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Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Blog

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The Announcement Celebration – RSVP Now!

Is it really September already? Autumn – and the Heartland Film Festival – is just around the corner! But before it begins, we have the Announcement Celebration on Tuesday, September 18 from 7-9 p.m. at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. This is a highly anticipated event for Heartland Film Society members because it is the night we will reveal the full list of Official Selections and Festival Award winners for the 2012 Heartland Film Festival. This year, we received a record number of submissions for the Festival. Out of 1,240 total entries 118 films were selected!

Throughout the evening we will show clips and trailers from several of the films, all while you meet cinema enthusiasts just like you. Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Furthermore, member-priced tickets to the Festival will be available to purchase – in advance of the public. This event is exclusive to Heartland Film Society members, who will receive the first copies of the Festival Guide Book and schedule, hot off the press!

Due to limited space, we ask that members RSVP as soon as possible. Not a Heartland Film Society member? Join online or call (317) 464-9405 today! Heartland Film Society membership perks include discounts on Festival and community screening tickets, 15% off merchandise and early access to the Festival Guide Book, schedule and Fest Passes – all of which will be available at the Announcement Celebration!

The Announcement Celebration is a marvelous opportunity to honor talented filmmakers and great storytelling, to get to know other Indianapolis-area supporters of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and to be motivated to see the inspiring films at the 2012 Heartland Film Festival.

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Honoring Veterans & Filmmakers with High Ground on Opening Night!

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch the feature-length documentary High Ground, a beautifully shot film following the Soldiers to Summits first peak climb of American veterans. Eleven soldiers, a Blue and Gold Star Mom and professional climbers accept the challenge of climbing to the summit of Lobuche East in Khumbu, Nepal, near Mount Everest. The scenery alone is incredible, but it is the stories and efforts of the soldiers that is most inspiring. These veterans have been wounded either physically or emotionally, and they have struggled with re-integration into civilian life. Sharing some of their darkest memories, and some of their best, the veterans seem to be experiencing positive change and hope brought on by the beauty of the Himalayas and the trials of the dangerous yet exhilarating climb.

High Ground will be the 21st Annual Heartland Film Festival’s Opening Night Event film, playing on October 18 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The producer, Don Hahn, will be in attendance with a few of the film’s featured veterans. When tickets go on sale September 24, make sure you purchase yours right away! The veterans shed light on the difficulties they face each day, but they also build new outlooks on life that will stun you into re-evaluating your own perspective and strength.

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Interview with 2011 Festival Award-winning Director Afarin Eghbal

Recently we chatted with Afarin Eghbal, director of 2011 Jimmy Stewart Crystal Heart award-winning short, Abuelas. We discussed her film’s journey over the last year, and what her involvement with Heartland has meant to her personally and as a filmmaker. It’s such a reward to hear from filmmakers throughout the world who embrace our organization and its impact on film and culture with unbridled enthusiasm.

Abuelas, an animated documentary student short, looked different than other films Afarin had seen and her lingering thought upon completion was, “What if this is wrong?” Once out of school she kept her film safely tucked away, hesitant to submit it to the festival circuit. Four months after she graduated a friend asked her about the festivals to which she’d submitted. When Afarin admitted her reluctance to share Abuelas, her friend told her to forget her ego, reminding her that she’d made a promise to tell the story of the abuelas. If only one person learned about the impact of Argentina’s Dirty War, the film would have done its job

When Eghbal first discovered the story of Argentina’s Dirty War in college, she was shocked to learn that these atrocities occurred in her lifetime, yet she’d heard nothing about them. And so she set out to make an awareness film that would appeal to her peers in an engaging way. Using real-life testimonials of the grandmothers she interviewed in Argentina, this animated documentary raises issues of memory, repression and loss.

Though Afarin’s goal was to inform her peers about the Abuelas story, her film has grown beyond that audience and traveled the world, spanning age, culture and background. With each new screening the story of the Abuelas has grown within society’s collective memory, ensuring that history won’t repeat itself. Thanks to Afarin’s film, when Jorge Rafael Videla, former senior commander in the Argentine Army and the de facto President of Argentina during the Dirty War, was sentenced to life in prison in July 2012 for the systematic kidnapping of children during the Dirty War, his sentence resonated more loudly. Afarin’s film didn’t play a part in the conviction, but the voice her film gave to a buried history proves that one film can make a difference.

But Afarin submitted Abuelas and was accepted to Heartland well before her film found wild success in the festival circuit. What prompted Afarin to submit to Heartland was its mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film, which is what she’d set her heart on accomplishing in making this film. Heartland was one of the first festivals to accept her film and helped pave the way for nearly 100 other festivals to accept Abuelas. Afarin praised Heartland for its careful curation of great films from all over the world and setting a bar so high that other film festivals have to take note.

While Afarin felt a connection to Heartland before she she even submitted her film, her love and appreciation of it grew once Abuelas was accepted to the Festival and she attended in 2011. From the moment she stepped off the plane she was overwhelmed by the generous spirit that permeated every aspect of the Festival. From being greeted and embraced by the volunteers (over 700 strong) and then seeing the names of national and community sponsors and donors connected to each film, she realized how dedicated Heartland’s supporters are to amplifying and encouraging the voice of independent filmmakers.

In our conversation with Afarin, her voice constantly underlined the word generosity. All of her Heartland experiences seemed to come back to that giving spirit. She emphasized that those who give their resources and time to the Festival produce waves of impact that promoting a cycle of positive feedback and energy among the filmmakers and audiences, making Heartland an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else. It’s what we continually hear from Afarin and other filmmakers about Heartland’s impact — it’s more than simply a film festival, it truly is a an organization that has cultural impact through inspiring filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film.

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Announcing the Heartland Film Festival $2Back Ticket Program!

Are you a nonprofit, community group or religious institution? We have a great fundraising opportunity for you!

This year marks the 21st Annual Heartland Film Festival (October 18-27). As a nonprofit arts organization we have developed a special program to support other incredible organizations that make an impact in our community.

Introducing the $2BACK Ticket Program. Sign up, share your code and earn $2 back for every ticket sold:

1. Sign up today and provide us with your unique promotional code.

2. Share the program/promotional code with your contacts. Heartland will provide a Media Kit including films that align with your mission!

3. From September 24 to October 27, people may purchase tickets at HeartlandFilmFestival.org using your unique promotional code.

4. Heartland will send you a check within 90 days after the Festival.

Download the $2BACK FlyerKnow a nonprofit, community group or church that would like to sign up? Share this flyer and let them know about the program! The deadline is September 17.

The $2BACK Ticket Program is a unique opportunity for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures to give back to the community and align Festival films with the missions and causes of local organizations. We believe that the $2Back Ticket Program will open doors to involve more people in Heartland’s mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film.

Ticket sales begin September 24. Is your nonprofit, community group or religious institution joining in? If not, share the sign-up link, flyer or contact us!

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First Friday – September 7

In February, not long after moving into our new offices in the Murphy Art Center in Fountain Square, we hosted our first-ever First Friday. Since then, we have continued to participate in this city-wide night to honor the arts each month. First Friday at Heartland is a fun, casual tradition that we hope you will partake in.

This Friday, September 7, we will screen the 2011 Heartland Award winner Crescendo every 15 minutes throughout the evening, from 6-10 p.m. Admission is free, so bring as many of your friends and family as you like! Drinks and popcorn will be available to purchase, including local selections of wine and beer for those 21+.

Our location in Fountain Square will bring you close to several other Indianapolis First Friday event locations. Check out the IDADA First Friday calendar to learn where else you might find yourself this Friday! Also, take a look at our Community Screenings calendar for upcoming events and remember that the 2012 Heartland Film Festival is October 18-27.

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Sneak Preview of Samsara at the IMA Sept. 14th!

Heartland’s recent Truly Moving Picture Award winner, Samsara, will be screened at the Indianapolis Museum of Art one full week before it comes to Indianapolis theaters. Tickets are just $5 ($3 for members), and with a limit of 100 audience members, this is an exclusive opportunity to see the remarkable film  before anyone else in Indiana. Get your tickets now!

Prepare yourself for an unparalleled sensory experience. Samsara reunites filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, whose award winning films Baraka and Chronos brought a new visual and musical artistry to theaters. Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives.

Filmed over a period of 5 years in 25 countries on 5 continents, and shot on 70mm film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary. It encourages our own interpretations, inspired by breathtaking images and transcendent music that infuses the ancient with the modern. Samsara explores the wonders of our world, from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man’s spirituality and the human experience, and illuminating the links between humanity and the rest of nature.

Check out the film’s Facebook page and official website to learn more!

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The Citizen Comes to Heartland Film Festival

The upcoming 2012 Heartland Film Festival will celebrate more than 100 remarkable films over the course of 10 days. Among the selection of feature films will be The Citizen.

Yearning to leave behind his life of misfortune in the Middle East, Ibrahim Jarrah wins the U.S Green Card Lottery for a chance to become an American citizen. Ibrahim lands in New York City the day before 9/11 and the events of the September terrorist attacks forever shape the struggles he faces on his journey to capture the American dream.

Inspired by true events, The Citizen stars Khaled Nabawy (Fair Game), Agnes Bruckner (Blood and Chocolate), Rizwan Manji (Outsourced), Bill Atherton (Ghostbusters) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride). Filmmaker Sam Kadi’s feature debut is a gripping tale of courage, love, and perseverance, the qualities of a true citizen.


Members of the cast and crew will host a Q&A discussion after the screening. Tickets will be available to purchase on September 24. In the meantime, check out the trailer on the film’s official website!

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Catch Heartland Film Festival Award Winner Blessed is the Match at the JCC!

The Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center (JCC) will screen Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh on Monday, September 10 at 7 p.m. This feature-length documentary is a 2008 Heartland Film Festival Award winner. The filmmakers will join the audience in a Skype discussion after the screening.

Academy Award® nominee Joan Allen narrates the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet turned paratrooper and modern-day Joan of Arc. Hannah Senesh joined the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust and parachuted into Nazi-occupied territory to help save her native Hungary’s Jews. With unprecedented access to the family’s archive, the film unfolds through the writings of Hannah and Catherine Senesh.

Tickets are $3 for JCC members and $5 for general public; they may be ordered through JCC Cultural Arts. The screening is funded by the LDI 100th Anniversary Celebration Cultural Partnership Gift Program and is a preview of the upcoming Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts at the JCC, October 24-November 17.

http://www.jccindy.org/page.aspx?id=172632
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Get TMPA Winner Chimpanzee on DVD, Blu-ray & iTunes!

Truly Moving Picture Award winner Chimpanzee has been released to DVD, Blu-ray and iTunes. Visit the official website to make your purchase!

An adorable young chimpanzee named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life star in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph.  Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest.

If you order the DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack or iTunes Digital by August 27th, a portion of the sales will benefit the Jane Goodall Institute.

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Heartland Film Festival Announces Select Films at Sneak Peek Event

At last night’s annual fundraiser at the Old National Centre, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures announced the titles of several films that will be screened during this year’s 21st Annual Heartland Film Festival, October 18-27 in Indianapolis. A record-breaking 1,240 films were submitted from all over the world – a 45 percent increase over last year. Across the four categories (Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Short Films, High School Film Competition), 118 films have been chosen to screen this year.

Among the events announced last night are:

Opening Night Event: High Ground
Thursday, Oct. 18, The Toby at Indianapolis Museum of Art


For the first time in Heartland’s history, a documentary will open the Festival. Don Hahn, past Heartland filmmaker and Academy Award-nominated producer of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, will bring his latest documentary to Heartland. The film tells the inspiring story of injured veterans who climb a mountain in the Himalayas. Heartland will partner with local veteran groups to celebrate our heroes in the Armed Forces. Don Hahn and several of the veterans featured in the film are scheduled to attend.

Family Movie Event: 3 Day Test
Sunday, Oct. 21, AMC Castleton Square 14


Actor/director Corbin Bernsen will return to Heartland for the third year in a row with his new family comedy.

Closing Night Event: Under African Skies
Saturday, Oct. 27, The Toby at Indianapolis Museum of Art


Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Paul Simon’s Graceland album, this documentary places the album in its tumultuous context both in South Africa and the United States. Enlightening and uplifting, the film will leave audiences ready to celebrate. The Closing Night Party will start immediately after the film at the Jazz Kitchen.

Feature films announced include:

The Citizen
A narrative feature starring Khaled Nabawy, Agnes Bruckner, Cary Elwes and Bill Atherton will see its North American Premiere on Monday, October 22 during the Festival. A Q&A with cast and crew will follow the screening.

Stuck
A documentary feature detailing the difficulties of international adoption and featuring local couple Lori and Nick Leroy.

Mariachi Gringo
A narrative feature about a young man from Kansas who pursues his dream of becoming a mariachi player in Mexico.

Not That Funny
A narrative feature starring Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”) as a man desperately trying to be funny to impress a woman.

Rising From Ashes
A documentary feature detailing the rise of Team Rwanda, the country’s first cycling team.

The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia
A documentary feature from returning filmmaker James Redford that explores dyslexia and its impact on people’s lives.

The complete lineup of films will be unveiled during Heartland’s Announcement Celebration on September 18. The event will be free but limited to members of the Heartland Film Society, a new membership program that allows Heartland fans to be part of the Festival like never before. Members will have the opportunity to purchase advance tickets at the Announcement Celebration; tickets will be available to the general public starting September 24.

“With 118 films from around the world and five exciting special events, we are continuing to introduce audiences to high quality independent films and the filmmakers who made them. These films will change the way audiences look at the world,” said Tim Irwin, Artistic Director for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with this year’s lineup, the filmmakers who will be visiting Indianapolis and the impact each of these films will have on our audiences.”

Heartland will award more than $135,000 in cash prizes to this year’s winners, including the $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature, the $25,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature and the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.

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