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Heart of Gold International Film Festival


Gympie, Australia

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  1. April 4th, 2011 at 19:48 | #1

    The first thing to note is this is an Australian short film festival where most (or at least many) of the films are Australian. Even as a New Yorker, I saw some amazing films I’d never have the chance to see otherwise as they just wouldn’t have made it overseas…

    From the moment I stepped off the plane, star treatment began. Airport transfers were taken care of by volunteers… I was driven to a homestay. My husband and I had an entire floor to ourselves which was unexpected.

    The festival gave us each a nice goodie bag with local treats and… 3 meals tickets for each day of the festival per filmmaker/guest attending. Meal vouchers were good at many local restaurants.

    So all that is amazing but… what about the actual festival?

    200 films. Some great, some not to my taste. Very few (if any) caused me to scratch my head and wonder how the **** this film possibly got into the festival. Top notch films on the whole.

    There are 2 screening rooms. The big room is the Heritage Theatre which is a gorgeous venue. The small theater, Fossickers, is really just an event room at the Civic Center converted to a screening room. I was expecting little but actually, it was perfectly intimate. My film screened there and I was extremely happy to have the intimate setting and really get the pulse of the audience.

    Also, because the Fossickers room is smaller, the festival held “Filmmaker Presents” there. These were sessions where a filmmaker screened his/her film & then discussed it with the audience. It was free to the public and very insightful. Each ‘series’ had 4 filmmakers in it.

    Projection and sound were great overall. I don’t think any of the filmmakers were unhappy.

    Attending filmmakers were interviewed live on radio, taped for a news broadcast & photographed for the local paper. People came up to me after the news program and said: “I saw you on television!” I truly felt like a rock star!!

    The consensus from all filmmakers I met – whether they lived fairly near or very far – was that this festival was ‘special.’ The festival staff & volunteers put their hearts and souls into the event, as did the community. So, a huge thumbs up to this festival for making each and every filmmaker in attendance feel like “gold” while also doing a great service to the local, film-loving community.

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