AACTA announces four-day screen festival in February

The new four-day event on the Gold Coast is being billed as a celebration of Australia's vibrant screen industry.

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has announced the inaugural AACTA Festival, billed as ‘a four-day celebration of Australia’s vibrant screen industry, that promises an immersive experience for all, from industry professionals to film enthusiasts, school-leavers, families, and aspiring creatives’.

The festival, including the AACTA Awards, will be hosted at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) on the Gold Coast from February 8-11, 2024.

Currently there are more than 70 events on the program, with more to be added, including panels, meet-and-greets, screenings and activities, many of which will be free to attend. The festival, say organisers, will ‘provide an opportunity to go behind the scenes of your favourite films, immerse yourself in the industry’s latest trends, meet your favourite stars, network with screen practitioners, and learn more about the exciting world of Australian film, TV, gaming, music and more’.


Highlights include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Matrix; an animation deconstruction of blockbuster Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, a deep dive into the stunt work from Mad Max: Fury Road and a showcase of the upcoming Binge series High Country, with Leah Purcell. Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) and producer Paul Currie will give audiences an exclusive look at their upcoming Australian film Better Man starring singer Robbie Williams.

Australian musician Russell Morris (The Real Thing) will take part in an in-conversation with composer David Hirschfelder, and audiences can hear from Mortal Kombat director Simon McQuoid on the progress of the film franchise currently being shot in Queensland.

Many Queensland writers will attend and be showcased, including Trent Dalton, author of Boy Swallows Universe, and Holly Ringland author of Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. Audiences will also hear from writers such as Nick Earls, Lystra Rose, Mathew Condon, Richard Jameson, Tristan Michael Savage, and Ben Hobson.

The festival will also host a series of Meet the Creators events – panel discussions with talent including directors Danny and Michael Philippou (Talk to Me), Warwick Thornton (The New Boy), and the team behind the hit TV show The Newsreader.

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said: ‘The AACTA Festival is a must-attend event for anyone who loves Australian film, television, music, gaming, art, and pop culture. 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’ line-up, it’s an invitation for everyone to step into the magic of storytelling and creativity.’

Find out more on the AACTA Festival website.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites