What is the Truly Moving Picture Award program?  

Tim Irwin, TMPA Program Director

The Truly Moving Picture Award (TMPA) is one of Heartland’s three program areas, alongside the Heartland Film Festival and the Heartland Institute.  You might have seen the TMPA seal in various places, maybe on DVD’s or on the posters of certain films, or in the print ads that run in newspapers.  So what exactly is the TMPA program, and how is it different from the Festival?

The TMPA program focuses on theatrically released films. Whereas the Festival honors independent films that have not been picked up by a distributor (and therefore probably won’t make it to a theater near you), the Truly Moving Picture Award is given to films produced or distributed by the big (or medium-sized) studios.  Most of the films that receive the Award will play in a theater near you, or at least in select large cities.

So how do films receive the Award? Good question! Basically, we work with the studios and arrange an early screening of their films that are coming out (the earlier we see them, the better for you!). We have a jury located in Indianapolis that sees the film and discusses whether or not it should receive the Award.  The jury is comprised of people from a variety of backgrounds, and all of them go through our educational credentialing process. Our goal is to promote positive change in people’s lives through the transformative power of film, so the jury’s task is to determine whether or not each film aligns with that mission!



What happens after we award a film? We let you know! Our purpose is to keep you informed of all the upcoming films that align with our mission. As a result we help the studio promote the film by providing information to you on a consistent basis. We’ll let you know where and when each Award winner is playing, and will occasionally conduct audio interviews with the filmmakers so that you can engage with the film on a deeper level. We also create a discussion guide for each film that can help you fully explore the movie as you talk with family and friends after seeing it.  For a select few films that are geared for a youth audience and have an associated book, we create a full F.I.L.M. curriculum.

Stick around!  We’ll soon be providing information about each upcoming TMPA winner, with details about the film and why it was given the Award. We’ll also have more details about the TMPA program, who our jurors are, and the process through which they become jurors.