Heart of Gold pure gold

Andy Mullins said he and his brother Matt wrote and directed the 13-minute film with Heart of Gold in mind.
Andy Mullins said he and his brother Matt wrote and directed the 13-minute film with Heart of Gold in mind.

AFTER their win at the Berlin International Film Festival, the brothers behind Minnie Loves Junior are looking forward to their short film’s Queensland debut.

The Berlinale Jury Special Mention winner opens the Heart of Gold Film Festival in Gympie on Thursday March 17.

Andy Mullins said he and his brother Matt wrote and directed the 13-minute film with Heart of Gold in mind because the festival’s program features more light hearted and quirky films, like Minnie Loves Junior.

“Sue Murray (executive producer) from Ten Canoes was really pivotal in our decision to make this film,” said Mullins.

“She said look at the festivals people want to see them at and Heart of Gold was one that came up straight away.

“We made the film for this festival and to be given the privilege of opening the festival, we don’t take that lightly.”

The film follows the, at first, unrequited love between Aboriginal children Minnie (Wyntah Shaw) and Junior (Latrell Stuart).

“Little girls are so aware of what’s happening now and in the future and boys really aren’t,” he said.

“They’re very much in the moment versus this almost wisdom (in girls). Boys’ heads are down and girls’ heads are looking at the sunset.”

Minnie Loves Junior is the third short film from the Melbourne brothers. All three films focus on Aboriginal characters and the Mullins worked with the subject of their first film, Russell Smith, on Minnie Loves Junior. Smith is also Shaw’s uncle.

“He’s a guy we met six years ago. There is one film we made about him, one film we were connected to because of him and this film we made with him,” said Mullins.

“We also have this connection - philosophically, emotionally, and psychologically - that we don’t carry the burden of other generations’ guilt.

“He has this great line - as much as I have a white history you guys have a black history and you’ve got to connect to it.”

Mullins believes children are a great way to introduce audiences to Aboriginal culture.

“If you like these kids then you need to like this culture, you might even need to love this culture,” he said.

“It wasn’t hard hitting. It’s much more about finding a way in through the heart rather than the head.

“We’ve seen hundreds of short films internationally and nationally and many of them are – for all the right reasons - quite dark but that’s not our take on filmmaking.”

The brothers are currently working on two feature films.

The Heart of Gold Film Festival runs from Thursday (March 17) through next Sunday (March 20). For more information go to

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