August 31, 2018
Films from the heart
The Heart of Gold Short Film Festival attracts short films of all genres from all corners of the globe. Profile spoke to artistic director and celebrated film director Emily Avila ahead of this exciting event on Gympie’s calendar.
Gympie will come alive in the first weekend of October with the annual Heart of Gold Short Film Festival. Known as the loveliest film festival in Australia, Heart of Gold celebrates short films with heart from all over the world.
With over 100 short films of all genres screening in venues across Gympie, it’s four days of heartwarming entertainment for everyone. Artistic director Emily Avila says the main prerequisite for the films featured at Heart of Gold is that they connect emotionally with the audience.
“The mission of Heart of Gold is to program films that are uplifting, thought-provoking and celebrate the goodness of the human spirit. That can be films from any part of the world and any type of film; be it animation, documentary, drama, comedy or student films. We have films from people who aren’t necessarily filmmakers, who have made films that capture something that really resonate with an audience. So we’re a different type of film festival in that sense.”
The other thing that sets this film festival apart is the unique screener process. After Emily views each submission she passes them onto small screener groups from the Gympie community, who gather in lounge-rooms to review and score each submission. This unique selection process ensures each film will not only be loved by the audience, but that the community will be introduced to new and interesting topics that spark conversations.
“It’s a powerful thing each year for this community to work towards. And this festival is definitely run off that energy of the community creating it for the community,” says Emily.
Emily is no stranger to the film industry herself, after working in production and management for several years, and directing two of her own films, one of which will be screened at this year’s festival. Since joining the festival in 2016 Emily’s aim has been finding the world’s best films and bringing them to Gympie.
Emily says short form filmmaking is really having its moment in 2018 thanks to social media and its short form content, and she expects to see a high calibre of talent at this year’s festival. She also encourages people to come along and test out their skills at the industry masterclasses on offer.
“Film can seem like a faraway medium when you’re not being exposed to the production of it. I think to have that exposure to that medium is really important and it really does encourage people to try and tell their story. Short form is the easiest way to get into film, so people can come to the masterclasses and learn new skills,” she says.
Emily expects the 2018 festival to be bigger and better than ever with its industry masterclasses, opening gala night, awards party and the screening of the feature film Backtrack Boys, which won best documentary at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. There will also been plenty of live music on offer, including local band Hat Fitz and Cara bringing their iconic sound to the festival.
“It’s a really exciting four days. The Civic Centre gets packed out. Prospectors Hall has heaps of events going on all through the day. There’s something for everybody; coffee and comedy, family films, all sorts of different sessions to suit different interests. It’s worth the drive and worth coming along to check out. Because it’s a pretty special festival.”
HEART OF GOLD INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Phone: 5482 4547