Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Blog

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The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a Truly Moving Picture Award Winner!

The latest recipient of the Truly Moving Picture Award is a magical tale that warmed the hearts of our jury. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is about a married couple who wish for a child more than anything. One night after a few glasses of wine, they decide to write down attributes of what they would want their perfect child to have. Things like a sense of humor, the ability to “rock” and to be the one in the family to score the winning goal (see clip below).

They bury their box of paper, but during the night, fortune intervened. A boy appears from the dirt and he says his name is Timothy.  He calls them “mom” and “dad” and is everything they’ve ever wanted from a child. Also he has leaves growing out of his ankles. Maybe he’s really magic, who knows?

Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play the new parents of Timothy with warmth and surprise. They have wanted to be parents for so long and now that a child has arrived fully formed. This leads to them trying to figure out the best way to raise a child right away through trial and error, as they’re careful of the path they take, since wishes come true. They become overprotective, but everything they do is from genuine love for Timothy.

Timothy also inspires the town through his kindness. Dianne Wiest plays a grumpy museum curator, Rosemary DeWitt is a sister who brags too much about her children’s accomplishments, and David Morse is a father who doesn’t know how to show his support towards his family. Even though people make mistakes, Timothy is able to show that no one is alone. He also experiences an innocent young love with a girl as they go into the woods to discover the beauty of nature.

The Truly Moving Picture Award jury was in awe of the beauty of the cinematography and the music. Its story about new parents and their magical child was moving to the point where there were a few tears in the audience once the movie was over. One juror said the movie is “just plain sweet and happy with a message of hope and goodness.”

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a family film about families and the positivity that can create for an entire community.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is playing nationwide starting August 15th. It is rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language.

Make sure to check out the film’s official website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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Shuffle Available on DVD!

The 2011 Heartland Film Festival Closing Night Event feature film Shuffle is now available to add to your Netflix DVDs by mail queue. The film will also be available to stream on iTunes, Xbox, Playstation, Amazon VOD and cable VOD on inDemand soon.

Shuffle is the tale of a man who begins experiencing his life out of order;  every day he wakes up at a different age, on a different day of his life, never knowing where or when he’s going to be once he falls asleep.  He’s terrified and wants it to stop – until he notices a pattern in his experience, and works to uncover why this is happening to him – and what or who is behind it.

Part “Twilight Zone”-style mystery, part Frank Capra fantasy, Shuffle stars TJ Thyne, star of the hit TV show Bones, in his first turn as a leading man in a feature film. The film’s voluminous prosthetic old age make-up is by Barney Burman, winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Make-up for Star Trek. The film was written, directed and scored by two time Crystal Heart Award-winner Kurt Kuenne, filmmaker of the acclaimed documentary Dear Zachary: a letter to a son about his father and the popular short film Validation (HFF 2007; Winner – Best Short, Audience Award, Crystal Heart Award), also starring TJ Thyne.

The DVD will be released on August 21st and sold at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Blockbuster. The DVD features both the critically-acclaimed black & white version and the color version of the film. It features 50 minutes of bonus content, including a 30-minute documentary on the making of the film, shot by Dan Austin, and a 20-minute collection of video diaries from the award-winning festival run by Shuffle director Kurt Kuenne.

Shuffle is also coming to theaters near you soon! Screenings will happen only if a specific number of tickets are reserved by the given deadline, so act fast. Check out when/where it will be screened in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, West Palm Beach, Cleveland, North Hollywood, St. Louis, and Honolulu.

To view the trailer, learn about the filmmakers, and find out how else you can see the film, check out the official website. And don’t forget to view the Facebook page!

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HTMP Announces New Location for 2012 Heartland Film Festival

This year, with a record-breaking 1,240 film submissions, the 21st Annual Heartland Film Festival will feature more movie choices than ever before. The selection committee reviewed each film and has selected the “best of the best” in new, independent films from all over the world that will move and inspire people, and change the way they look at the world.

“Looking at everything that was submitted this year, and making some very difficult decisions, I can honestly say that we have the best line-up of films in our history,” said Tim Irwin, Artistic Director for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. “This year, our film selections exhibit the creativity, passion and imagination of filmmakers from around the world.”

After hosting the Heartland Film Festival on the south and north sides of Indianapolis for several years, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures announced today that it will move from the south side to the northwest side for the 21st Annual Heartland Film Festival. Films will continue to be shown at AMC Castleton Square 14 and now in its new location, AMC Traders Point 12. The 10-day festival will take place October 18-27. The decision, which organizers believe will increase opportunities for festival-goers, was made after the organization struggled to increase ticket sales and revenue in its south side venue, making it impossible to financially sustain a south side presence.

“Leaving the south side was an extremely difficult decision for us, but we needed to choose a location that could be financially sustainable and easily accessible off the highway from all parts of town.,” said Louise Henderson, Vice President of Operations for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. “We hope that both new audiences and existing fans of the Festival will find both locations to be attractive and convenient options.”

Film enthusiasts who can’t wait until the October Festival can attend the August 23 Sneak Peek fundraising event. The event will feature several previews of this year’s films, a live auction and an opportunity for donors to become a part of the Festival’s success. All proceeds from the evening benefit Heartland Truly Moving Pictures.

What: Heartland Festival Film Sneak Peek
When: Thursday, August 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The Old National Centre, Corinthian Room, 502 N. New Jersey St.
Cost: Tickets $85 per person; VIP Tickets $750 for a group of six (Limited to 10 Packages)
Buy Sneak Peek Event Tickets

Thanks to Lou Harry for posting the news at the IBJ A&E blog.

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Catch an Advance Research Screening of HFF Award Winner Ways to Live Forever at the Historic Artcraft Theatre!

Join us this Thursday, August 16 at 7:30 p.m. for:

Best of the Fest: An Occasional Film Series at the Historic Artcraft Theatre – Franklin, IN

Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation present an advance research screening of the award-winning family film Ways to Live Forever. The film is about Sam, who loves facts. Sam wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.

Ways to Live Forever was a 2010 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection and Audience Choice Winner. Don’t miss your chance to see a Heartland Film Festival favorite in this historic, fan-favorite venue! As an advance research screening audience member you will have the opportunity to provide valuable input to the studio at the film expands into a wider release!

To coincide with the film, a volunteer from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be at the event to answer questions and to share how you can help those with leukemia.

Click here to download the event flyer.

Cost: $5Purchase tickets

Check out video from our last event at the Historic Artcraft Theatre:

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TMPA Winner Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Now Available on DVD & Blu-ray

Dr. Seuss' The LoraxTruly Moving Picture Award winner Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is now available on DVD and Blu-ray!

From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, a 3D-CG adaptation of the classic tale of a forest guardian who shares the enduring power of hope.  The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real Truffula Tree, the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams.  To get it he must find the story of the Lorax, the acerbic yet charming character who fights to protect his world.

Check out the film’s official website.

Purchase the film at

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Heartland Presents Truly Moving Picture Award to Ron Howard

OSCAR®-winning director Ron Howard was in town this weekend to lead the Brickyard 400 field as the event’s official pace car driver.

Heartland President & CEO Jeff Sparks and Board Secretary Laura George (wife of former Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. President and CEO Tony George) met with Ron at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to present the acclaimed filmmaker with a Truly Moving Picture Award.

Ron has directed and/or produced multiple TMPA-winning films, including:

- Cinderella Man
- Changeling
- A Beautiful Mind
- Apollo 13
- Cast Away
- Cocoon

Thank you, Ron, for making films that truly make a difference!

Check out Kathy Kightlinger’s “Talk of Our Town” article at the IndyStar!

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TMPA Winner Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry Hits Theatres

A great documentary wakes you up to an important topic. That’s what artist Ai Weiwei has been doing his entire life with his evocative pictures that harshly questions the Chinese government. This year first time director, Alison Klayman, focused on this powerful man with the film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

The film never plays like a traditional biography documentary because the real triumph is how Ai Weiwei can inspire change in those who view his art. The film maintains a strong focus on what he’s been able to accomplish as an activist. He operates like a revolutionary through the way he can bring social justice through the means of Twitter and other forms of non-aggression.

The documentary becomes even timelier when during the course of filming, dramatic events occur to Ai Weiwei causing him to stop producing his art. All of the opposition is so powerful that it makes Ai Weiwei seem grander as he continues to fight for his home.

The Truly Moving Picture Award jury was blown away by this film. Beyond finding it inspirational and informative, one jury member said “this was probably the best documentary I’ve seen at Heartland.” Another member said it was “fascinating, frightening and totally compelling.” This is a film that can cause a lot of discussion about the role of non-violent protests and what one person can do in the face of injustice.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is rated “R” for some language and is now playing in select theatres across the country. The film’s release schedule is as follows:

July 27, Limited Release – New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C.

