Heartland Film Festival 2007 was one of the best festivals I’ve attended. The festival crew were fantastic to all of us, there wasn’t a single night without a few beers at the Claddagh. That was a great place to meet filmmakers and chat about film festivals, etc. I met Frank Kelly there, a Crystal Heart Award winner, and after that year’s festival he brought some of us into his debut feature film 140. A film that will also be in this years festival! Isn’t that amazing! We’ll miss you Frank and we’ll miss Maryann, Frank’s wife! You’ve probably heard the story of these two… well, they met at the 2006 festival… and that was love at first sight. Little Evelyn (their 9th month old daughter) is very thankful to Heartland. In 2007 my festival experience started with a fantastic tour around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with driver Jeff Sparks. That’s something you need to try! It was great to meet Jeff and spend a few days together visiting different TV programmes and radio stations promoting the festival, but most of all, trying to bring the whole of Indianapolis together under the same umbrella. One of my best experiences at screenings around the world was at Heartland. It was the day of my last screening. After the Q&A everyone left, everyone except for a lady who came closer to me to tell me:
“I’ve just come all the way from Florida to watch your movie. My sister said I needed to see this one, and I’m glad I did. I laughed and I cried. Now I’m going back home feeling like I never did before…” This is the best feedback you can get from audiences, and you only get these ones at places like Heartland.
I’m really looking forward to revisiting the Festival and hanging out with old friends… and making some new ones I hope! All the best!