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AACTA Festival Is the New Four-Day Australian Film and TV Celebration That's Debuting on the Gold Coast in 2024

'Talk to Me' directors Danny and Michael Philippou, 'Boy Swallows Universe' author Trent Dalton and 'The New Boy' filmmaker Warwick Thornton will all be in the spotlight.
By Sarah Ward
December 05, 2023
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By Sarah Ward
December 05, 2023
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When the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television anoints its picks for the best movies and TV shows of 2023, it'll do so in February 2024 on the Gold Coast. The country's night of nights is on the move to southeast Queensland, making its Sunshine State debut; however, a change of location isn't the only big offering. For the first time ever, the organisation is also hosting the AACTA Festival, a celebration of everything that the country puts on screens both silver and small.

AACTA's gongs will be given out on two dates, starting with its Industry Awards on Thursday, February 8 and then hosting its usual glittering ceremony on Saturday, February 10. Around those occasions, running from Thursday, February 8–Sunday, February 11 at HOTA, Home of the Arts, AACTA Festival will be filled with talks, screenings and more featuring a swag of impressive names.

If Talk to Me creeped its way onto your list of favourite Australian horror movies, directors Michael and Danny Philippou will be at AACTA Festival to dive into it. Warwick Thornton is also on the lineup to discuss The New Boy as part of the fest's 'meet the creators' events, as are the teams behind Limbo, Sweet As, Shayda and The Newsreader.

Can't wait to see the Boy Swallows Universe TV series? It'll be out by February, so you'll have it fresh in your mind author Trent Dalton gets talking about it. And if you were a fan of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart either on the page or screen, Holly Ringland will also be chatting. Indeed, writers are a big focus, including Nick Earls, Lystra Rose, Mathew Condon, Richard Jameson, Tristan Michael Savage and Ben Hobson. Giving the event one of its international highlights, Lessons in Chemistry's Bonnie Garmus is on the bill as well.

Also each massive highlights: behind-the-scenes explorations of The Matrix, the stunts of Mad Max: Fury Road and, for some more overseas flavour, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's animation. Or, enjoy a chat with Wellmania and The Way We Wore's Celeste Barber about her career, then find out more about the upcoming series High Country starting Leah Purcell (Wentworth), Aussie-made Robbie Williams biopic Better Man and the sequel to Mortal Kombat at their own dedicated talks.

Before they get their own immersive experience in Brisbane, Bluey and Bingo will be doing a meet and greet — and, including a live-watch party for the AACTAs, a screening of 1906's The Story of the Kelly Gang, trivia, a Play School live event and a chat about music Baz Luhrmann's movies, there's plenty more joining them. In total, over 70 sessions form AACTA Festival, with most free to attend.

AACTA nominees will also be taking part, although the details there can't be revealed until after exactly who is vying for a gong is announced on Saturday, December 9.

"AACTA Festival is a must-attend event for anyone who lovesAustralian film, television, music, gaming, art and pop culture," said AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella, announcing the lineup.

"We are excited to present more than 70 events over four days celebrating the excellence of our industry. From red carpet glamour to workshops and a special kids' lineup, it's an invitation for everyone to step into the magic of storytelling and creativity."

AACTA Festival will run from Thursday, February 8–Sunday, February 11 at HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise Gold Coast. For further details, head to the fest's website.

Boy Swallows Universe and Wellmania images courtesy of Netflix.

Published on December 05, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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