SQ News

Screen Queensland (SQ) looks back at the past 12 months and reflects on some of the highlights of 2015.

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  • SQ has its first networking event at the The Arts Centre Gold Coast on 13 January.
  • Stage 6 releases Michael and Peter Spierig’s (AKA the Spierig Brothers)Predestination in the US, 9 January. Predestination stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor and was produced by Paddy McDonald and Tim McGahan.
  • SQ anounces that a new 10-part factual television series called Snake Sheila, funded by SQ, will hit the small screens across the globe in 2015. The show was filmed in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. It launched asSnake Boss in Australia.
  • SQ and Beyond Screen Production celebrate the premiere launch of the new children’s TV series, Wild But True with Robert Irwin, on 12 January at Dendy Portside Cinemas along with special guests, Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin.
  • Queensland talent and SQ-supported projects are honoured at the AACTAs on January 29:
  • Predestination (Tim McGahan, Paddy Macdonald, Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig) wins four awards, and is nominated for nine including Best Film. Sarah Snook is presented Best Lead Actress. The film also wins Best Cinematography (Ben Nott), Best Editing (Matt Villa), and Best Production Design (Matthew Putland).
  • The Railway Man (Chris Brown) is awarded for Best Adapted Screenplay (Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson) and Best Original Music Score (David Hirschfelder). It is nominated for six awards, including Best Film.
  • All This Mayhem (James Gay-Rees) wins Best Direction in a Documentary (Eddie Martin), Best Editing in a Documentary (Chris King), and Best Original Music Score in a Documentary (Jed Kurzel)
  • Steve Baker’s The Video Dating Diary of Desmondo Ray is nominated for Best Animated Short, and Hoodlum’s Secrets and Lies was nominated for Best Telefeature or Miniseries.





  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales begins filming at the Village Roadshow Studios at the Gold Coast.
  • SQ invites industry to the launch of the inaugural Queensland Enterprise Program at the Brisbane Powerhouse, announcing the recipients as: Ludo Studio, Essential Media, Bunya Productions, Matchbox Pictures, Two Little Indians and Hoodlum.
  • As part of the SQ Enterprise Program, independent production company Essential Media and Entertainment opens its Brisbane satellite office and announces the appointment of local staff to spearhead the strategic development of scripted content with Queensland screen practitioners.
  • SQ calls on submissions for teams to take part in its inaugural SQ Projector development initiative. Run by SQ in conjunction with Screen Australia and MIFF 37⁰South Market, the SQ Projectorworkshops take four teams of filmmakers embarking on their first or second feature film through a thorough development process and intensive workshops convened by Wendall Thomas.




  • SQ launches new guidelines and the team takes part in an SQ Roadshow covering the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Cairns. The roadshow gives an opportunity for our industry to come together and talk about the current state of the screen sector, discuss SQ’s plans for the coming financial year and share our visions for the future.
  • As part of the SQ Enterprise Program, production company Matchbox Pictures opens its Brisbane office and announces the appointment of Anthony Mullins as TV Development Executive.
  • SQ’s newly launched Post, Digital and Visual Effects Attraction Grant secures The Age of Adaline, starring Harrison Ford and Blake Lively, for Queensland. Post production is completed by Cutting Edge.
  • Brisbane-based, BAFTA and Emmy award winning company, Hoodlum, announces the names of the four Queensland practitioners who are part of their Ignite initiative, an important part of the SQ and Screen Australia funded Early Career Screen Program.




  • The Gold Coast Film Festival runs another successful festival and transitions to their new home at the Arts Centre. Some highlights included the industry panel sessions, the Women in Film program and the Queensland Showcase.
  • Frackman the movie, produced by Queenslander Trish Lake of Freshwater Pictures, premieres in Brisbane on 13 April at Event Cinemas to a full audience and a standing ovation.
  • The Fear of Darkness premieres on 11 April at the Gold Coast Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with cast and crew.
  • Hoodlum, the production company behind ABC’s Secrets & Lies, signs a first-look producer pod deal at ITV Studios America for scripted series in the U.S.




  • SQ announces it is funding Goldstone; a Western thriller set in outback Queensland, and sequel to the highly successful film Mystery Road.
  • SQ supported feature film, San Andreas opens in cinemas.
  • TV series from Enterprise company, Matchbox Pictures, The Family Law begins filming in Brisbane
  • In May and June SQ invites Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen practitioners in Brisbane and Cairns to contribute to creating a vision and strategic plan to inform the work of SQ and underpin the new SQ Indigenous Program. The consultation process addresses values and principles of an indigenous strategy, practical initiatives and program, and career development and networking opportunities.



