The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival will this year be turning 10, celebrating a decade of the fantastic, and well crafted films that it has showcased over its lifetime. Since its inception, the festival’s mission has been to give a stage to only the best of the best short films from around the world that encapsulate what it is to touch audiences emotionally through the magic of film making. This October Gympie will once again play host, from the 5th to the 8th, to this truly important event, that places our beautiful Sunshine Coast Region on the map in the world of film making.
The four-day program includes industry master-classes, a spectacular opening night gala, awards night party and up to 30 sessions of shorts from all genres that best capture Heart of Gold’s vision to screen films that are positive, witty, entertaining, joyous, uplifting, 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, strong heart”. All films in the festival compete for the Best Short Film award, which carries a generous prize of $5000. Other award categories include: Best Australian Short Film, Best Student Short Film (University Students), Screener’s Choice, Best Cinematography, Best Script, and Younger at Heart (for budding high school film-makers). It truly is a fantastic opportunity for students and young dreamers to have their creations seen for the first time on the big screen – not to mention the generous boost to their resources and the vast amount of knowledge and expertise on offer through the master-classes.
In the past the master-classes themselves have included the wisdom of some fantastic writers, directors, producers and actors. In 2016 the talents included Tim Marshall; an award winning Australian writer and director whose films have been showcased the world over – including at the world renowned Sundance Film Festivals. Tim offered a plethora of fantastic advice and tips during his master-class on the Comedy Genre – offering separate classes for Adults and Teenagers, to give the most accurate and direct advice, based on audiences – exploring the reasons behind the laughter and how to inspire it. Last years master-classes also included a fantastic “Hybrid” Documentary class offered by Margret McHugh, an award-winning Sydney based Documentary filmmaker who explored the techniques involved in using storytelling to tell real stories in interesting and engaging ways. The classes for 2017 have not yet been announced, nor have the films to be screened, but with just a few short months left before opening night, there are sure to be announcements made soon.
For more information on the festival itself and to keep clued in on developments as they unfold, visit the Festival’s website – and I’ll see you at the big screen.