It may be no Cannes, but Gympie’s Heart of Gold International Film Festival is fast gaining a show business reputation. As Phillip Wells reports, after seven years strong the festival is continuing to live up to its name.
It’s lights, camera, action for Gympie this weekend as it hosts the seventh annual Heart of Gold Film Festival, with renowned Australian actor Steve Bisley opening proceedings.
GRAB STEVE BISLEY: 0.10 “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to declare your wonderful film festival open!” 0.17
SOUNDUP CLAPPING… 2secs
The festival showcases films from around the world that highlight the human spirit, and is gaining a reputation for its focus on a positive message and welcoming atmosphere.
GRAB MICHAEL RANK: 0.26 “Don’t get me wrong, I mean I love a good zombie movie, but I think there is a genuine need for uplifting films in the world, and Heart of Gold gives that sort of venue.” 0.36
Many films reflect Gympie’s community spirit and the desire to move away from its ‘Hell Town’ moniker. Festival Coordinator, Michaela Banks, believes this spirit is central to Heart of Gold’s continued success.
GRAB MICHAELA BANKS: 0.48 “It’s true throughout Gympie that people really have the time of day for you and they will help you out if you’re in a tight spot, and that’s what the Heart of Gold’s about.” 0.59
Award-winning Gold Coast director Colin Usher, who produced the documentary, Jess, loves coming back to the festival year after year.
GRAB COLIN USHER: 1.07 “Other film festivals generally start later in the afternoon and go for a few hours, and they maybe cover a week, so you don’t get the feeling that you get at the Gympie film festival, you don’t get that overall community feeling, and everybody’s so friendly here.” 1.22
GRAB MICHAEL RANK: 1.22 “At this film festival we encourage both patron and filmmakers to sit in the bar, come and sit in the café and be available to start conversations.” 1.29
SOUNDUP HEART OF GOLD MOVIE… 13secs
It’s this level of interaction with filmmakers that’s inspiring a new generation, and with the support of Screen Queensland and local sponsors, Festival organisers are fostering local talent in the region by shooting a film around the town.
PTC 1, PHILLIP WELLS: 1.42 “There’s no doubt Heart of Gold is a small festival with a big heart, and patrons, filmmakers and critics alike all continue to sing it’s praises. With its influence throughout the community, Gympie’s filmmaking futures looks bright indeed. Phillip Wells reporting.” 1.59