“When I was asked to be patron for Heart of Gold I didn’t think twice,” says Leah Purcell. “I’d rather support a festival back home, than walk the red carpets of Venice.”

And with an attitude, it’s immediately obvious why powerhouse actress, writer, producer and director Leah Purcell has been chosen as the official patron for The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival. Leah Purcell is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka woman born and bred in Murgon, Queensland. She has worked extensively on the stage and the big and small screen with an impressive list of credits that include Box the Pony, Redfern Now, Cleverman, The Secret Daughter, My Life Is Murder, The Twelve and The Drover’s Wife. Leah Purcell will be joined at Heart Of Gold by producer Bain Stuart, her partner in both life and many creative projects.

Unspooling in Gympie in rural Queensland, the much loved fest will this year include 170 short films assembled into 40 feature-length sessions structured around themes from “Family Dynamics” to “Festival’s Fringe.” Leah Purcell will take part in the Patron In Conversation session at 4pm – 5pm on Saturday October 29, and will also be presenting the award for Best Australian Film at the Awards Night later that evening. “We are beyond thrilled to have Leah come and support Heart of Gold this year,” says festival director Jackson Lapsley Scott. “Her and her partner Bain are an unstoppable duo and we will show them every bit of Gympie hospitality!”

The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival was already shaping up as something special, and now with Leah Purcell on board, it just got even better. “Film festivals like Heart of Gold stand for something greater than an event just screening films,” says the actress/director. “They stand for celebrating the Arts in regional places, and for sharing stories that uplift communities….communities that not a lot of people have heard from before.”

For all information on The Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival, head to the official website.