Heart of Gold Film Festival organisers say the festival group will spend this year rebuilding its finances for 2013.
Heart of Gold Film Festival organisers say the festival group will spend this year rebuilding its finances for 2013. Contributed

Organisers point to finances

ORGANISERS of Gympie's Heart of Gold Film Festival have confirmed that the festival will not happen this year, but have appealed to filmmakers to save their entries for 2013.

Festival chairman Andrew Tarrant says internal management disputes and financial issues contributed to the problems for 2012.

Mr Tarrant told ABC Coast FM listeners yesterday that the four-day festival, held in autumn in recent years, would not go ahead in 2012.

The comments confirm a report in The Gympie Times in October, which quoted festival founder Toni Powell saying she was "sad there won't be a 2012 Heart of Gold, but not surprised".

The Gympie Times report attracted criticism from some festival supporters, including one who said in a letter to the editor that it was "sad to think The Gympie Times which has given us good support should go down this negative path without first speaking with someone who is current in the organisation".

The writer said Ms Powell had not been in Gympie for two years.

Mr Tarrant said the organisations did not have the resources to put a festival together this year and had decided: "Better to have a quality festival in 2013 than having something half-baked in 2012."

He confirmed the group had experienced "a falling out with our general manager (Brett Houghton) and our artistic director (Malcolm Blaylock) had finished his tenure.

"We found the festival was not as profitable as it could have been, due to the running of the festival.

"At this stage we are probably behind in the order of $10,000.

"We need to look at our business model and eliminate that so we can continue to run a fantastic festival with lots of smiling faces."

He said the festival had decided to run fundraising evenings with "some films from the 2011 line-up".

"The first one will be mid-February and I believe we're having it in Noosa. (And) we're looking at a few around the Gympie area and possibly in Hervey Bay and Maryborough."

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