World Premiere of anime film, The Garden of Words, and acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai draws huge lines at the Gold Coast Film Festival.

GOLD COAST, Monday April 29: The Gold Coast Film Festival (GCFF) presented by Pacific Fair came to a close yesterday with a major international film event bringing scores of anime fans and movie-lovers alike to the world premiere of Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words. To celebrate this world exclusive event, the GCFF welcomed Japanese director, writer and animator, Makoto Shinkai to the Gold Coast to meet with his fans and to talk about his latest creation. This was Shinkai's first and only appearance in Australia.

“It has been very exciting having the world premiere of The Garden of Words. The film sold out in advance and we had to move it to a bigger cinema to accommodate all the people who turned up on the day to buy a ticket. Shinkai is one of the best anime directors in the world at the current time and we were honoured he chose our country and indeed our film festival to premiere his latest film on the global stage.

His work is powerful, beautiful and visually arresting.”


Fans lined for hours to receive a personally signed, free poster from Shinkai as the scheduled one-hour signing prior to the screening was extended for another hour and a half following the screening to avoid fan disappointment and to accommodate those people who had travelled great distances to meet their anime idol. Emotions and excitement were written on the faces of the people who came face-to-face with Shinkai who only spent 24hours in Queensland for yesterday's world premiere before he returned to Japan.

Following the screening of The Garden of Words, Shinkai spoke with his audience in an up-close-and-personal exploration of his latest dramatic animation and fielded questions from captivated fans. We cannot say anymore in this release about The Garden of Words as Shinkai asked everyone present at last night's screening a huge favour - can they please keep the plot and story of the film a secret until it at least releases in Japan next month!

The Garden of Words is the fourth feature film from the revered Shinkai whose previous works - Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011), 5 Centimetres per Second (winner of the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards for Best Animated Feature Film, 2007) and The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004) has garnered him fans across the globe.

Long queues of autograph-hunters for Shinkai following The Garden of Words screening were directed to line the cinema walls so as to not impede the hundreds of people filing into the cinema for the first Australian screening of Evil Dead. A new vision from the producers of the original and critically acclaimed cult horror classic, Evil Dead is directed by Fede Alvarezhas, hand-picked by Sam Raimi himself, and heralded as the most terrifying film you will ever experience.

Evil Dead preceded the final curtain call of the GCFF with two sold-out cinemas. A “horrific” way to end a film festival, but dare we say, a memorable one.

The GCFF wishes to thank everyone who helped make yesterday's GCFF screenings and events a huge success.

Click here for images from Shinkai's The Garden of Words world premiere (Sunday April 28)

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