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Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Blog

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Celebrate July Fourth with TMPA Winner Yankee Doodle Dandee

After the fireworks are lit and the burgers are gone, how are you going to keep the Spirit of Freedom alive this Fourth of July?

By watching Truly Moving Picture Award winner Yankee Doodle Dandy, that’s how!

Beyond introducing audiences to transformative independent films and filmmakers through the Heartland Film Festival, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures also honors theatrically released motion pictures that express the positive values of life with our Truly Moving Picture Award. The TMPA is regularly bestowed to modern films, but classic films dating all the way back to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921) are also winner of the TMPA.

Yankee Doodle Dandy, the classic musical from 1942, stars Hollywood legend James Cagney as George M. Cohan, the musical genius behind such American standards as “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “The Grand Old Rag ” (later retitled “The Grand Old Flag”). Cohan began on vaudeville at the age of 13, performing in shows and honing his craft. Over time, Cohan earned accolade upon accolade for his original, exciting compositions, including “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “So Long, Mary”. At his pinnacle, Cohan was the first performer from popular theater to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Cagney, known as one of Hollywood’s original tough guys from his role in gangster films such as Public Enemy and The Roaring Twenties, uses Yankee Doodle Dandy to showcase his often overlooked talent for song and dance.

Directed by Michael Curtiz, Yankee Doodle Dandy was meant to elicit patriotic fervor during World War II. As you’ll see for yourself, the film still packs the same emotional punch and pride today as it did back then!

Right now, if you purchase the DVD through Amazon.com, you will receive a bonus two-day digital rental of the film. Instant patriotism!

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Record-Breaking Submission Numbers for 2012 Heartland Film Festival

Record-Breaking Submissions

It has been incredible to see the submissions pouring in over the past few months, and really spiking here at the end as deadlines loom. In 2011 we broke our previous submission record with a grand total of 858 entries. That momentum has carried over to 2012 as we currently have over 1,150 entries (consisting of roughly 150 Narrative Features, 200 Documentary Features, and 800 Short Films).

We’ve seen a tremendous increase across the board, but particularly in the Short Film category. Now that we are officially an Academy Award qualifying festival for short films, I suspect we’ve generated a great deal more attention than in the past.

The main reason, I believe, for the overall increase in submissions, is the positive word of mouth that spreads in the filmmaking community. Each year we bring several filmmakers to Indianapolis for the Heartland experience, and dozens more travel to Indy on their own. Our Hoosier hospitality truly sets us apart, and this year I’ve heard from a great deal of filmmakers saying that they were told by friends that they had to submit to Heartland, and make it a priority as they make their way across the festival circuit. It’s humbling and exciting to see such a response, even as it makes our programming jobs that much harder as we have to narrow down the field.

Tim Irwin
Tim Irwin, Artistic Director
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures

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Save the Date: Heartland Film Festival Sneak Peek Event

Click to enlargeAugust 23, 2012 – 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sneak a peek of our Award-winning films and special events that will be featured at the 21st annual Heartland Film Festival!

Evening includes hors d-oeuvres, cash bar, and live auction filled with unique experience packages.

Old National Centre
502 N. New Jersey
Indianapolis, IN 46204

More information to come!

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The Magic of Belle Isle is a Truly Moving Picture Award winner!

The Magic of Belle IslandBelle Isle is a place where people can come and relax during the summer. For the O’Neils they were going to have a pleasant break from school until a new neighbor arrived. Monte Wildhorn (Morgan Freeman) is a retired western author who hasn’t hasn’t had a book in print in years. Stubborn and grumpy, he spends all day in his wheelchair drinking his liquor.

All Monte had to do was to watch the dog, but the town keeps trying to draw him in. There’s the super friendly Al Kaiser (Fred Willard) who brings introduces him to the neighbors, the mentally challenged Carl who needs a friend, and of course the O’Neils.

Willow, Finnegan and Flora are the three O’Neil girls who are curious about the new person in their town. Willow is frustrated about her parent’s divorce and Finnegan wants to learn how to have an imagination. Then there’s the mother (Virginia Madsen) who would love the company of a new friend.