  • The Fear of Darkness premieres internationally at the FilmQuest Film Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. The film then goes on to win Best Sound Award at the festival (congratulations to Vic Kaspar, from Digital Sound & Vision at the Gold Coast for this fantastic achievement).
  • Filming on the outback feature Goldstone wraps in Queensland.
  • Warner Bros. San Andreas hits $400 million worldwide at the box office.
  • The SQ Location and Attraction team go to Longreach and Winton for the Vision Splendid Film Festival as well as for a Film Friendly Pathways Program visit.
  • The 2015 Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival opens on 26 June with the Queensland premiere of Last Cab to Darwin at the open-air Royal Theatre in Winton.
  • SQ meets with industry in Cairns, 15 June to discuss the fundamentals of SQ funding and investment applications.
  • Only The Dead from Queensland producers Paddy McDonald and Michael Ware, picks up the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival.



  • SQ rolls out a number of key changes to its program funding structures and terms of trade that take effect from 1 July. Changes include raising the production investment ceiling and changes to the terms of trade.
  • SQ hosts ‘Meet the Broadcasters – NITV’, 16 July at Queensland Multicultural Centre, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane.
  • Jonathan M Shiff’s third season of Mako: Island of Secrets wraps at the Gold Coast.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales wraps filming. The film brings in at least $100 million to Queensland in production expenditure and creates thousands of local jobs between crew. It is the largest international feature film ever to shoot in Australia.
  • SQ and SPA present ‘In Conversation with Joseph Caracciolo Jr’. Caracciolo has just wrapped the highly anticipated fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales slated to hit the big screen summer of 2017.
  • In an Australian first, SQ announces it will partner with Australian SVOD service Stan in Queensland Originals: Fully Funded Features to develop and finance a $1 million feature film from a Queensland creative team.
  • Experienced writer-producer teams with a great idea for a television series and a promising pilot script are given the opportunity to apply to participate in the 2015 eQuinoxe Europe (Australian) workshop. A Queensland team is selected to participate in the seven-day residential screenwriting workshop at Pullman’s Bunker Bay resort in the Margaret River region of Western.
  • The Queensland Film Festival holds their inaugural program showcasing the best of world cinema to Brisbane audiences.




  • The Code – Season 2, attracted by SQ’s Regional Incentive Grant, shoots in Far North Queensland from August – October 2015.
  • Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk announces that a new television mini-series calledWanted starring Rebecca Gibney is the latest production to film in Queensland. SQ invests $527,768 in Wanted, and while the production is based in Brisbane, it films on location throughout Queensland.
  • SQ announces that dangerous spiders buried for 2000 years will come to life in The Nest 3D, another international co-production due to shoot in Queensland. Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says the Arclight Films feature is due to start filming in late 2015 at the Village Roadshow Studios and on location in South East Queensland.
  • SQ unveils the first part of its 2015-16 Early Career Screen Program, announcing Queensland Originals: Short Fiction. The initiative offers four Queensland filmmakers / teams the opportunity to develop, produce and market a seven-minute short film aimed at prestigious Australian and international festivals. The selected projects, which will include two from Indigenous filmmakers, each receive a $30,000 grant to make high-quality, short dramas that will form part of a clear career pathway for the creative team.
  • The SQ Location and Attraction team go to Charters Towers and Townsville for the Townsville Economic Creative Conference as well as a Film Friendly Pathways Program visit.
  • Twelve producers are given the opportunity to take part in an intensive two-day Screen Business 101 Workshop delivered by Screen Producers Australia in Cairns. Six travel grants are also offered to Queensland producers outside of the Cairns area to attend. The workshop focuses on various topics relevant to independent content producers, including intellectual property, financing, business models, marketing and audience.
  • SQ announces the 2015-16 screen culture funding recipients with grants totaling over $1 million going to 32 festivals and screen culture-related activities across Queensland.
  • Baby Animals In the Wild – WildBear Entertainment’s new show – starts post-production.
  • As part of the Commonwealth Games infrastructure build, a new and soon to be one of the largest sound stages in the world at Village Roadshow’s Oxenford Studios on the Gold Coast is announced which will also be home to squash during the Games.



