Judges for this year’s Heart of Gold International Film Festival are Holly Pittman (pictured), Michael Lucas, Beth Armstrong and Mark Overett.
Judges for this year’s Heart of Gold International Film Festival are Holly Pittman (pictured), Michael Lucas, Beth Armstrong and Mark Overett.

Experts judge top films

A PANEL of accomplished professionals in the film industry has been selected to judge this year's Heart of Gold film awards, including the festival's inaugural winner for Best Short Film.

Among them is screenwriter Michael Lucas, who won an Australian Writers Guild award for writing episodes of the Network Ten hit drama Offspring.

His first feature, the comedy Not Suitable for Children, won several awards after its release in 2012, including another guild award for best original screenplay.

It was selected to open the Sydney Film Festival, and drew five AACTA nominations and four Critics' Circle nominations.

Heart of Gold also welcomes Mark Overett, who is a founding partner of New Holland Pictures, a feature film and television production company established in 2005.

New Holland Pictures' first film was Unfinished Sky in 2006, which premiered in Toronto and won six AFI Awards, four Inside Film Awards, four Critics' Circle of Australia Awards and resulted in him and his partner Cathy Overett being awarded SPAA Producers of the Year.

The following year, Mark produced Kiwi comedy Separation City and his most recent film was the sci-fi comedy Iron Sky. He is currently in pre-preproduction on the supernatural thriller The Fear of Darkness and is in the financing stage with the Australian/Dutch/German ghost horror film Amsterdam Gothic.

The writer and director of the film Danya, which won Best Short Film at Heart of Gold's inaugural awards, will also join the panel.

Beth Armstrong is a freelance director based in Sydney, whose film Danya went on to win many other wards in Australia and internationally following its success in Gympie.

Her short film projects have screened nationally and internationally and won accolades including Best Film at the prestigious Palm Springs International Short Fest. Among other projects, Beth directs commercials for Brisbane production company Two Little Indians.

The fourth member of the jury is Holly Pittman, vice president of Noosa Film Society and a member since 2004. Holly regularly attends international film festivals, both in Australia and overseas, including short film festivals such as Tropfest and Flickerfest.

A festival supporter since its inception, Beth represents the local film industry and will bring an in-depth knowledge and keen passion for film to the panel.

Heart of Gold

Heart of Gold International Film Festival is a four-day program of films designed to inspire, provoke and uplift.

The 2013 festival will be held at the Gympie Civic Centre from July 11-14.

More infomation at http://www.heartofgold.com.au.