Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Blog

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Carmel High School Wins Inaugural Team High School Competition

On Saturday, May 19, we had our first ever pilot program for the Team High School Competition. The winning film, Rotating Clock, was submitted by Carmel High School. The film, about an unmotivated student and a guidance counselor, shows that history does not have to repeat itself:

Congratulations to the Carmel High School team! Thank you to all the judges and students for participating, to the Pike Performing Arts Center for hosting, and to Roberts Imaging for providing prizes and gift certificates for the competition. Make sure to check out the Roberts Imaging website and “like” Roberts Imaging on Facebook.

The Winning Team from Carmel High School. Judge Andie Redwine, filmmaker; producer/writer of Paradise Recovered, Narrative Feature Official Selection at the 2010 Heartland Film Festival, speaks to the students.

You can view more photos from the competition on the Heartland Truly Moving Pictures Facebook page.

Roberts Imaging

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Heartland Team High School Film Competition

Everyone here at Heartland is gearing up for what is sure to be an exciting event! If the High School Film Competition wasn’t enough, this year we’re releasing a group competition that isn’t messing around. Two small teams of up to five filmmakers from six local high schools have been invited to participate in this time-based challenge. The premise of the competition is to create a 3-minute film aligning with a theme that meets Heartland’s mission to promote positive change in people’s lives through the transformative power of film.

The six high schools that will be participating this year are:

  • Carmel High School
  • Decatur Central High School
  • Franklin Central High School
  • Heron High School
  • Lawrence North High School
  • Pike High School

The day the competition will begin Heartland will announce the theme of the film, a character that must be present in the film and a prop that must be used in the film! The students will have one week to create their film from that point. After the week is up, Heartland will review the films, and present them on May 19th at 10 A.M. at the Pike Performing Arts Center. Awards will be given for the following categories: Top 3 overall, Best Use of Theme and Best Use of Character.

The judges for this year’s competition will include:

  • Andie Redwine, filmmaker; producer/writer of Paradise Recovered, Narrative Feature Official Selection at the 2010 Heartland Film Festival
  • Filmmaker, video-artist, and photographer, Thomas Lewis teaches video production in Media Arts and Science at IUPUI.
  • One volunteer from the Heartland Film Festival screener committees and Truly Moving Picture Award jury will analysis each film specifically for how they align with Heartland’s mission.

Big thanks goes out to Roberts Camera, the Official Provider of the prizes for the winning teams!

Let’s wish these students good luck, because they are going to need it!

Join us on May 19th at the Pike Performing Arts Center at 9:30 a.m. for this FREE event!

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Movies to watch with Mom

Mom’s special day is just around the corner and we’ve got a list of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners and Heartland Film Festival films to watch with her for Mother’s Day. Whether she’s documentary, independent film or blockbuster lover, we’ve got a little bit of everything on this list.


This non-fiction film follows the lives of four babies from various parts of the world through their first year of life. Unlike any other film on our list of Truly Moving Picture Award-winning films, Babies carries no dialogue. We are invited to examine the worlds of these children in a very beautiful way – observation. Although we hear the parents speak to the children, there are no subtitles and even when we are listening to the voice of the mother in San Fransisco, we barely hear what she says. The entire perception of the film comes from observation. We are not forced into thinking a certain way. We simply watch how these children grow and develop throughout their first year of life bringing to light many different feelings and reactions.

Purchase Babies on DVD.
Add Babies to your Netflix queue.

The Blind Side

Teenager Michael Oher is surviving on his own, virtually homeless, when he is spotted on the street by Leigh Anne Tuohy. Learning that the young man is one of her daughter’s classmates, Leigh Anne insists that Michael—wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the dead of winter—come out of the cold. Without a moment’s hesitation, she invites him to stay at the Tuohy home for the night. What starts out as a gesture of kindness becomes much more as Michael becomes part of the Tuohy family despite the differences and backgrounds.

Purchase The Blind Side on Blu-ray.
Purchase The Blind Side on DVD.
Add The Blind Side to your Netflix queue.

