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Film Fest Goes International

The Sunshine Coast’s best film and TV talent will be on show at the Showdown Showfest film festival in June.

The two-day red-carpet event on 21-22 June will premiere six winning short films, locally-produced by the Sunny Coast Showdown team and presented by Bendigo Bank Community Bank, as they compete for the festival’s prize gong, the Gold Yewwy award.

The event will also premiere director Chris Sun’s acclaimed comedy short film, Loophole, starring Hugh Parker (The Family Law, Elvis) and Libby Munro (Troppo, Wild Woman) and the Hello Sunshine ‘Light, Camera, Lunch!’ story-telling event will host Showdown co-founders and Showdown winner Emma Morgan.

Another highlight of Showdown Showfest 2024 is a new international partnership with Film Fiji for the inaugural Pacific Islands Filmfest, which celebrates and features award-winning short films from the Pacific region.

Film Fiji CEO Jone Robertson said the partnership is an opportunity to collaborate with a close neighbour. “We hope to showcase the intrigue of Pacific/Indigenous storytelling through film and provide a platform for Pacific Island creators to share their work with international audiences,” he said. “This partnership will provide a much-needed boost in the right direction and create new opportunities for further industry growth in the Pacific region.”

Showdown producer Louise Hayse was thrilled about the partnership, which she believes is a huge boost to the Showfest line-up. “The Pacific Island Filmfest will create an enriched cultural exchange, increase audience engagement, and continue to establish the Sunshine Coast as a key player in the international film community,” she said.

The Showdown Showfest film festival is an offshoot of the Sunny Coast Showdown – a not-for-profit film event that provides mentoring, funding and support to local filmmakers and helps them produce their film and TV projects. It also provides training and opportunity for more than 100 local cast and crew.

Showdown productions this year attracted some of Australia’s best actors in Darren Gilshenan (Harrow, Colin from Accounts), Rhys Muldoon (House Husbands, Bay of Fires), Kate Atkinson (Wentworth, Underbelly), Claire Weller Price (Boy Swallows Universe, Apples Never Fall), James Patrick Reed (Blue Heelers, Mission: Impossible) and Rory Williamson (Home and Away, Paper Giants).

Noosa actor Lilliana Bowrey (Netflix’s hit series, Surviving Summer) is being touted as the next-big-thing and found time in her busy professional surfing and acting schedule to play the lead in the romantic thriller, Lured.

Ms Bowrey said helping to build a bigger film industry on the Sunshine Coast was truly inspiring. “It allowed me to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of my community, involve local talent and resources, and foster a sense of pride and connection with my roots,” she said.

“Events like the Showdown are crucial and so important for the Sunshine Coast as they offer valuable chances for aspiring filmmakers and actors in the local community, providing them with valuable industry insights and opportunities to showcase their talent.”

The Sunny Coast Showdown previous winning films have garnered and won more that 60 international and domestic film festival awards to date, including gongs at the Toulouse Short Film Festival in France, the Los Angeles Film Awards, the Twin Cities Film Fest in Minnesota and the London World-Wide Comedy Short Film Festival.

Sunny Coast Showdown co-founder Jon Coghill said the event has passed all expectations since it began in 2021. “To win that many awards and to premiere these locally made films to a passionate and supportive audience of film-lovers – it’s a dream come true,” he said.

“It’s a huge encouragement to a Sunshine Coast film industry that’s on the up-and-up and we want to share that feeling with the whole community at the Showdown Showfest.”

Showdown Showfest 2024 tickets at for sale at www.sunnycoastshowdown.com.au

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