Search
Search

About the Heartland Film Festival

10 days of independent, international, enlightening film

Voted the top local film festival by NUVO readers, the Heartland Film Festival is an Indianapolis staple. And as an Academy Awards®-qualifying festival within the Short Films category, Heartland is widely respected in the independent film community. Offering 275 film screenings, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions and special events, Heartland gives you the opportunity to see films from around the world and meet the filmmakers who craft them. Whether you come to 100 screenings or just 1, Heartland welcomes you!

The Heartland Film Festival serves to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. The Festival started in 1992 as a small event in Indianapolis and has expanded over time to become one of the fastest growing film festivals in the country.

The 22nd Annual Heartland Film Festival will be held in Indianapolis, IN from October 17-26, 2013. Filmmakers participating in the Festival attend numerous screenings of their films and other special events designed to allow interaction between filmmakers and audiences.

Each October, the Heartland Film Festival screens independent films from around the world and presents cash prizes to the Festival’s top-judged submissions. Read more about the types of awards and films to see at the Heartland Film Festival:

Festival Awards

The Festival Awards are given every year to a selected group of independent filmmakers for demonstrating excellence in filmmaking and for best meeting Heartland’s mission. Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Narrative Shorts and Documentary Films are eligible for Heartland Film Festival Awards.

Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature

The Grand Prize Award for Best Narrative Feature recognizes the most outstanding Narrative Feature.

Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature

The Best Documentary Feature Award recognizes the most outstanding Documentary Feature.

Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short Film

The Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short recognizes the most outstanding Narrative Short. The Heartland Film Festival is a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® in the Short Films Category! This means that the winner of the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short Film will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short Film

The Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short recognizes the most outstanding Documentary Short.

Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards

The Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award is given every year to two student filmmakers for demonstrating excellence in filmmaking and for best meeting Heartland’s mission. The Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards are underwritten by The Stewart Foundation.

Best U.S. Premiere Awards

Introduced in 2013, the Best U.S. Premiere Awards are given to four films: one Narrative Feature, one Documentary Feature, one Narrative Short and one Documentary Short. The winners are also eligible for other Festival Awards and Audience Choice Awards.

Audience Choice Awards

The Audience Choice Awards are given to four films – one Narrative Feature, one Documentary Feature, one Narrative Short and one Documentary Short – that screening audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system.

High School Film Competition Winners

High School Film Competition short film submissions are judged on criteria similar to that of the Heartland Film Festival, including artistic excellence, technical merit and representation of Heartland’s organizational mission. Five films are chosen to receive cash prizes and more, including some time on the big screen at the Festival! Learn more.

2013 Screening Venues

  • AMC Castleton Square 14
    6020 East 82nd Street – Indianapolis, IN 46250
    (Friday, Oct. 18 – Saturday, Oct. 26)
  • AMC Showplace Traders Point 12
    5920 West 86th Street – Indianapolis, IN 46278
    (Saturday, Oct. 19 – Saturday, Oct. 26)
  • The Theater at the Wheeler Arts Community
    1035 Sanders Street #111 – Indianapolis (Fountain Square), IN 46203
    (Wednesday, Oct. 23 – Saturday, Oct. 26)