Like Dandelion Dust

Joey lives an idyllic life with his parents on the coast of Florida. His days are spent playing with his cousins and sailing with his dad. It’s a perfect life until the day they receive a disturbing phone call: a stranger’s decision could tear Joey away from the comfort and security of the only home he’s ever known.

Purchase Like Dandelion Dust on DVD.
Add Like Dandelion Dust to your Netflix Queue.

A Shine of Rainbows

Maire O’Donnell has a smile that can light up the darkest room. Joyful, warm and caring, she adopts a young orphan named Tomas and whisks him off to a new home on remote Corrie Island, off the coast of Ireland. Maire shares with Tomas the joys of her island home and introduces him to the whimsical local folklore, including the secret of the seals, and teaches him that everything you need is inside of you- if you really look.  But Maire’s stern husband Alec silently disapproves of Tomas’ timidity and halting speech.

Purchase A Shine of Rainbows on DVD.
Watch A Shine of Rainbows on Netflix.

His & Hers

His & Hers is a creative documentary that combines observation and imagination to illustrate a universal love story. The film explores woman’s relationship with man by visiting moments from the lives of 70 female characters. Shot in the hallways, living rooms and kitchens across the Irish Midlands, the story moves sequentially from young to old to deliver a uniquely charming perspective into sharing life’s journey.

Watch His & Hers on Netflix.

What are some of your favorite films to watch with Mom?

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Update on 2011 HFF Grand Prize Winner Red Dog

Red DogRed Dog, based on a legendary true story, 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.

Since winning the Heartland Film Festival $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature Award last October, Red Dog’s success hasn’t slowed down.

- Last November Red Dog won big at the Jameson Inside Film (IF) Awards, the people’s choice awards for Australian film. The movie took home six awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Direction (Kriv Stenders), Best Cinematography (Geoff Hall), Best Actor (Josh Hall), Best Script (Daniel Taplitz) and Best Music (Cezary Skubiszewski).

- Red Dog continued its native success at the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards. AFI awarded Red Dog the Samsung Australian Academy of Cinema and Television (AACT) Award for Best Film, as well as the AFI Members’ Choice Award.

- Beyond its critical success, Red Dog was the year’s top-grossing film in Australia, making more than $21 million at the box office. Upon its home video release late last year, the film quickly became the best-selling DVD of 2011 and is now Australia’s top-selling DVD of all-time.

- Koko, the canine actor who played the film’s title role, won Best Dog in a Foreign Film at the Golden Collar Awards. The award ceremony took place on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Check out Koko’s acceptance speech:

- Red Dog made its theatrical debut in the United Kingdom on Feb. 24, opening to rave reviews.

- Plans have recently been announced by Australian producers to adapt Red Dog into a stage musical. Whether Koko will sing or not has not yet been determined.

HTMP would like to congratulate Red Dog on its continued success. Visit the official Red Dog website to learn more about the film.

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High School Film Competition Underway!

We’ve recently started to get our High School Film Competition submissions. The competition is definitely tight! But the deadline hasn’t arrived yet, and we want to remind everyone if they haven’t sent their film in yet, that they should definitely start thinking about it. The deadline is June 1st, 2012. Everyone at Heartland can’t wait to see what all of you have come up with!

Need a little inspiration? Check out the 2011 HSFC Grand Prize winner, Sacrifices of My Father:

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Chimpanzee is a new Truly Moving Picture Award winner!

We are excited to announce that the upcoming documentary Chimpanzee is the latest film to become a Truly Moving Picture Award winner. Tim Allen narrates the gorgeous adventure of a baby chimpanzee named Oscar and how he grew up in the dangerous world of the jungle. The movie is able to capture some of the most authentic moments of Oscar’s life like how he started to explore and struggled to break open those delicious nuts.

What our jury really responded to was the emotional connections between the chimpanzees in the tribe. When it seemed that Oscar would be lost and alone, there was a shocking turn of events that even surprised the experts. Everyone in the jury was awed by the natural beauty of the film from the cute little chimps to the glorious massive waterfalls. Chimpanzee is a film that was able to depict a new sort of family while giving an educational insight to a fascinating creature’s lifestyle that will inspire all ages through its wondrous images. Catch the film when it hits theaters on April 20!

