast Film Festival aims to showcase the Gold Coast through unique movie experiences. There’s also a sense of celebration to the Gold Coast – audiences are willing to try new things, think outside the box and really embrace the fun of an event.
Which event on the Gold Coast Film Festival program this year are you most looking forward to?
It’s so hard to choose! There are so many great events and conversations! Opening Night is always a spectacular event – it’s the first major film festival of the year, so all of Queensland’s industry turns out. But there are two events I’m particularly excited by – Rooftop Cinema, an outdoor cinema event with the Gold Coast skyline surrounding you, and QT Bites: Eat the Screen, a degustation menu of films and food at QT Gold Coast. Rooftop Cinema is screening the 90s cult classic Clueless and runs on Friday 23 April at Australia Fair. It’s a fully immersive experience with thematic photo opportunities and a relaxed vibe. QT Bites: Eat the Screen is an around the world journey through food and short film, featuring meal and drink pairings with food-themed films.
What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: Daark Espresso – it’s local and they allow dogs! And the food is just incredible.
Coffee spot: I don’t drink coffee, so can I say Dust Temple for a morning drink and tasty treat?
Restaurant: One of my favourites is Mamasan Kitchen + Bar. One of the first restaurants I went to when I moved to the Gold Coast and can’t get enough of it.
Bar or pub for a drink: Not gonna lie, moving down so close to the festival has meant I haven’t had much time to explore, but a Friday afternoon drink at HOTA lawn bar is always a great time. The setting sun, outdoor garden and live music – you can’t beat it.
How do you choose to spend your weekends?
Most of my weekends are spent working on personal projects and catching up on unpacking! But my favourite weekends involve a trip to the local beach with my dog and a casual drink with friends.
We all love ourselves a bit of Netflix, right? Whether it’s getting tucked into a binge-worthy cliff-hanging series or a film of epic proportions, we love immersing ourselves in something to escape our everyday reality for that short moment in time. It’s no secret that the film industry here on the Gold Coast is going gangbusters and without any real sign of slowing down. So isn’t it apt — and exciting — that we have our very own snazzy film festival to get ourselves along to? The Gold Coast Film Festival is perhaps one of the best types of festivals to hit our shores. Just be sure to set your phone to silent!
Not only are there plenty of epic new films being screened throughout the festival, but there are also old favourites and some much-loved annual events to keep us all entertained. Over the last few years, we have seen some famous faces from screen and cinema pop up at these events — who knows; you might spot yourself a Hemsworth (swoon!)!
Set over 12 days from the Monday 12th April — Sunday 25th April, the festival will boast over 100 screenings, parties, panels, pop-up cinemas and more! Here are just four events we recommend you acquire yourself a bucket of popcorn and prepare to walk the red carpet for.
Legally Blonde 20th Anniversary Pink Party
Grab your girl gang and welcome sorority queen Elle Woods back to the screen for the (gasp) 20th anniversary of Legally Blonde. Follow Elle’s journey from queen bee to courthouse bombshell as the spunky freshman defies all stereotypes to rock it at Harvard Law School. Attendees are encouraged to rock their very best freshman fashion – pink is encouraged, obviously. Join the viewing on The Green at QT Gold Coast to delve into pink cocktails and courthouse munchies with your crew.
When: 6pm Saturday 24th April
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Tickets are $35 and include ‘Bend and Schnapps’ cocktail (what a name?!) and a ‘Warner’s Weiner’ hotdog on arrival. Get yourselves tickets now here.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
An absolute classic in its own right, this morning screening is set to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic love story. Re-live the romance, elegance and classic scenes from this delightful romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Manhattan’s elegant socialite. Put on your best dress and imagine you’re strutting the streets of downtown New York as you make your way down Griffith Street in Coolangatta to the cinemas. Often considered Hepburn’s most nuanced performance, this movie is a must if you haven’t seen it.
When: 10am Tuesday 20th April
Where: BCC Cinemas, Level 2, The Strand Shopping Centre, Coolangatta
Tickets are just $8, get yours here.
Sucker for Love — The Art of the Rom-Com
We all enjoy a romantic comedy, right? The perfect couple always somehow are pulled apart, and battle their way with comedic consequences back into each other’s arms — if only real life were that simple? SIGH. Ever wanted to know how writers and filmmakers come up with such scripts? Join the panel of successful filmmakers who will uncover how to make the screen sizzle. From the writing desk to the editing room, discover what it takes to make audiences fall in love with romance. Perfect for those with a budding interest in pursuing a career in the industry, or simply if watching the hunky guy go after his girl is your jam.
When: 5pm — 6pm Saturday 24th April or available to livestream
Where: Theatre 2, Home of the Arts (HOTA), Bundall
Tickets are free, register here.
Burleigh Brewery Cinema
Why not get yourself along to Burleigh Brewery to celebrate homegrown talent while sipping local craft beer? There are two nights of free films starring Aussie favourites on the Brewery’s outdoor screen (first night already sold out!), making it ideal for hanging out with your crew or snuggling up with a loved one. See the Gold Coast’s sweetheart and Oscar-nominee Margot Robbie on Thursday 22nd April in her performance as embattled figure skating champion Tonya Harding in ‘I, Tonya.’
When: Doors open at 6pm, screening starts at 7pm, Thursday 22nd April
Where: Burleigh Brewery, 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Tickets are free, but register here to reserve your spot.
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
For some time now the budding arts scene on the Gold Coast has been increasingly building and building. And it’s great to see, is it not!?
So, when we heard the news that the soon to be opened gallery was in fact going to have its very own dedicated rooftop bar, we naturally had to tell all of our informed readers the news.
The Exhibitionist Bar, located in the new HOTA Gallery, will provide an unparalleled venue experience. After all, what other world-class art galleries do you know with a rooftop bar — we’ll wait for an answer!
Doors will open the 8th of May 2021 and in our books, this is set to add a new dimension to the city’s already energetic food and social scene.
Located on Level Five of the Gallery across 233sqm of indoor and outdoor terrace spaces, The Exhibitionist Bar will have completely unhindered panoramic views of the vibrant arts precinct, the always impressive Surfers Paradise skyline, stunning Gold Coast waterways and a western outlook across our enigmatic hinterland. If this isn’t going to be a feast for the eyes, we don’t know what is!
The venue will offer guests a sophisticated tapas-style bar menu with specialty cocktails, an extensive wine list, house-made sodas and local craft beer. Of the morning time, it will be the Gallery’s go-to location for those in need of their caffeine fix.
HOTA‘s Head of Culinary Arts, David Ashford says “The Exhibitionist Bar will deliver a spectacular destination rooftop experience in a bold new venue with enticing views, share style food along with cocktail and champagne offering the showstoppers. Our intention was to create an iconic venue that provides a memorable experience for every visitor”.
Aren’t we the cultured and lucky bunch?
LOCATION: HOTA Gallery,135 Bundall Road, Bundall
Words by Alex Mitcheson.