August 3, Expanded:

- Arlington
- Berkley
- Boston
- Chicago
- Dallas
- Houston
- Minneapolis
- Montclair
- Palo Alto
- San Diego
- Santa Ana
- San Jose
- Scottsdale
- Seattle

You can hear a podcast of Heartland Film Festival’s artistic director Tim Irwin interviewing Alison Klayman here.

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TMPA Winner Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Now Available on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD

Truly Moving Picture Award winner Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Video on Demand!

Stuffy government fisheries scientist Fred is asked by a fishing-obsessed Arab Sheik to do the seemingly impossible – introduce British salmon to the Wadis of the Yemen. Despite considerable trepidation, Fred is finally won over by the charismatic Arab, who reveals that fishing brings him closer to God, and he hopes it will have the same effect on his countrymen. Fred also begins to fall for the Sheik’s beautiful legal representative Harriet. So he rises to the sheik’s eccentric challenge, casting off his English reserve on a transformational journey of self-discovery and late-blooming love.

Check out the film’s official website.

Purchase or rent the film at

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Heartland Film Festival Voted Top Film Fest in NUVO’s Best of Indy 2012 Guide

Great films matter. Their impact on society is real–and desperately needed. We believe in the power of movies because we’ve seen what they can do.

Thank you, NUVO readers, for voting us Indy’s best film festival for the 13th consecutive year!

The 2012 Heartland Film Festival is right around the corner. Mark your calendars for October 18-27!

Check out the rest of the best by visiting NUVO’s Best of Indy 2012 website.

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Heartland President Remembers “Mrs. E”

Margot Eccles cared deeply and passionately about this city, the arts, but most of all people.

It was Margot’s love of film brought her into my life over 20 years ago. A mutual friend and Heartland Board member, Chet Browne, introduced us and I will be eternally grateful to him for making the connection.

People are well aware of the wonderful accomplishments Margot made in her incredible life, so I thought I would share three short stories that show her heart.

Bev Midaugh and I were talking earlier this week and she told me about her first trip to see a Heartland Film – by herself. She had some anxiety about going alone, but had made the trip to the theater. Pulling into the parking lot she started to have second thoughts, but just then she saw Margot—cane in hand, dressed in one of her amazing dresses, walking confidently to the theatre—by herself. Bev took courage in seeing Margot and followed her in. Now she thinks of Margot each time she goes to a movie or event by herself.

As we all know, young people always had Margot’s heart. She loved talking and challenging them. Two encounters with a couple of young staff come to mind. First, Jennie Greer:

Jennie had never formally met Mrs. Eccles, but knew who she was. Jennie had something to drop off at the Heartland office. Running behind she decided that, since she would only be a minute or two, she would park in the handicap parking spot.

As she reemerged from the errand she found Margot with her famous lipstick in hand writing a note on her windshield. She was horrified. She started to explain but Mrs. E stopped her and addressed the issue as only Margot could and walked away before Jennie could respond.

Totally undone, Jennie called me and asked what to do. I told her that writing a repentant note would be a start and that Margot would come round.

Wanting to do something more she turned to Joel Grynheim for help. Joel suggested that the Jewish Tradition of making an anonymous gift in repentance might be a way to soften Margot. So Jennie made a gift to a nonprofit dealing with handicap issues and wrote a note stating what she had done.  Margot was very impressed and as she always did – forgave and forgot.

And then there was Maryann Koopmans first meeting with Mrs. Eccles. A new Heartland staff member to Heartland, Maryann had not been given the heads up that no one called Mrs. E “Margot.” On her first encounter with her Maryanne reached out her hand and said, “Great to meet you Margot.”

Mrs. E, with her classic look that sank a thousand ships, responded. “You may call me Mrs. Eccles.” Maryann was undone. Not only did she never again called her Margot she also made sure that future new staff members in their orientation knew how to address Mrs. Eccles.

And as always Mrs. Eccles forgave and forgot.

Recently Maryann reflected on Mrs. Eccles in her blog. Here is what she wrote:

“As intimidating as dear Mrs. Eccles could be, she was truly warm and lovely and became a dear friend to me in my years at Heartland. When I announced to everyone I was moving to Ireland to marry one of our filmmakers, most thought I was crazy.

But Mrs. Eccles, in her uniquely sweet way, grabbed me in a hug before I left and, with tears in her eyes, said to me, ‘My Robert and I only had a few years. I hope you and Frank have many happy years together.’”

This kind farewell meant more to me than I can say.

And that was Mrs. E: A lover of people and this city, a friend among friends, challenging, determined, loyal and loving. We will all miss her.

Jeff Sparks
President & CEO, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures

Read more about the life of Mrs. Eccles at the Indy Star.

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