California Teen Takes High School Film Competition Top Prize!  

I am so very proud to announce the winners and official selection filmmakers of the 2011 Heartland High School Film Competition. These fine filmmakers represent the 2011 theme Courage through many different lenses. With winners and official selection filmmakers representing five different states and ten different cities, we see that young filmmakers with amazing talent are everywhere. Their resources differ, but their desire to tell meaningful stories is the same.

Official Selection Honorees:

Always Sprinkle Pepper directed by Evan Trout of Fishers, Indiana
Focus directed by Dylan Sullivan of Aurora, Colorado
Independence in Sight directed by Lauren Lindberg of Danville, California
One Small Step directed by Nicholas Heighway of Indianapolis, Indiana
Shades of Gray directed by Laura Baker and Samantha DeMaria of Carmel, Indiana
The Gift directed by Ryan Bowman of Whitestown, Indiana

Winners:

(__) directed by Chad Werner of Fort Worth, Texas
Soap directed by Jon Sheets of Valparaiso, Indiana
You Walk I Glide directed by Joel Rosales of Fontana, California
The 36 directed by Nic Weinfeld of Silver Spring, Maryland

Grand Prize Winner:

Sacrifices of My Father directed by Miguel Lopez of Fontana, California

Miguel Lopez graduated from A.B. Miller High School in Fontana, Calif. this spring and says of winning this award:

“I’ve never been outside of California so this opportunity to travel by plane to Indiana is really special for me. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life until I met Mr. Lee my Freshman year of high school. He taught me about the power of film and it’s influence within our society. I believe, without a doubt, that I will pursue … the power of film to celebrate the average man. Everybody has a story. Whether it be of struggle, talent, joy, it’s important that these stories be heard. The power of film allows us to connect with society and touch many hearts.

As soon as I got the phone call stating that I won the Grand Prize for the Heartland High School Film Competition my heart started racing and the first thing that came to mind was ‘Is this a dream? This isn’t happening…’ I was overwhelmed by the idea that my father’s film was acknowledged by such a renowned organization.”

Miguel’s enthusiasm for Heartland, for filmmaking and for powerful stories is exciting to say the least. We are honored to have Miguel and his teacher Mr. Lee as our guests at the Heartland Film Festival this October and to have Sacrifices of My Father play as part of the High School Film Competition Collection. Miguel’s film defines the courage that a father has to support his family and the courage a son has to embrace his father’s story and make sure that it is heard.

Stay tuned for more details about the rest of the winners and official selection filmmakers as we highlight each one leading up to their films playing in the Heartland High School Film Competition Collection during the Heartland Film Festival.

Official Press Release: Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Announces Winners in Second Annual High School Film Competition (pdf)