Hervey Bay filmmaker Rachel Anderson on the set of her first short film, Sailboats, which will be screened at Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival in Gympie in October.
Hervey Bay filmmaker Rachel Anderson on the set of her first short film, Sailboats, which will be screened at Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival in Gympie in October. Contributed

Stirring success for Hervey Bay woman's debut film

HER debut short film has travelled the globe and now Hervey Bay's Rachel Anderson will get the chance to impress audiences closer to home.

Sailboats is a film that tells the story of a family struggling with the adversities of raising a son who has high-functioning autism.

Not only is the project a personal one to Rachel as a first time director, but the script, which was also written by the former Griffith University Film School student, is close to her heart.

"The film is based on a true story. I have a nephew who has high-functioning autism and I've always really admired my sister for the way she brought him up," the 22-year-old said.

"She's got a really vibrant, positive attitude and it really inspired me to write a script about it."

The film is now set to be screened at the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival in Gympie on October 9-12 following an impressive stint on the international festival circuit.

"We just kind of put the film out there and so far we've been accepted to the New Hope Film Festival in Pennsylvania, a short film festival in China, it played in the short film corner at Cannes in France and we've gotten into the Boston Kids International Film Festival."

While she has been blown away by the success abroad, Heart of Gold has always been at the top of her list.

"We had a lot of rejection from other places but I just really love how this festival focuses on films with positive messages."