HEARTLAND FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2009 AWARD WINNERS  

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Awards and $200,000 in cash prizes were presented to 17 films. Heartland announced Welcome by Director Philippe Lioret as the $100,000 Grand Prize Award Winner for Best Dramatic Feature; P-Star Rising by Director Gabriel Noble as the winner of the $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and Bicycle (Jitensha) by Director Dean Yamada as the winner of the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.

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Award-winning Extra correspondent and Indianapolis-native Carlos Diaz emceed the glamorous awards ceremony. Special guests Greg Paul (Trustee of The Stewart Foundation and President of Castle Rock Entertainment) and Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Waking Sleeping Beauty) presented awards. Co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, Dr. Ed Catmull, was honored with the Pioneering Spirit Award for his creative spirit in filmmaking and his contribution to Heartland’s mission.

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During the program, Heartland honored 17 dramatic and documentary short and feature-length films. Two student films received Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards and 15 films were honored with Crystal Heart Awards. These films were selected from more than 600 international film submissions for best meeting Heartland’s mission and demonstrating excellence in filmmaking.

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Additional highlights included Heartland recognizing recipients of the prestigious Truly Moving Picture Award, which is bestowed upon theatrically released films that uphold the values of Heartland. Also, three-time GRAMMY® Award-winner and producer of the Official Selection documentary feature, Kabul 24, Michael W. Smith was in attendance and performed a song from his instrumental album.

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Also, filmmakers and stars from the following Official Selection films were in attendance: A Shine of Rainbows, Americana, Another Harvest Moon, Beauty, Being Bucky, Facing Extinction: Christians in Iraq, Fifty Cents, JesusFreaks, Kabul 24, Like Dandelion Dust, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, The Mighty Macs, My Name is Jerry, Pearl, Quest for Honor and She’s a Fox.

All of the Crystal Heart Award-winning films and Official Selections will be playing all week at AMC Castleton Square 14 and AMC Greenwood Park 14. For full listings check out the Festival guide online.