Coast to host IF Awards

THE film industry is buoyed by news that the prestigious Inside Film (IF) Awards will be hosted here later this month.

The coup represents a major milestone in positioning south-east Queensland as the film hub of Australia.

The prestigious national awards will join other signature film industry events which already call Queensland home - the annual Screen Producers' Association of Australia (SPAA) Conference, the Australian International Movie Convention and the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF).

In a three-year deal struck with the Queensland Government through Queensland Events Corporation, the awards will leave Sydney, where they have been held since they began in
1999, and head to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Both the awards and SPAA will be held on the Gold Coast, with the Inside Film Awards marking the closing night of the SPAA conference on November 17.

Deputy premier Anna Bligh says the most popular event on Australia's film calendar is drawing near and promises to be the best ever.

"The State Government's Queensland Events Corporation (2006 Inside Film Awards principal partner) has been working behind the scenes to secure this event as part of a carefully scripted plot," says Ms Bligh.

"Consolidating the awards, which will now be staged concurrently with the annual Screen Producers Association of Australia Conference on the Gold Coast, highlights Queensland's strength as the film and television hot spot.

"Our vision was to create a film events hub in south-east Queensland - and already the Gold Coast has a lead role as Australia's new film events' capital. Events like Cannes' Film Festival, American Film Market and the festivals of Pusan, Venice, Tokyo and Shanghai put unique emphasis on the film industry and its people. This move will bolster investment and enhance the State's place on the industry map."

Inside Film Awards general manager Angie Fielder says the Queensland Government, through Queensland Events and the Pacific Film and Television Commission, has been demonstrating its commitment to the development of film activity in the State by supporting events like the SPAA Conference and the Gold Coast-based Australian International Movie Convention for years.

"We are extremely pleased that the Inside Film Awards will now play a major role in this impressive program of film activity in Queensland," she says.

First conducted in 1999, the yearly event is attended by Australian and international film industry identities. Past guests include screen luminaries Nicole Kidman, Laurence Fishburne, Baz Luhrmann, Toni Collette, Geoffrey Rush, Jacqueline McKenzie, and Bryan Brown.

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