The Truly Moving Picture Award jury was really dazzled by the positivity in this film. They said this is a perfect movie for families during the summer. Seeing the transformation in Monte’s behavior from a judgmental sourpuss to a warm mentor was inspiring for the whole group.

Director Rob Reiner is a familiar face with Heartland thanks to his film last year, Flipped, where he visited Indianapolis with the star of that movie and Belle Isle, Madeline Carroll. Our jury felt this movie fit in perfectly with the feel-good movies he has been making lately.

The Magic of Belle Isle is currently available on Video On Demand and will be hitting theaters across the country on July 6th. It is rated PG for “mild thematic elements and language including some suggestive comments.”

Visit The Magic of Belle Isle Truly Moving Picture Award page.

Visit The Magic of Belle Isle Facebook page.

Visit The Magic of Belle Isle official website.

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Moonrise Kingdom is a Truly Moving Picture Award winner!

Moonrise KingdomWes Anderson films have always been for a more general audience than one might expect. His style which includes bright pastel colors, precocious dialog and delicate camera work seems like this could only work for a niche group of filmgoers. Yet every movie has a warm sense of family around them and how through the dysfunction there can be love and connection.

His latest movie, Moonrise Kingdom, may be the most Wes Anderson Wes Anderson movie. Yet it’s also the one that can appeal to the most people. At a New England summer camp in the 1960s, young Sam runs away from his Khaki Scout troop to meet up with the love of his life, Suzy, everything goes amuck. Not willing to lose a kid on his watch, the troop leader (Edward Norton) plans a rescue mission with the other troops. Meanwhile Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) are dealing with the local police captain (Bruce Willis) to try and find their daughter.

Moonrise Kingdom

Through all of the panic, the audience wants nothing more than for the Sam and Suzy to be okay. Due to their age, they are awkward around each other in a tender way. They are very genuine with their affection for each other to the point where others around them are envious about their purity.

Our jury was entertained by the film’s quirky humor and amusing characters. The central story was one that can be inspiring through its depiction of adolescence and the theme of looking for someone in the world who can understand you. Whether that is one person like for Sam and Suzy or from your family or through a community like the scouts.

Moonrise Kingdom is playing select theaters across the country including the Keystone Landmark Art Cinema in Indianapolis, Ind. It is rated PG-13 for mild sexual content and smoking.

Check out this “making of” featurette from Focus Features:

Visit the Moonrise Kingdom Truly Moving Picture Award page.

Visit the interactive, official Moonrise Kingdom website.

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Disney•Pixar’s Brave is a Truly Moving Picture Award winner!

BraveEvery year there is an additional treat for families between holidays and birthdays: the new Disney•Pixar movie. This is the studio that has dazzled us with the adventures of beloved toys, a robot trying to save the planet and a fish that will do anything to get his son back.

This year Pixar takes us to the gorgeous landscape of ancient Scotland to focus in on one princess who wants to change her fate. Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is tired of being bossed around by her mother. The Queen (Emma Thompson) wants Merida to behave like a proper princess not to ride through the woods shooting targets with her box and arrow.

When the Queen brings forth possible suitors from across the kingdom to compete to win her daughter’s hand in marriage, Merida rebels by finding a mysterious old woman who crafts a magic spell. This spell could tear Merida’s family apart and damage the entire kingdom. Time is running out for Merida to reverse what she did and learn more about her family in the process.

Brave won the Truly Moving Picture Award for many reasons, but our jury was particularly impressed with the relationship between Merida and the Queen. This was a film that encouraged independence while recognizing the respect that comes from understanding each other. Unlike other princess tales, this wasn’t about finding a Prince Charming to make everything okay. This refreshing take on the genre fit with modern sensibilities and the older storytelling traditions.

Disney-Pixar films are always able to appeal to more than one audience. Parents will really respond to the roles of the King (Billy Connolly) and Queen and how they are able to teach to and learn from their children. Older children can reflect on the struggle of identity and her enthusiastic hope from Merida. Younger kids (and everyone really) can enjoy the joyful humor from Merida’s troublesome younger brothers.

Once again Disney•Pixar created a film full of imagination and creativity with wonderful characters that can be enjoyed by all ages. Brave is currently playing in theaters all across the country and is rated PG for some scary action and rude humor.

