Movie magic keeping crowds glued to their seats
THE FIRST day of the 2016 Heart of Gold International Film Festival has seen audiences pack into the Gympie Civic Centre.
The first sessions of the day saw film lovers treated to a variety of films from Australia and abroad.
"It was just lovely, the films we saw were so good," says Lyn Ballantyne, as she came out of the midday "Coffee & Comedy" session.
"I'll be trying my best to head back to as many as I can."
For the dedicated team of staff and volunteers, the strong turnout on the first day is both an encouraging sign, and a relief after many months of hard work.
"The sessions we've had so far are packed," says audience engagement manager Bronwen Noakes.
"So far, the response from the audience has been really positive and encouraging."
Even the volunteers, many of whom have been working with the festival for years now, were impressed with the turnout and audience reception.
"Things are running smoothly and people are having a great time," says volunteer Graham Cross.
In addition to films being screened, attendees had the chance to kick back and enjoy a beautiful lunch in the Prospector's Hall in between sessions.
Tonight will see the hall transformed for the opening night party, with fans getting the chance to mingle and chat with visiting filmmakers.
Expect another great variety of sessions tomorrow - from high school stories to films from Ireland and Asia, as well as amasterclass from documentarian Margaret McHugh.