There is a story behind how The Way came to be the 2011 Heartland Film Festival’s Opening Night Event, and it starts just over a year ago. Last year, right before the 2010 Heartland Film Festival, producer David Alexanian dropped a copy of the film off to Ray Mills, the Festival Artistic Director. David had just come from the Toronto International Film Festival, and was hoping we could squeeze it into our line-up. It was impossible for us to adjust our schedule at that time, but it ended up working out in the end!
We had the TMPA jury screen the film, so that when it was picked up for distribution we could give it the attention it deserved. The jury loved the film. They appreciated the rolling landscapes and the meditative pace, but especially the story of a father yearning to reconnect with his estranged son in a powerful way. Bolstered by strong performances and a fitting soundtrack, they felt that it perfectly matched the requirements of a Truly Moving Picture Award winner.
Then came the wait. As their distribution timeline became clearer, it started looking like we might be able to really love on the film in a big way. As Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez and David Alexanian plotted their bus tour across the country, it all gelled perfectly and we had the chance to highlight the TMPA winner at our Opening Night Event!
Indy friends – If you weren’t able to attend one of the two sold-out showings during the Festival, be sure to catch it at either the AMC Castleton Square 14 theater or the AMC Showplace 17 theater on the south side. Coincidence that it’s playing at both of our Festival theaters? I think not!