  • The Caloundra Fringe Film Festival continues to grow and their Student Showcase is a particular highlight with hundreds of students attending.
  • Fear of Darkness is selected as one of just 13 films selected for the 2015 Darwin International Film Festival.
  • SQ congratulates Queensland-based producer Veronica Fury of Wildbear Entertainment on the theatrical release of Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films into 17 markets across the US on 17 September.
  • Early Winter, the new film from Mexico City-based Australian director Michael Rowe and Queensland producer Trish Lake, will have its world premiere on 3 September at the Venice Film Festival. It then goes on to win the Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Day’s Award.
  • Queensland co-producers Veronica Fury and Murray Power and WildBear Entertainment’s documentary feature, Stranded, airs in September.
  • Filming begins on Rebecca Gibney’s Wanted in Brisbane.
  • Brisbane Festival incorporates a film component into their large art and cultural festival for the first time with a “Backyard Cinema” and Women in Film program.



  • SQ rolls out a new travel support initiative specifically for Queenslanders working in the games sector, to attend the Game Connect Asia Pacific at Melbourne Convention Centre.
  • Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk announces that two international feature films are due to film in Queensland: Thor: Ragnarok and Kong: Skull Island.
  • Screen Australia releases The Drama Report 2014/15 – it reveals that “Queensland’s share increased for the second year running, boosted by strong foreign feature film expenditure on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (US)”. It also states that “Of the total 2014/15 drama expenditure…28 per cent [occurred] in Queensland”.
  • German broadcaster ZDF options the rights to the #7DaysLater format created by Ludo Studio’s Daley Pearson, Nick Boshier and Charlie Aspinwall.
  • Between March to October, Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, Iranian Film Festival,Queensland Indian International Film Festival and the Brisbane Himalayan Film Festival showcases the best of world cinema to Queensland audiences.
  • The Australian International Movie Convention is held in early October and opens with new Australian film The Dressmaker.



  • Kong: Skull Island begins pre-production on the Gold Coast.
  • From July to November 2015 the Sydney Film Festival’s Travelling Film Festival and the Queensland Touring Film Festival hold 20 film festivals across regional Queensland and over 15 workshops.
  • HBO Documentary Films acquires Australian documentary Only The Dead by Queensland journalist Michael Ware, produced by Queensland-based Patrick McDonald (Predestination)
  • In an Australian-first, the Palaszczuk Government is the first state government to secure a partnership with YouTube to deliver a unique program, working with QUT and Griffith universities, to help talented local content providers across the state succeed on the world’s most popular video-sharing website. SQ is proud to be a partner in the program.
  • SQ holds the ‘In Conversation with Michael Rowe (Director of Early Winter)’ session at the Edge with Trish Lake, producer of Early Winter, also in attendance. This event was run in conjunction with the 2015 Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival.
  • SQ announces that another international production – pre-Civil War television series Underground – will complete visual effects work in Queensland via SQ’s Post, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Attraction Grant. The PDV grant was only introduced this year and has already driven five (5) international productions to Queensland.
  • Bullets for the Dead has its world premiere 29 November at Monster Fest in Melbourne.
  • The Motion Picture Association of China and the International Chinese Film Festival bring a delegation of 20 film industry executives to Queensland for this year’s Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The schedule includes a tour of the Gold Coast Village Roadshow Studios with SQ and a set visit of Chinese co-production The Nest.
  • The Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival hold its second year of the festival. The festival’s Opening night film is The Idol (Palestine/Qatar/UAE/Netherlands/UK) – the inspirational true story of Arab Idol winner Mohamad Assaf. The diverse program includes a showcase over 75 features and documentaries.



  • Only The Dead takes out best direction, editing and sound in a documentary at the 2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.
  • Life On The Reef takes out ‘Best Cinematography in a Documentary’ at the 2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.
  • SQ announces that a Paul Hogan telemovie from Fremantle Media for Channel Seven is given the greenlight and will shoot in Queensland.
  • Queensland TV Series Wanted wraps filming.
  • Queensland film Frackman, produced by Trish Lake of Freshwater Pictures, is available on disc and digital form, 9 December.
  • First look and promo video for QLD TV drama Wanted is released 12 December.
  • SQ hosts a ‘Gender Matters’ conversation with some of Queensland’s talented female practitioners at SQ’s head office, 16 December.
  • The Nest 3D (Arclight) begins production at the studios in December.
  • SQ announces SQ Business – Industry Placements initiative. The initiative will give six early to mid career practitioners, working across various genres and platforms, the opportunity to build their screen business skills while developing a slate of projects.