Visit the Brave Truly Moving Picture Award page.

Visit the official Brave website.

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Full Results of the Pilot Team High School Film Competition

Team High School Film CompetitionFive schools. Six categories. One theme.

A new extension of the Heartland Film Festival High School Film Competition, the inaugural Team High School Film Competition challenged five teams of students from local high schools to create a three-minute film aligning with a theme (“passion vs. apathy”) that meets Heartland’s mission to promote positive change in people’s lives through the transformative power of film.

Beyond the theme, the film had to contain a character (either a Senior who is a varsity athlete but won’t play sports in college, a Junior who is struggling with grades and dislikes school, or a Freshman who has the highest GPA in their class but has not had to work very hard to get their grades yet) and a prop (an orange).

Participating schools included:
- Carmel High School
- Decatur Central High School
- Herron High School
- Lawrence North High School
- Pike High School

Team High School Film Competition

On Saturday, May 19, students from all five schools gathered at Pike Performing Arts Center to participate in a workshop, see their films on the big screen, and collect their awards.

The workshop, “How Can We Improve Our Film Creation Process,” was led by Andie Redwine, the writer/producer of Paradise Recovered (2010 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection). After the workshop, Andie teamed up with two other judges to view and critique the students’ films: Thomas Lewis (a filmmaker, video artist and photographer who teaches video production in Media Arts and Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), and Sandy Pagano, a Heartland Film Festival screener and Truly Moving Picture Award Jury volunteer.

Roberts Camera is the Official Provider for the Heartland Film Festival High School Film Competitiion

After thoughtful consideration, the judges presented awards across six categories:

1st Place (Prize: Trophy and Roberts Camera gift certificate)
Winner: Carmel High School – Rotating Clock
A film about a frustrated student and a distracted guidance counselor that sets up the future where history does not repeat itself.

Carmel High School - 1st Place



2nd Place (Prize: Prize: Trophy and Roberts Camera gift certificate)
Winner: Lawrence North High School – Passion
A film about an aspiring baseball player, who on the verge of signing his letter of intent decides to follow his passion and instead become a ping pong player.

2nd Place - Lawrence North High School



3rd Place (Prize: Prize: Trophy and Roberts Camera gift certificate)
Winner: Carmel High School – Expectations
A film about a girl choosing between her passions of a future in soccer or culinary school.

3rd Place - Carmel High School



Best Use of Character (Prize: Trophy)
Winner: Lawrence North High School – Passion
A film about an aspiring baseball player, who on the verge of signing his letter of intent decides to follow his passion and instead become a ping pong player.

2nd Place - Lawrence North High School


Best Application of Theme (Prize: Trophy)
Winner: Decatur Central High School – A Small Gesture
A film about and athlete who has lost her passion only to have it restored through a small act of kindness.

Decatur Central High School


Best Application of Prop
Winner: Herron High School – Blue

Herron High School


Congratulations to all the winners! The top three films will be shown during the High School Film Festival grouping at the Heartland Film Festival in the fall.

Roberts Camera is the Official Provider for the Heartland Film Festival High School Film Competitiion

Thank you to Roberts Camera, the official provider for the Heartland High School Film Competitions.

Call for Entries: High School Film Competition Submission Deadline July 1

The Team Competition may have been a local event, but the Heartland Film Festival High School Film Competition is open to all high school student short films and is still accepting submissions! Hurry, the deadline is July 1!

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The Yankles hit a home run, score distribution deal

The Yankles FlyerFrom Zev Brooks, executive producer of 2010 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection The Yankles:

“I wanted to pass on the news that The Yankles movie, winner of nine film festival awards, was just released by Magnolia Pictures across all home video platforms in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean Basin.  It is available on Netflix, at Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon.com, iTunes and other online retailers, as well as cable/satellite pay-per-view. There is also a soundtrack available.

I truly believe The Yankles inclusion in the 2010 Heartland Film Festival gave the film great credibility and was of invaluable assistance in helping us obtain distribution. You understand how difficult it is for an independent film to get distribution, much less from a major player like Magnolia Pictures. We are thrilled at this opportunity (finally achieved after a long festival run) and thank the Heartland Film Festival for the support.”

