Historic funding win for Gympie film festival

After devestating floods and a pandemic, this grant could save film festivals in Gympie.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating floods, the future of film in the town of Gympie was in serious doubt. Now, they’ve just received news that The Heart of Gold short film festival, run since 2006, is set to receive $188,300 worth of funding.

The funding comes via the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, which exists to support the Australian arts and entertainment sector in reactivating after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Claudia Granshaw, a member of The Heart of Gold board, was thrilled with the announcement: ‘We’re celebrating! This is more funding than we’ve ever received by miles, and will bring a new life to the festival in the coming years.’

Thanks to this win, the festival will be back in 2022 (after missing events in 2020 and 2021), and this time it will be bigger than ever, with a new storytelling stage, an exhibition on the immersive future of cinema, and a regional tour.

Heart of Gold’s winning application was designed to increase the long term sustainability of the festival. ‘This money will help us attract more sponsors, volunteers and guests to the festival. If we can do that, we can ensure Heart of Gold will be in Gympie for a long time to come’, Festival Director Jackson Lapsley Scott said.

The 2022 festival has also received funds from Regional Arts Fund Flying Arts Alliance and Screen Queensland’s Screen Culture fund.

Since 2006, the Heart of Gold festival has grown to become a major player on the national film circuit and attracts huge audiences to Gympie every year for four days of films, events, masterclasses, parties, Q&As and more.

The 2022 festival dates and info will soon be available on the Heart of Gold website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports