THE final preparations are under way at the Gympie Civic Centre for the first day of the 2016 Heart of Gold International Film Festival.
With the venue decked out in a range of native Australian flowers, attendees at the opening night party are encouraged to support the floral theme when they arrive tomorrow night.
"We'd really like to see everybody decked out in their best floral patterns,” says Artistic Director Emily Avila.
"The artwork and the feel of the festival is really celebrating the beauty of Australian nature.”
Staff members and volunteers packed into the Heritage Theatre on Tuesday night to lay out the run-down for the entire weekend.
Preparation for the festival has been a long, but immensely rewarding task for the Heart of Gold team - with a shared passion for film clearly driving the crowd.
"Much of the success of Heart of Gold comes down to the volunteers,” volunteer co-ordinator Michael Rank says.
"They're the ones who give up their time and energy to make sure the event actually runs smoothly.”
For the core staff, the launch of the festival is the result of many months of promotion and planning.
For Avila, who is in the midst of her first year as artistic director, the experience has been a labour of love.
"It's not just my first year in the job, it's the first time I've actually attended the festival” she said on Tuesday night.
"I'm so grateful for the rest of the team and the volunteers who've been doing this for years now.”
Her arrival has brought a renewed energy to the event, with a redesigned program catering to fans of all types and genres of films.
However, the strong selection of films on display remains the same - with a bevy of Australian and international talent ensuring competition for the top prize is as strong as ever.
The festival starts today and runs until Sunday.
Tickets and information can be found at www.heartofgold.com.au.