Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival is the biggest short film festival in regional Australia with over 100 short films, masterclasses, events and panels over 3 days in Gympie, Queensland.

Celebrated as ‘triumphant’ by Australia’s ScreenHub, our festival is dedicated to inspiring and connecting audiences through short films that champion the richness of the human spirit. The small town of Gympie comes alive with film lovers from far and wide every October in a joyous celebration of storytelling.

The festival glows with a widely-renowned mix of country hospitality and global ideas—offering homestays and transport for visiting filmmakers, engaging conversations with interviewers and locals, and plenty of opportunity to mingle with filmmakers, speakers, hosts and locals at the festival’s own Gold Bar. See the thoughts of some of our previous filmmakers in the reviews below.

Our unique selection process involves submitted films being viewed by multiple screener groups across Queensland, who feedback their thoughts and shortlist a selection for the Festival programming team. This inclusive process catches niche gems and represents a broader spectrum of film taste.

‘Heart of Gold is a rare festival, in that its remit is focused but also their quality of content that they screen is stellar.’ (Festival Formula)

Heart of Gold lovingly curates sessions of short films from all genres that best capture our vision to screen films that are heart-warming, thought-provoking and entertaining. The films can be edgy, they can be groundbreaking and they can be downright hilarious – as long as they beat with a good, strong heart. The film festival's three-day program includes up to 30 sessions of brilliant short films, acclaimed features, parties, live music, filmmaker Q+A’s, interactive masterclasses and hearty discussions.

Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival offer a range of significant cash prizes. Selected shorts compete for a range of jury awards, which this year include but are not limited to:

Best Short Film
Best Australian Short Film
Best First Nations Short Film
Best Cinematography
Best Screenplay

In addition, we also award prizes to the best young filmmakers from Secondary Schools only, with the following categories:

Best National Student Film
Best Local Student Film

The prize pool for the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival 2024 is $10,000, including both cash awards and non-cash prizes.

1. Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival is open to all film genres and films from all countries. However, film content should be in line with the festival’s ethos and vision. We are seeking films that are: positive, hilarious, witty, whimsical, nourishing, well-crafted, inspiring, thought-provoking, entertaining, joyous, uplifting, quirky, enlightening, ground breaking.

If you are unsure of eligibility, please contact program@heartofgold.com.au

2. The producer grants the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival the rights to exhibit the film at the 2024 Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival and associated events conducted by the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival.

3. The producer warrants to the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival that they have obtained all the necessary permissions to enter this film and that the film does not infringe the rights, including copyright, of any third party. This includes the use of music and literary material (i.e. if your film is based on a novel or poem).

4. Entries will not be considered valid until the entry fee has been paid in full. The entry fee is non-refundable.

5. Entries cannot be withdrawn after submission.

6. If your film is selected for the competition you will be notified prior to the Festival.

7. Materials submitted in the initial entry process will not be returned.

8. Films in languages other than English must be supplied with English subtitles.

9. The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival will only screen productions finished as a high-resolution Apple ProRes, H.264 or MP4 digital file (the following codecs will NOT be accepted FLV, WMV, AVI, or any low res files). Please also ensure your films are supplied with a stereo mix only and not a Dolby 5.1 mix) To ensure your entry is screened correctly, you must also include ratio details (e.g. 1920 x 1080). Unfortunately we cannot screen DCPs or DVDs.

10. Your film may be considered for a prize in an amount, and judged in a manner, at the Festival’s discretion. Films may be screened without the producer winning a prize or award. The producer is not entitled to compensation for the screening of their film at the festival.


Contact program@heartofgold.com.au with any concerns.

Overall Rating
  • So far the best festival I've attended on my first short's run. Definitely submitting again. Super friendly, great hospitality, quality programming, and made some friends which is always a bonus.

    November 2023
  • Greg Moran

    It was a wonderful privilege to have our short films, White Lies and Culicidae both screened at The Heart of Gold International short film Festival in Gympie. Unfortunately we couldn’t be there in person but friends who attended had a great time.

    October 2023
  • Brendan Guerin

    Great to have an episode of our Loving Grasslands web series screen in this excellent program of local and international short films, run by an amazing team of worldly, well-organised and friendly volunteers. One of the warmest, most generous, biggest hearted film festivals I've even attended!

    October 2023
  • Christine Schindler

    Great festival to support. Enjoyed all the activites surrounding the films along with a beautiful curation of local to international films. Well done Gympie and HofG team.

    November 2022
  • Pernell Marsden

    Was thrilled to be selected for this festival and would definitely submit again. It was well organised and the communication was really great and very friendly. I was sad that I couldn't make it up to Queensland because the program looked really varied and there was a lot of cool stuff to do at the festival. Next time!

    November 2022