BLUSSH Romance Festival is coming to Brisbane this month!

Prepare to be swept off your feet as Brisbane welcomes the BLUSSH Romance Festival, the city’s newest festival celebrating films and literature through a romance lens. The festival, the first of its kind in Australia, is set to take place from February 22nd to 25th, 2024, promising an enchanting experience for lovers, dreamers, storytellers, and romance enthusiasts alike.

BLUSSH Romance Festival Director, Sue-Anne Chapman, shared the inspiration behind the event: “Queensland was producing more romance films and publishing more romance writers than anywhere else in Australia. And it was determined this was cause to celebrate. And so, BLUSSH was born. BLUSSH is for the lovers of love. Through film and literature, the festival will share the magic and beauty of falling in love.”

The festival boasts a diverse program that includes premieres, previews, retrospectives, iconic classics, and adaptations from book to film. Romance literature and its subgenres will be explored across three panels during the festival, featuring notable authors and industry experts.

“In the inaugural year, the BLUSSH film program celebrates iconic films and love stories, fantastic new, premiere titles and closes out with a film about female friendship and the power of music. The BLUSSH film program is for lovers of serious films and the indulgent rom-com fan in us all,” said Sasha Close, Head of Film Programming.

The pink carpet will be rolled out at the Angelika Film Centre, the home of BLUSSH in Woolloongabba, for the Opening Night Gala with the Australian Premiere of One Perfect Match, a film shot entirely on location in Brisbane and produced by the renowned Jaggi Entertainment. The romantic drama follows matchmaker Lucy Marks as she navigates the complexities of love and professional life. The film will be followed with a post-screening Q&A featuring Director Jo-Anne Brechin and principal cast members with an After Party to wrap the evening.

Key highlights of the BLUSSH Romance Festival program include:

On The Screen – In Motion
The Great Escaper- In the summer of 2014, a World War 2 Veteran sneaks out of his care home to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day landings in Normanby. Starring the much loved Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson. Trailer: The Great Escaper
The Gift That Gives – Follows the story of Callum Mori, an author who makes his first television appearance. Now Callum finds himself in a love triangle between his best friend Linda and Television presenter Kate. (Plus Q&A with Director Joy Hopwood) Trailer: The Gift That Gives
Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe – Mexican American teenagers explore their friendship while struggling with racial, ethnic and sexual identities in 1987 El Paso, Texas. Trailer: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe
Romeo and Juliet – The rivalry between Verona families the Capulets and the Montagues affects the romantic relationship of Romeo and Juliet. A classic in the repertoire of Baz Luhrmann, another chance to see his works on the big screen some 28 years after its release. Trailer: Romeo and Juliet
Twilight – When Bella Swan moves back to her small hometown of Forks, she falls in love with Edward Cullen, a mysterious classmate. A book to screen teenage romance phenomena, it’s time to see this classic on the big screen again as the film turns sweet 16 in 2024. Trailer: Twilight

On The Shelf – In Conversation
BLUSSH Romance Festival features a series of book events and author signings throughout the four-day extravaganza. Notable authors such as H.M Hodgson, Stacey McEwan, Jordan Clayden-Lewis, Anna Campbell (Karen Schwarz), Michelle Beesley, and Amy Andrews will be part of the engaging book events, offering attendees a chance to delve into the world of romance literature.

On Friday’s We Read Fantasy – A truly entertaining conversation with HM Hodgson and Stacey McEwan, two fierce and fabulous authors, whose pens weld magic, create incredibly complex worlds, unravel deep and dark characters and set pages on fire with levels of spice that make even a bad girl blussh.

Prose Progression: In Conversation With Emerging And Established Writers – Meet Brisbane emerging writers Michelle Beesley and Jordan Clayden-Lewis, and the exceptionally talented and established writer Anna Campbell who has released 11 bestselling books with HarperCollins and Hachette and more than 35 as an independent author.

All Loved Up – In conversation with author Amy Andrews who will talk about her career, her inspiration, her favourite characters, her award nominated books and what’s next for the romance writer.

Closing Night Extravaganza
The festival will conclude on Sunday, February 25, 2024, with a captivating Closing Night Event, followed by the screening of Greatest Days and an unforgettable after-party.

BLUSSH Romance Festival 2024
22-25 February 2024
South/City/Sq, Brisbane