Australia’s premier Film, Television & Digital Awards – the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA Awards) and AACTA Industry Awards, along with AACTA ScreenFest are transitioning to Queensland’s Gold Coast. The announcement was made today by President of the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) Russell Crowe, the Queensland Government, and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
The Gold Coast is one of the most prolific screen production centres in the Southern Hemisphere, boasting perfect weather and diverse locations, as well as world-class studios and production facilities, and a vast local network of skilled technicians and crews.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland continued to stamp its authority as a global screen heavyweight.
“I am delighted to announce our deal with the Australian Film Institute to bring the AACTAs to the Gold Coast for the next three years,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “Our screen industry keeps going from strength to strength as we build our international reputation as the place to film world-class cinema and television content.
“Queensland is a production paradise offering the complete package, with film-friendly locations, highly skilled crew, world-class facilities and competitive incentives.
“It is home to the iconic Village Roadshow Studios and hosts flagship industry events such as SCREEN FOREVER, Australian International Movie Convention, which will return in 2023, and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
“There is also a constant flow of high-profile productions including Baz Lurhmann’s award-winning Elvis, Ron Howard’s acclaimed Thirteen Lives, the forthcoming Disney+ series Nautilus and feature film Land of Bad, starring AACTA President Russell Crowe.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Screen Queensland and Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) had partnered to secure the AACTAs for the Gold Coast and Queensland.
“The AACTAs will bring the Australian screen industry’s international star power to the Gold Coast and put Queensland destinations and visitor experiences in the global limelight,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“AACTA President Russell Crowe, Vice President Nicole Kidman and Ambassador Cate Blanchett will lead a glittering line up of talent on the Gold Coast, generating $3.4 million for the visitor economy.
“It’s Queensland tourism’s time to shine.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said: “The AACTAs are the pinnacle of the screen industry, and we are delighted to host the awards for the next three years thanks to this landmark partnership between AACTA, Major Events Gold Coast and the State Government.’
“What better destination for the AACTA Awards than the Gold Coast with our world-class screen sector set against an unbeatable breadth of stunning natural environments and welcoming city culture. Forget the red carpet … we will roll out the gold carpet to welcome the best industry professionals and peers to our city.’’
The AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group will next be held in February 2024 at the heart of the international awards season, alongside the Oscars & BAFTAs, driving Australia’s talented creative community further on the world stage. With its global media coverage attracting over 26.6 billion views in the past year, the AACTA Awards are uniquely positioned in the international market. Achieving significant profile recently has been Baz Luhrmann’s Queensland production Elvis – which won 11 AACTA Awards, including Best Film and Best Direction in Film presented by Filmology Finance and earned 9 BAFTA and 8 Oscar nominations – and multi-AACTA Award recipient The Stranger, each making global headlines and positioning amongst key contenders in international awards races.
Russell Crowe, President of the Australian Academy (AACTA), said, “In acknowledgement of Queensland’s growing importance of film and television production in this country it has been decided by the Board of the Australian Film Institute and AACTA and with the generous cooperation of the Queensland Government for the next 3 years we’ll be shifting from Sydney and hosting the AACTA Awards here on the Gold Coast.”
“The Australian Film Institute (AFI) and more recently The Australian Academy (AACTA) have provided the platform that has seen this country’s contributions to the global film industry just keep growing and making household names out of Directors, Designers, Cinematographers, Post-production Houses, Visual Effect Artists, Writers, Producers, and of course, Actors.”
“We’re looking forward to broadcasting a memorable show and showcasing the Gold Coast and the Great state of Queensland.”
“Thanks go to the Premier… also to the Minister, the Mayor, to Screen Queensland, for making this happen… and particularly for the people of the Gold Coast for making us so welcome as an industry and this is going to be an event that really shakes things up and makes people have a lot of fun on our industry and in this state.”
This new opportunity will allow AACTA to develop a number of initiatives – including the expansion of its celebrated ScreenFest program, which will also be presented on the Gold Coast in the lead up to the AACTA Awards. AACTA ScreenFest will feature a range of screen culture and creative development activities covering all aspects film, television and digital content creation – including workshops, skills and employment seminars, masterclasses, and showcases of some of the most exciting work being made by local and international creators – alongside growing programs that support and amplify First Nations storytelling.
Chair of The Australian Film Institute (AFI) | Australian Academy Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Board, Keith Rodger, said “Queensland’s screen industry has gone from strength to strength and with their commitment to Australian film and television, this growth will continue for years to come. Moving the AACTA Awards to the Gold Coast will bring about a new era for the Australian Academy, one that will see our industry continue to thrive and flourish. This new era will present fantastic opportunities for our industry, and we look forward to continuing to drive inclusive and dynamic programs that enhance our screen industry’s unity, global relevance, education, growth and impact.”
The Australian Academy’s migration of its major programs to Queensland aligns with the increasingly important role the state is playing in the rapid expansion of the Australian screen sector with more than $1 Billion in Drama production expenditure over the past 2 years and a focussed growth outlook. In addition to Elvis, other productions shot in Queensland include the recent Stan Original Black Snow – set in an Australian South Sea Islander community in Northern Queensland, award-winning ABC series Bluey, Netflix’s Irreverent, Torres Strait Island production for NITV Strait to the Plate, the new season of Foxtel’s Upright andNetflix’s Boy Swallows Universe. International productions that have come to the state include Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, Ticket to Paradise, Godzilla vs Kong, Nautilus and Spiderhead to name a few.
AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said, “Screen Queensland and the Queensland Government have always been valued screen agency partners of the AACTA Awards. Their commitment to showcasing our nation’s talent and productions on the global stage, igniting passion among young Aussies to pursue a career in screen, and creating a diverse and thriving culture closely aligns with our mission.
We look forward to working with Tourism and Events Queensland, Major Events Gold Coast, and Screen Queensland to highlight Queensland’s screen culture and bring Australia’s biggest film and television event to the Gold Coast”
Amanda Laing, Chief Commercial and Content Officer at Foxtel Group said “We are thrilled to see the AACTA Awards secure a new home and become a major part of the global awards calendar into next year. The Foxtel Group remains a long-standing champion of Australia’s creative talent in front of and behind the camera. After what will no doubt be another spectacular year for television and film it will be fantastic to celebrate the best of our industry on a new local stage during the coveted global awards season.”
Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick said securing Australia’s premier film, television and digital awards for the Gold Coast will provide a significant boost both for the local film and screen industry, and for the city’s tourism economy well into the future.
“The AACTAs shine a global spotlight on Australia’s creative talent, by hosting the awards on the Gold Coast we’re ensuring our beautiful and diverse destination is also being showcased across the country and to the world,” said Ms McCormick.
“We’re extremely proud to be supporting the AACTA Awards.”
AFI Board Member Jack Christian welcomed the new vision stating that “AACTA ScreenFest will create a “Cannes on the Coast” like environment, with the week-long festival culminating in the prestigious AACTA Awards – its dazzling red carpet full of local & international stars and teaming with worldwide media, focusing the eyes of the world on the beautiful Sunshine State.”
2013PHOTOGRAPHER: BELINDA ROLLAND © 2013 Russell Crowe