AUSSIE AND KIWI FILMS, STARS AND LEGENDS ROCK 71st AIMC THIS WEEK ON THE GOLD COAST

AUSSIE AND KIWI FILMS, STARS AND LEGENDS ROCK 71st AIMC THIS WEEK ON THE GOLD COAST

The 71st Australian International Movie Convention wrapped this week at Jupiters Gold Coast after a five-day celebration themed “all that is great about the movies”.

A record-breaking delegation of just over 1,000 converged for the five-night/four-day convention, where film distributors screened films, trailers and top-secret teasers from their upcoming slates; box office and achievement awards were presented and industry panels covered issues from piracy to trends in cinemas to social media marketing and more.

At the opening AIMC session on Monday, Graham Burke, Co-Executive Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Village Roadshow, presented an impassioned address about piracy, entitled The Piracy Plague: A Five-Step Solution – transcript available here.

The convention closed with the Coca-Cola Finale Wrap party, a spectacular evening hosted by Weekend Sunrise’s Jason “Jabba” Davis, with Dami Im and the Gold Coast’s own Koi Boys providing entertainment, and industry achievement awards presented to:
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• Sam Neill DCNZM OBE (AIMC Lifetime Achievement), whose acceptance speech thrilled delegates in Jupiters Ballroom, as he shared messages received from friends including Bryan Brown, Rob Sitch and John Cleese congratulating him on his award. Sam Neill’s friend and Hunt for the Wilderpeople Director Taika Waititi attended the evening.
• Sue Milliken AO (AIMC Lifetime Achievement Award) – Film producer and writer
• Anthony Buckley AO (Murray Forrest Award for Excellence in Filmcraft) – Film producer/editor

Chris Hemsworth received the AIMC Star of the Year Award but was not in attendance.

Of the seven feature films screened this week at AIMC, three are Australian:

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Don’t Tell – attended by cast members Jack Thompson AM, Rachel Griffiths, Sara West, Gyton Grantley, Martin Sacks and Robert Coleby
Jasper Jones – introduced by Director Rachel Perkins
Lion – Sue and Saroo Brierley, the mother and son at the heart of this incredible true story were special guests at this screening in an evening presented by Screen Australia and Transmission Films

Box office behemoths, Aussie record-breakers and independent gems were acknowledged with awards at AIMC 2016:

• Gold Box Office Achievement Award for the Highest Grossing Film in Australia for 2015-16 as well as the Award for the Highest Grossing 3D Film in Australia went to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, with a box office gross in Australia of AUD$93,810,011 .

• Box Office Achievement Award for the Highest Grossing Film in New Zealand for 2015-16 went to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS with a box office gross of NZD$14.6 million.

• Highest Grossing Australian Film for 2015-2016 was THE DRESSMAKER with a box office gross of AUD$20,271,661– on collecting the award, Producer Sue Maslin said: “This is the most important award that any producer could share as it shows that our efforts to connect with the audience have paid off. Mike Baard and his team at Universal were the perfect partner on The Dressmaker and I can’t thank the exhibitors enough for getting behind the film”.

• Highest Grossing New Zealand Film for 2015-2106 was HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE with a box office gross of AUD$11,228,909.

A special AIMC Award was presented to David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz during the convention in recognition of their incomparable partnership and immeasurable contribution to the Australian film industry. Both David and Margaret were present to collect their awards.

Guest presenters at AIMC 2016 included Directors Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae, Jasper Jones), Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of {Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and actor Ben Mingay from Hacksaw Ridge, who presented at the Australian Independent Distributors Association (AIDA) Dinner & Awards.

Tim League, founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Drafthouse Films and Fantastic Fest and part of the vanguard shaping the evolving movie-going experience in the US, delivered a standout keynote address. Known for the zero tolerance policy on mobile phones that forms part of the etiquette required of The Alamo patrons, this social media-savvy all-rounder discussed his unique programming and in-theatre dining offerings which are proving hugely successful, especially to tech-obsessed younger audiences.
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AIMC Chairman Terry Jackman said: This year’s convention enjoyed record attendance figures from across the industry and delegates saw first-rate content, highest quality features and were educated and entertained during four most informative presentations and panel sessions”.

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