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Waste Land Latest Screening at JCC

Waste LandOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For the people of Jardim Gramacho it’s even more than that—it’s their livelihood.

A 2010 HFF Crystal Heart winner, Waste Land follows popular artist Vik Muniz as he travels to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest garbage dump near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Muniz photographs “catadores,” people who make a living by picking recyclable materials out of the trash. We learn that the “catadores” are either born into this poverty-stricken lifestyle or pick as an alternative to selling drugs or prostituting themselves.

Six “catadores” repurpose trash into giant murals of themselves at Muniz’s studio, of which photographic prints are eventually sold for tens of thousands to of dollars at European auctions. As the film reveals more about these “catadores” we experience their everyday lives first-hand, feel their despair, and swell at their successes.

Waste Land showcases the transformative power of art and its affect on the human spirit. It challenges us to recognize those who are overlooked, both in our everyday lives and abroad. It makes us aware of other ways of life and how our own lifestyle may need adjusting.

On March 12 Heartland Truly Moving Pictures screened the documentary at the Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis. The crowd was moved by the film and discussed their reactions with each other immediately afterwards:

Learn more about Waste Land at the film’s official website.

Thank you to everyone who attended the screening. View our calendar of events to learn more about upcoming HTMP screenings.

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Find A Way to Win The Way!

Over here at Heartland we were fortunate enough to get a few extra copies of the film, The Way, sent our way. This movie is about the trials and tribulations that Tom, played by Martin Sheen, has to overcome during his journey along the Camino de Santiago. A journey he is continuing to honor his son, who desired to complete the walk, but died along the way.

If you would like to win a copy of this fantastic film, you just have to answer a simple question in the comments below.

What is the greatest journey you have ever embarked on?

Start sharing, because the contest ends at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 28th! We will select one winner at random after that date and contact them via email.

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Kony 2012 – The Power of Film, One Way or Another

Jason Russell, one of the three men who started the Invisible Children phenomenon with their trip first to Sudan then Uganda in 2003 – and made a film about it – released a new video focused specifically on Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), creating a call to action for him to be found and brought to justice in 2012. In one week, the 30-minute video has been seen over 74 million times.

The slickly-produced video has attracted a lot of comment, with both detractors and supporters weighing in. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the content of the video, you can’t deny that it has gotten a lot of attention – and that speaks directly to the power that film has in our culture. Whether used for good or ill, transformation or derision, film, and in this case, film combined with the power of social media, has gotten the world’s attention.  It has gotten people talking and thinking.

Did you care, before last week, about the LRA? Not many have even thought about it, if they ever knew who they were. You now either have an opinion or are looking up the pages of videos created in response, are reading blogs, or getting Tweets about it.

Heartland Truly Moving Pictures believes in the same thing: the power of film. We believe the transformative power of film can introduce you to new ideas, inspire you to take action, get you talking. The accumulated effect of many people transformed by the power of film can create great change in the world. And that is why Heartland has existed, for 21 years and counting.

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2011 HFF Award Winner Fambul Tok Continues to Inspire

Imagine years of civil war filled with countless atrocities committed against you and your people. Beheadings. Rape. Enslavement. Genocide.  Then imagine the conflict ends and the perpetrators of those acts live amongst you, granted amnesty by the state government.

Could you physically live among these people? Could you mentally handle the daily roller coaster of fear, sorrow and anger? Could you even fathom the idea of forgiveness?

These were all among the questions that were discussed at a March 9 screening of Fambul Tok, a 2011 HFF Award-winning documentary film that tells the story of healing in post-conflict Sierra Leone through the intimate stories of aggressors and victims.

Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level – succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals – and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

Last weekend attendees gathered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, in Indianapolis, to discuss the film in small groups before joining the film’s executive producer, Libby Hoffman, for a question and answer session via Skype:

Fambul Tok’s radical notion of reconciliation touched everyone who attended. If the villagers of Sierra Leone can forgive each other, then we too can forgive in our everyday lives.

Through a partnership with Emerging Filmmakers, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures is pleased to announce another opportunity to experience Fambul Tok. Join us on March 25 at the Georgetown 14 Cinemas. The screening starts at 3 p.m. with a discussion to follow. Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased here.

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