Congratulations to Zev and The Yankles team! Visit www.yankles.com for more information.

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Movies to watch with Dad

As a follow up to “Movies to watch with Mom,” the staff of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures has come up with another great list of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners and Heartland Film Festival films to watch with Dad for Father’s Day:

Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon
2010 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection

It’s 1980, and 11-year-old Moon Blake has spent most of his life hiding out in the forests of Alabama with his father, an anti-government radical who clings to conspiracy theories and trusts no one. Moon’s life suddenly changes when the land is sold and his father dies. He has never known any truth but his Papa, and so he tries to follow his last instructions: make your way to Alaska where “people could still make a living off trapping.”

Purchase Alabama Moon on DVD or Blu-ray.
Watch Alabama Moon on Netflix.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award winner

A year after his father died in the World Trade Center on what Oskar calls “The Worst Day,” he is determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears. Now, as Oskar crosses the five New York boroughs in quest of the missing lock – encountering an eclectic assortment of people who are each survivors in their own way – he begins to uncover unseen links to the father he misses, to the mother who seems so far away from him and to the whole noisy, dangerous, discombobulating world around him.

Purchase Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on DVD or Blu-ray.
Watch Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on Netflix.


Beginners

Beginners
Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award winner

Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who — following 44 years of marriage — came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized and tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him.

Purchase Beginners on DVD or Blu-ray.
Watch Beginners on Netflix.


Sacrifices of My Father

Sacrifices of My Father
2011 Heartland High School Film Competition Grand Prize Winner

Sacrifices of My Father is a short documentary addressing the courageous acts of selflessness and determination Miguel Lopez Sr. embodies for his family’s financial security. Working cities away, he endures obstacles in a minimum wage job to solely support his family of four.

Watch Sacrifices of My Father Online at Vimeo


Buck

Buck
Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award winner

This richly textured and visually stunning film follows Buck Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real-life “horse-whisperer”, he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses – and people – with his understanding, compassion and respect. The animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life.

Purchase Buck on DVD or Blu-ray.
Watch Buck on Netflix.


Warrior

Warrior
Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award winner

Two brothers face the fight of a lifetime – and the wreckage of their broken family – within the brutal, high-stakes world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting. An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. When Brendan’s unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives.

Purchase Warrior on DVD or Blu-ray.
Watch Warrior on Netflix.


Somebody's Hero

Somebody’s Hero
2011 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection

An average guy in New York City unexpectedly foils a robbery while wearing a Man America superhero costume. After the security video hits the news and causes a media frenzy, he gets convinced to keep playing the part of a superhero. A problem when you have no superpowers!

Somebody’s Hero will be available starting on Father’s Day – June 17, 2012, from Brainstorm Media. It can be watched On Demand and online, via: InDemand, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Amazon.com, Available on iTunes, Blockbuster.com, Microsoft Network (Xbox), AT&T U-verse, Sony Entertainment Network (Video Unlimited & PlayStation), Youtube/Google Play and Vudu.com. For a complete list visit www.SomebodysHeroMovie.com.


What are your all-time favorite movies to watch with Dad?

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Updates on Waste Land, Red Dog

Waste Land – Jardim Gramacho Landfill Closes

2010 Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award-winner Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump. At Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Muniz photographs an eclectic band of catadores, self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they re-create photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both dignity and despair as the catadores begin to re-imagine their lives.

In the film, Muniz helped a handful of these catadores reimagine their lives through art. Now everyone who relied on Jardim Gramacho must reimagine their lives through the closing of the landfill. The catadores’ home and source of livelihood was closed on the weekend of June 2-3 by the local government. All trash is now being redirected to Seropedica, Rio de Janeiro’s next-generation dump. Roughly 1,700 strong, the catadores will receive a lump-sum payout and job training, but their future is still a big unknown. Read more at Yahoo! Finance.

Red Dog – Film Picked Up for North American Distribution

2011 Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize Award winner for Best Narrative Feature, Red Dog, continues its already successful post-festival run. The Australian film has been picked up for North American distribution by ARC Entertainment.

Based on a legendary true story, Red Dog tells the tale of a hitchhiking hound that united a remote mining community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master in the 1970′s. Read more at Screen Daily.

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