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Little Films With Hearts of Gold


Little Films With Hearts of Gold

Madeleine Manglaras

The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival is bringing to Adelaide all the highlights from the 2015 festival, at a pop-up cinema at the Producers Bar next week.

The treasured festival, which began nine years ago in Gympie, Queensland, has continued to improve its already excellent program over time, each year collating the world's most endearing and uplifting films across the globe and showcasing them in a rural Australia. 

Not only will the event feature films from the UK, Germany and Iran, but also South Australian filmmakers Matthew Bate and Gideon Obarznek of Closer Productions. Bate and Obarznek who wrote and directed their short film 'I Want To Dance Better At Parties', won Best Film at the 2014 Australian Short Films Awards (Dendy Awards).

'I Want To Do Better At Parties' follows a widowed, middle aged dad. Recovering from the tragic and untimely death of his wife, he decides to take a dance class after a clumsy episode on the dance floor at a house warming party. Based on a true story, the film combines documentary, drama filmmaking, and choreography, as Obarznek has been a choreographer himself, to tell the delicate, but feel good story of life, loss, and the overwhelming feeling of setting yourself free from your fears.

'Parts of the stage play were incorporated into the screenplay, making it both a documentary and a drama where the subject appears as himself observing his own character played by an actor. It sounds weird, but it works,' says Obarznek of the production. 

I Want To Dance Better At Parties  courtesy of   Closer Productions.

I Want To Dance Better At Parties courtesy of Closer Productions.

Other Australian films on the line-up include Melbourne filmmaker Natalie van den Dungen's 'Bunny New Girl', Sydney based Sinéad McDevitt's 'Ballsy', and Indigenous filmmaker from Broome, Kelrick Martin's 'Karroyul'.

Heart of Gold Ambassador, Michaela Banks is excited to bring the festival to Adelaide and hopefully inspire some film-goers to venture to Gympie for the 2016 festival. 

'A big part of our Adelaide event is getting the word out to filmmakers all over Australia about Heart of Gold. I hope that this screening in Adelaide gives a taste of the atmosphere we’ve created in Gympie and will encourage South Australians to make the ‘filmgrimage’ to Gympie in October,' says Banks.

'It’s a pleasure and privilege to screen our favourites from the festival, as well as experiencing incredibly creative and well-crafted films. You’ll leave this event feeling positive about humanity which can be hard to come by these days.'

Tickets are only $12 online, and $15 on the door, with a free drink of arrival. Aint that just darling.

The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival Highlights event will be held in the warehouse space at the Producers Hotel from 6.00pm on Thursday 23 June. 

Heart of Gold is seeking submissions for the 2016 festival. Applications are open until 31 July, with a grand prize of $5000.


Matthew Bate and Gideon Obarzanek : 28’
Australia : Documentary
In need of some form of human contact, a grieving man takes up dance classes with a young instructor.
Best Short Film - Dendy Award

Kristina Jäger : 7’35
Germany : Animation
Dustin is an animated comedy about a pug who, much to his chagrin, has to adjust to automatic cleaning robot as his new roommate.
Best Short Film - Sanford IFF
Best Student Film – Heart of Gold ISFF

Babak Habibfar : 5’55
Iran : Drama
A blind man tries to save the life of his goldfish.
Best Short Film Finalist – Skepto IFF
Artistic Director’s Award – Heart of Gold ISFF

Mirrah Foulkes : 13’30
Australia : Comedy
It’s the annual Christmas Eve concert at the Marigold House Assisted Living Facility. When the facility double books two rival Elvis impersonators, Florence takes the opportunity for one last hurrah. Best Short Fiction Film - Australian Film Institute

Natalie van den Dungen : 5’49
Australia : Comedy
On her first day at a new school, a self-conscious young girl learns that friendship can overcome difference.
Best Comedy - St Kilda FF, Best Film - Painted Birds FF

Declan Byrne : 5’48
Australia : Animation
Benjamin isn’t allowed into the swingers’ party without a partner, so he sets out to find one.
Cyprus Animafest

Lucy Lumsden : 10’30
UK : Drama
A story about a boy who finds an unlikely connection with his eccentric neighbour Patricia - played by Miriam Margolyes.
Short Film – Jury Award - Montreal World FF

Sinéad McDevitt : 7’42
Australia : Documentary
From jet-setting advertising exec to prolific do-gooder, ‘Ballsy’ is the inspirational real life story of Bondi surfer Ben who reinvented himself with the help of his left testicle.
Flickerfest, Sheffield Doc/Fest

Kelrick Martin : 14’46
Australia : Drama
An Aboriginal girl, lost and empty after the death of her mother, discovers her past in an unlikely place.
Best Achievement In Indigenous Filmmaking - St Kilda IFF
Best Cinematography – Heart of Gold ISFF

Header image of 'Bunny New Girl' by Natalie van den Dungen courtesty