2019 Program



Industry Golf Tournament
Sanctuary Cove Golf & Country Club


Filmmakers Forum
Jabiru House

10:30AM Treasure Hunt: Grants/Sponsors/Funding
11:45AM Creating content in Australia
2:00PM The business of film and TV


Open Air Short Film Festival
The Village Green

5:30PM Red Carpet Event
6:00PM Entertainment
6.30PM Short Film Festival Commences
10:00PM Short Film Festival Concludes


Feature Film Festival
The Village Theatre

2:00PM The Year That Changed My Life
4:00PM Red Carpet
4.15PM Screening – Liam Galagher: As It Was
5.40PM Intermission
6:00PM Screening – Whaling
7.45PM Intermission
8:00PM Screening – Beast No More


Proudly supported by Screen Queensland, the Sanctuary International Film Festival will return to The Village Theatre, Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast for the fifth consecutive year on 21 – 24 November 2019.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Sanctuary Cove, the event premiers some of the best short films, documentaries and feature films from around the world.


Friday 22nd November

A new addition to the festival this year is an Industry Film Forum event on Friday 20th November at Jabiru House Sanctuary Cove from 10:00AM. Panel guests include:

TAMMIN SURSOK – Actress, Writer, Producer. Tammin is known for her roles in Pretty Little Liars, Rules of Engagement and Crossing Over. She also Co-Writer, Co-Producer and lead Actress in Sanctuary Film Festival official selection Whaling.

KEVIN GREENE – Unbreakable Films. Kevin is a writer/producer and format creator with thirty years of experience in film and television. His experience extends across projects such as Gladiator, Mr Holland’s Opus, The Devil’s Own, 12 Monkeys, The Perez Family, Thank You for Your Service and a number of independent productions. Kevin was also a pioneer of the reality medium, working as a Co-Executive Producer on the Emmy Award-winning Survivor series

TRISTAN BARR – Continuance Pictures. Tristan was the first Australian filmmaker to shoot a full-length feature film in a single take. The ground-breaking film, Watch the Sunset, was filmed across nine different location and was named one of the top five films of 2017 by Cinema Australia.

JOEL STEPHEN FLEMMING – 13th Street Films. Joel’s films have been selected to dozens of festivals around the world. His recent film Jehovah was runner up in the inaugural No Small Stories Film Festival in Sydney and won best comedy in the UK Monthly Film Festival.

SIAN LAYCOK – 13th Street Films. Sian is a Co-Founder of 13th Street Films and most recently co-created the new comedy series Welcome To Wrigleton.

AMANDA ARCHER – Publicist. Renowned as one of the top Hollywood PR Gurus, Amanda has worked with The Jacksons, Hugh Hefner, Cailtlyn Jenner, Paris Hilton, Depak Chopra and many more.

CHIARA GIZZI – Actress. Chiara is best known for her roles in Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead, Old School and Solace.

TIM, SAM, PEARCE – Comedy Specialists. Tim, Sam and Pearce are the creators of YouTube series’ Copperpillar, and Werewolf.

Saturday 23rd November

The OPEN-AIR SHORT FILM FESTIVAL event is taking place on Saturday 23rd November on the Sanctuary Cove Village Green. The red carpet arrivals begin at 5.30pm and the judges selection of short films will be screened on the huge outdoor screen, before the official 2019 awards ceremony.

Live entertainment is featured throughout the evening.

General admission to the event is FREE for all ages. For those wanting to rub shoulders with industry heavyweights, a limited all-inclusive VIP package is available including gourmet food and premium beverages

Sunday 24th November

The closing night FEATURE FILM FESTIVAL event is taking place at the Village Theatre on Sunday 24th November. The event features film screenings including:

THE YEAR THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. Screening at 2:00pm. A documentary directed by Alison Black about six overseas students that arrive in Sydney to study at university in a year that will change their lives forever. Are they cash cows or the generation who will make the world a better place?

LIAM GALAGHER: AS IT WAS. Screening at 4:15pm. Directed by Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald, this documentary film tells the honest and emotional story of how one of the most electrifying rock’n’roll frontmen went from the dizzying heights of his champagne supernova years in Oasis to living on the edge, ostracised and lost in the musical wilderness of booze, notoriety and bitter legal battles. Starting again alone, stripped bare and with nowhere to hide, Liam risks everything to make the greatest comeback of all time.

WHALING. Screening at 6:00pm. Directed by Sean McEwen, written by Sean McEwen and Tammin Sursok, starring Tammin Sursok, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tom Felton, David Koechner. A dysfunctional brother and sister are forced to come to terms with each other and themselves over their recently deceased mother’s final wish.

BEAST NO MORE. Screening at 8:00pm. Directed by Aaron Warwick, written by Jennifer Van Gessel and Matthew J. Schelle and starring Jessica Tovey, Dan Ewing, Roy Billing. A young biologist suffering the loss of a child escapes suburbia in favour of the Australian bush. Amidst her grief she is offered the chance to be a mother again, only it comes at a cost.

The Sanctuary Cove Film Festival is held from the 21st to the 24th of November and is proudly sponsored by Screen Queensland and the Queensland Government.


We welcome you to the eighth annual Sanctuary Film Festival this December, 2022, a premier festival sponsored by Screen Queensland and held consecutively at Sanctuary Cove, on the Gold Coast, Australia. The event takes place over three days in the picturesque Sanctuary Cove precinct and boasts an exciting live screening night, roving entertainment, a unique children’s emerging filmmaker award category and live music. Film industry workshops, panels, industry networking and special events such as a charity golf tournament, an exclusive VIP opening and celebrity closing party also form part of the 2022 program.

Accepting films from around the world in a series of categories and genres, we are excited to present cash prizes to the winners thanks to our sponsors. Run by local Brisbane and Gold Coast film industry professionals, the festival was created to amplify the voices of independent and diverse filmmakers and showcase their art in a public domain. We aim to create an engaging, fun and interactive atmosphere for budding filmmakers, film buffs and families.

What we expect from you: 

  • Have fun! We want to see your creativity shine through. 
  • Be timely in getting back to us with files or documents we might need to show your film! 
  • That’s it! 

What you can expect from us: 

  • All entries will be fairly judged by our panel of trusted judges with no bias or favouritism.
  • We will be upfront and timely in any and all updates regarding the festival. 
  • If you are chosen to be shown at the festival screening night as one of our finalists you will receive five (5) tickets complimentary for you and your team. You will also receive a discount code for anyone else you would like to come to attend the event. 
  • Sharing and helping support you and your work through our social media channels. 
  • We want to help see you succeed, so anything we can do to help your process we will. 

Want to know more? Get in touch with us on Instagram @Sactuaryfilmfest or flick us a quick email hello@sanctuaryfilmfest.com

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