Shanayde Power in a scene from  Second Chances . Shanayde is one of seven Kilkivan State School students to share her story in the school's entry in the Heart of Gold Film Festival.
Shanayde Power in a scene from Second Chances . Shanayde is one of seven Kilkivan State School students to share her story in the school's entry in the Heart of Gold Film Festival. Contributed

South Burnett students eye gold in international film fest

"I OFTEN joke it took eight months to produce eight minutes,” said media arts teacher Amelia Olsen from Kilkivan State School.

A dozen students, aged 12-16 worked through their lunch breaks to complete their entry into the Heart of Gold Short Film Festival, which started on Thursday.

The hard work has paid off with their 10-minute entry, Second Chances, being one of the films short-listed as a finalist in the Young Filmmaker of the Year category.

Mrs Olsen said her students picked the subject matter, shot, starred in and produced the film, which features seven real life heart-warming and sometimes powerful stories.

"The hard part was convincing some of the students they had a story to tell but some of what they had to say, was really powerful,” she said.

"So many in that age group are challenged with that - feeling that nobody wants to listen.

"That was the most fabulous part of the project - seeing them reach that turning point and realising they have something to offer.

"The Heart of Gold is supposed to be uplifting and inspiring, and these stories are - but they are also serious, hardcore life stories.”

The film covers stories about challenging and overcoming obstacles such as one girl's journey to get a prostethic limb, one girl shares some of her indigenous culture and another shares her story about her triumphant recovery from an accident where she was run over by a trailer and rally car.

"I strongly believe that you are and can be greater than your fears,” Shanayde Power says during her story.

Not all of the stories are extraordinary though, with one girl sharing how she copes with being painfully shy - a tale that is both powerful and relatable as many teenagers struggle with their emerging personalities.

"Everyone has always thought of me to be shy and quiet, but there is more to me than that,” Ella Hauschild says during her story.

Mrs Olsen said the students all contributed to bring the film to the screen, but none more so than two Year 10 students.

"Graham Kerr and Tobi Geri worked extremely hard on this project to get it completed. The film would not have been finished in time without their dedication,” Mrs Olsen said.

Second Chances will be screened on Sunday from 11.30am along with 17 other short films by school students - one of which is Gympie Flexible Learning Centre's High Abili Tea.

The two films are part of a special Gympie region specific Young Filmmaker category.

Also screening from Gympie is local photographer Leeroy Todd's cinematic tribute to the rebuild of the Mary Valley Rattler's historic C17. 967 engine, Spirit of the Mary Valley.

The 20-minute film premieres at a red carpet event at the old Gympie Station tonight as a fundraiser for the restoration of Mary Valley Rattler's Carriage CL No. 1125.

It will also be shown as a highlight of Sunday's Heart of Gold program and screened as a free session in the Prospector's Hall at 11.30am.

Spirit of the MaryValley is Leeroy's first foray into documentary filmmaking.

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