Wednesday night's filmmaker reception  

Last night the Omni Severin Hotel played host to a variety of Heartland Film Festival staff and board members, sponsors, volunteers, producers, directors, writers, and stars of this year’s films. Tomorrow is the first day of screenings at AMC Castleton Square 14 and all of the Crystal Heart Award-winning filmmakers will be on hand for Q&A sessions after their films.

300DPIsmall-collection_Crowell-DirectorJeremiah Crowell

Some of the filmmakers in attendance last night included Jeremiah Crowell, producer, director and writer of the Crystal Heart Award-winning short film Small Collection. Jeremiah will be involved in the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 17 as well as the Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday morning.

Melody-GeorgeMelody George

Melody George, producer, director and writer of the Crystal Heart Award-winning short Marbles With Thoreau is at the Festival for the World Premiere of her film. You will be able to talk to her at the Filmmakers’ Brunch, and she will be on the panel for the Heartland Film Institute Seminar on Monday, October 19. In addition, she will be at the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony.

Paola-&-Gloria-at-monitorGloria La Morte and Paola Mendoza

Gloria La Morte and Paola Mendoza were also in attendance last night. They are at the Festival supporting their Crystal Heart Award-winning Dramatic Feature Entre Nos. Paola and Gloria co-directed and co-wrote the film, while Paola also starred in it. Both of them will be in attendance for the Filmmakers’ Brunch and the Heartland Film Institute Seminar, as well as the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony.

omri-pictureOmri Givon

Fresh from Tel Aviv, Israel, Eldad Prives and Omri Givon were at the reception. Omri directed and wrote the Crystal Heart Award-winning Dramatic Feature Seven Minutes in Heaven, in which Eldad starred. They will also be at the Filmmakers’ Brunch, the Heartland Film Institute Seminar, and the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony.

96DPI-HillaHilla Medalia

Hilla Medalia, also from Tel Aviv and New York City, was present. She is the producer, director and writer of the Crystal Heart Award-winning Documentary Feature After the Storm, about a group of Broadway actors staging a musical in post-Katrina New Orleans. She will be at the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony, and you will get a chance to talk to her at the Filmmakers’ Brunch.

Acholiland_Still_2Acholiland

Daniel Harrich, producer of the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award-winning Student Dramatic Short Acholiland which is about a small band of U.N. aid workers delivering food in Ugandan villages, was also in attendance.  He will also be here for the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony.

vicki-fixedVicki Shigekuni Wong

This evening’s Opening Night Event feature film and recent Truly Moving Picture Award winner, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, was represented by producer Vicki Shigekuni Wong. Starring Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is based on a true story about a college professor’s bond with an abandoned dog.

We hope that the Festival will be a great experience for all of the filmmakers, and hope that it will change their lives in positive ways. Another filmmaker, Frank Kelly, a 2006 Crystal Heart Award-winner for his short film Emily’s Song, found that his life was dramatically changed by the Heartland Film Festival. Click here to read what he has to say about his wonderful experience with the Festival.