AACTA Festival 2024 – a preview

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has added another layer to Australia’s most prestigious screen awards with the debut of the AACTA Festival. A four-day celebration of Australia’s vibrant screen industry, the AACTA Festival at promises an immersive experience for all at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) on the Gold Coast from February 8-11, 2024.

With more than 70 events on the program and more to be added, the AACTA Festival will present a dynamic array of panels, meet-and-greets, screenings and activities which are predominantly free to attend. The festival 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 world of Australian film, TV, gaming, music and more.

10 Things I Hate About You

The AACTA Industry Awards Ceremony will kick things off on Thursday February 8, followed by a day of industry events, masterclasses, and creator discussions on Friday. The big one is on Saturday February 10, with the AACTA Awards Ceremony welcoming all the stars on the red carpet. The event finishes on Sunday February 11 with an array of screenings, live music, kids events, acting workshops, meet-and-greets, and more. Sunday will also feature the Screen Careers Expo presented by Essential Screen Skills, running all day and offering pathways for anyone wanting to break into the industry.

Complementing the industry events, the festival includes an exclusive outdoor screening series at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) as part of the upcoming AACTA Festival. Featuring box office smashes and family favourites, the line up promises a magic escape for all ages and admission is free.

The screening series opens on Thursday February 9 with the 25th-anniversary screening of 10 Things I Hate About You, a timeless classic that introduced the world to the incomparable talent of the late, great Heath Ledger. On Friday February 10, prepare to be tickled pink with the box office smash hit Barbie; paired with a special BBQ and best-dressed competitions. Then on Sunday February 11 bask in the magic of The Greatest Showman, one of the greatest musicals of all time, starring Australia’s own Hugh Jackman. Gourmet picnic boxes and exquisite wines will be available and the Australian director Michael Gracey will provide a very special introduction. All films will be held in the Outdoor Stage at HOTA and are completely free to attend, guests will just need to register to secure their spot.

In addition to the outdoor screenings, the festival includes live music, meet the nominees and creator panels, an exclusive Yellowjackets Q&A, and much more. The full program can be viewed at aactafestival.com.

The Meet the Nominee panels offer a chance to hear from some of Australia’s biggest stars, producers, and directors, nominated for a prestigious AACTA Award, now including a session with Actors nominated across both Film and Television. Festival Ambassadors, Lachlan and Austin Macfarlane will also be appearing in an event – Digital Dynamos Unleashed: The Ultimate Guide to Online Domination.

Cinematic highlights include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Matrix; an animation deconstruction of international 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 Original series High Country, with Leah Purcell. Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman), and producer Paul Currie will give audiences an exclusive look of their upcoming Australian film Better Man starring singer Robbie Williams. Iconic Australian musician Russell Morris (The Real Thing) will take part in an exclusive 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 of Queensland’s top writers will attend and be showcased throughout the festival, including Trent Dalton, author of Boy Swallows Universe, and Holly Ringland author of Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. In addition to this, audiences can hear from writers Nick Earls, Lystra Rose, Mathew Condon, Richard Jameson, Tristan Michael Savage, Ben Hobson to name just a few.

The festival will also host a series of Meet the Creators events – panel discussions with internationally renowned 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. Our Meet the Nominee panels offer a chance hear from some of Australia’s biggest stars, producers, and directors, nominated for a prestigious AACTA Award. The festival also features a wide range of topical industry panels covering various aspects of the screen industry, from the future of AI and streaming to First Nations truth-telling and storytelling panels. Also included are a range of online gaming ‘Let’s Play’ events, and an immersive art experience led by acclaimed painter, actor, and musician Stan Yarramunua.

For those looking to join the industry, the AACTA Screen Careers Expo presented by Essential Screen Skills will be operating all-day on Sunday and provide a comprehensive and insightful immersion into the diverse facets of the screen industry.

Highlights of the 2024 AACTA Festival:

2024 AACTA Industry Awards presented by Foxtel Group & After Party Presented by Screen Queensland: Thursday, 8 February

2024 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel Group & Official After Party: Saturday, 10 February

AACTA Festival: Thursday, 8 February – Sunday, 11 February

10 Things I Hate About You Screening: 8 February

Barbie Screening: 9 February

The Greatest Showman Screening: 11 February

For information on the AACTA Awards and ticket sales, click here.

For information on the AACTA Festival, click here.


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