The team keeping Heart of Gold ticking
NOW entering its ninth year, the Heart of Gold International Film Festival has gone from strength to strength.
However, it still relies on an army of volunteers and film lovers to make sure the four-day event runs without any hiccups.
"The support the volunteers give is absolutely critical to the success of the festival,” says former festival staff Andrew Tarrant.
"For all of these people to give up their time and energy shows how dedicated they are to the festival.”
Tarrant's own home will host director Mirene Igwabi and producer Grace Julia - whose film 'Adele' will receive it's world premiere at the festival on Saturday night.
He's not alone - other dedicated volunteers will open their homes to visiting creative-types, as they prepare for four full days of screenings, workshops and panels.
"I've done it for a couple of years now,” he says.
"It's always great to spend time with people who are so passionate about what they do.”
Andrew's relationship and involvement with Heart of Gold stretches back to the festival's inception in 2006.
He also acted as the chair of the festival and weathered a particularly difficult period where the festival's future was in doubt.
"We did have to miss the festival in 2012, but it's come back stronger and better than ever.”
Tarrant says the chance to form friendships and relationships with visiting filmmakers has been a privilege, especially when they use the festival as an opportunity for artistic development.
"Emil Mkrttchian from Sweden stayed with me during the 2010 festival” he says.
"I actually got the opportunity to go and visit him recently and he's come so far as an artist and as a director.”
The festival line-up will see a showcase of some of the best talent from Australia and overseas - with a focus on uplifting and inspiring stories.
The festivals runs from October 6-9 and tickets can be purchased at www.heartofgold.com.au