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.
The Gold Coast Film Festival is an annual 12-day film festival in April with more than 100 films, panels, parties, pop-up cinemas and special events right across the Gold Coast.