Gympie students Amber Burton, Dylan Naidoo and Emilia Cilento have picked a winner for the festival’s inaugural awards category of Best Youth Film in time for Saturday’s Gold Heart Awards Ceremony.
Gympie students Amber Burton, Dylan Naidoo and Emilia Cilento have picked a winner for the festival’s inaugural awards category of Best Youth Film in time for Saturday’s Gold Heart Awards Ceremony. Contributed

Testing times for judges of Best Youth Film award

GYMPIE students Amber Burton, Emilia Cilento and Dylan Naidoo thoroughly enjoyed selecting a winner from the finalists for the Heart of Gold's inaugural Best Youth Film award.

The young film buffs were selected from a number of applicants to judge the new awards category and were required to watch a diverse range of films submitted by filmmakers from around the world. They were chosen because of their keen interest in cinema.

Amber, a part-time student at the University of the Sunshine Coast, enjoys European short films and hopes to be a filmmaker herself.

Year 12 student, Emilia, studies Film, Television and New Media, and would also like to make her own films.

Dylan, a Year 7 student, is no stranger to the festival scene, as his mother, Sandra, hosts a screeners' group and is a long-time Heart of Gold volunteer.

While Emilia found it easy, Amber said judging was difficult because the films were so unique and hard to compare due to their differences.

"For example, Julian was so different to Time, but both are brilliant in their own ways," she said. "Julian had some real wit about it, with great child actors and a brilliant story.

"Time had a great story which was told magnificently and there was some exquisite camera work. The Interviewer had 'greatness' about it in how the emotions were played with and the connection that was made between the audience and the characters without us even being fully aware of it.

"Chinti was an art style in itself. The animation was genius and the little ant guy was such a cute character.

"Even though all of these films were for the Youth Category I have to say that any adult would enjoy these films.

Picking a winner was easy for Emilia, who said there was something special about her choice that the other films did not have.

"Probably a large influence on my choices were Heart of Gold values in the films," she said adding that she made her assessment on how the film moved her or had her thoughts provoked by the content.

"Young people especially, who have an interest in films or filmmaking would greatly enjoy the films for their inspirational value. But they were also interesting films that people of any age would enjoy."

Dylan particularly appreciated the performances of young actors in the films, Paulie and Julian.

The youngest panellist enjoyed the opportunity to share ideas on funny, poignant and thought-provoking films and was looking forward to watching more films and meeting film-makers at the festival.

Their choice for Best Youth Film prize will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday night.

"If anyone is looking for inspiration in filmmaking, then I highly recommend attending the Heart of Gold Film festival because it has definitely inspired me," Amber said.

"In a single viewing your heart can be warmed, broken and put back together again, with you leaving feeling elevated and amazed."