Australia has a rich history in the world of short film, spawning some of the most breath-taking and touching films to emerge from the industry, while also playing host to some amazing international film festivals. Held in richly historic Gympie from 8th until 10th of October this year, Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival is one of the gems in the crown of Australian short film festivals.
The festival’s 4 day programme typically begins with the grand opening night, filled with plenty of showmanship and pomp and ceremony, the gala awards evening, ‘film-maker presents’ slots and up to 30 sessions cram-packed with more than 120 short films from across all genres of film that best capture Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival’s vision to screen films that are: positive, witty, whimsical, entertaining, joyous, uplifting, quirky, enlightening, and ground breaking. They can be edgy, they can be thought provoking and they can be downright hilarious – “as long as they beat with a good heart!”
All films are competing for the best film award (which boasts a grand prize of $5,000) and other award categories including: best Australian film, best student film, the screener’s choice, best cinematography, best narrative, most inspirational and artistic directors’ awards. HOGIFF judges certainly know ‘how to pick em’ as last year’s ‘best film,’ The Phone Call, went on to take out the Academy Award for Best Short – Live Action. The festival has become renowned for its high quality programme which is largely thanks to a very unique, methodical two-part screening system. All films are filtered through the festival’s artistic directors and small groups of screeners that gather in lounge-rooms throughout Gympie, to review and score the otherwise insurmountable amount of amazing submissions.
My favourite part of this festival is the “Young(er) at Heart” – school age short film competition. School students across the country are invited to submit their own short films as part of the 2015 Heart of Gold Festival. This is the perfect opportunity to get your work judged as a young, budding director. A very accessible way to gain professional recognition and possibly even a little constructive criticism to help guide and shape your creative processes. Helping a young dreamer become a marvellous film creator. What’s more, the winner will receive the latest GoPro camera to help them on their film-creating journey.
Students can submit assessment pieces, foreign language films, documentaries or start from scratch. All we ask is that all submissions be compliant with Department of Education guidelines and Heart of Gold values. Visit Heart of Gold for more details, entries close on 18th September.
For anyone looking to break into the short film business, the festival will also be holding Master Classes hosted by professional short film creators, designed specifically for students and the community. Master classes will be run over four days from 7th until 10th October.
Submissions of films, other than the student competition, have now closed and the program outlined. Check out the program to find out more.
You can visit the website for some general information, ticket prices, as of 22nd August range from $100 to $210, depending on if you are quick enough to get the early bird specials, and if you want to be present for the open and gala award evenings.