Posts tagged with 2011 heartland film festival

“Celebrating Three Faith Traditions through Art” Gallery Opening Event to Feature Heartland Film Festival Documentary

March 7 event at JCC Indianapolis to showcase Jewish, Buddhist and Christian artists, 2011 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection God in the Box.

God in the Box director Nathan Lang will be joining us for a Q&A via Skype following the screening!

As an arts organization with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures has once again partnered with the JCC for a special art gallery opening event.

March 7 marks the opening of the art gallery “Celebrating Three Faith Traditions through Art,” which explores the influence of faith on the creative process. Throughout history, religion to varying agrees has inspired artists, whether overtly as a motif or as a subconscious expression of faith.


Reception for the art exhibit, “Three Faith Traditions Celebrated Through Art”
Thursday, March 7, 5:30-7:00 p.m., JCC Art Gallery – Free and open to the public

Meet the artists and enjoy complimentary refreshments. The exhibit features “ketubot,” elaborately decorated marriage contracts, by Jewish fine artist Suzy Friedman. Brazilian painter Yohana Junker is inspired by her Christian faith to create expressive, bold canvases. Her work invites viewers to explore ages-old existential questions about life. Buddhist artist Melissa Parrott Quimby sculpts colorful flowers and organic forms that she arranges into mystical landscapes. Art exhibit runs March 5 through April 26.


Heartland Roadshow: “God in the Box” Film Screening
Thursday, March 7, 7:00 p.m – $5 general public / $3 JCC Members and Heartland Film Society Members

Immediately following the art exhibit reception, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures in partnership with the JCC will screen director Nathan Lang’s thought-provoking documentary, God In The Box (2011 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection) in the JCC’s Laikin Auditorium. The film takes an unusual approach to capture the nation’s pulse on religious views. “What does God look like?” “What does God mean to you?” People from all walks of life stepped into the filmmaker’s box (a portable studio) and recorded their thoughts in response to these and other questions. The cross-country journey with the box yielded surprising results about current interpretations of God that are an overall reflection on today’s culture. Interviews with religious leaders from multiple faiths frame the filmmaker’s findings to make for an informative and entertaining film.

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.

A Journey in My Mother’s Footsteps to open in LA & NY!

One of my personal favorite things about the Festival is receiving all of the great news from filmmakers about various releases of their films after the Festival closes. We’re happy to share with you that the documentary A Journey in My Mother’s Footsteps, a 2011 official selection opens in Los Angeles this Friday at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in New York on December 2 exclusively at the Quad Cinema! Don’t live in LA or NYC? We’re hearing a buzz that more cities might follow!

First time filmmaker Dina Rosenmeier lovingly chronicles the life of her 75- year old mother, Jessie Rosenmeier. Jessie’s life has been an extraordinary one dedicated to the education, safety and quality of life of thousands of children around the globe primarily in third world impoverished countries. This film is exactly that. Inspirational and uplifting, the film and Jessie’s life exemplify the power of one and the value of caring for one another.

We hope that you can make it to one of these premieres for the film to keep the conversation about this film going!

Works in Progress now available on DVD!

Our friends with Works in Progress have let us know that their film is now available on DVD through Amazon!  The 2011 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection is a remarkably witty romantic comedy that deftly blends the love of art with the art of love.

Inspirational, funny, poignant and romantic, Works in Progress centers on two lifelong friends and artists, John and Patrick, who move together from their rural roots to the big city in hopes of making it in the art world. They quickly attract the attention of an unscrupulous art dealer, who convinces them to compromise their artistic integrity for financial gain. During a gallery tour, John sees and is attracted to the beautiful, but lonely, Abbey. Despite her harsh criticism of their work, John perseveres and the two begin to date. Patrick and a friend hack into Abbey’s online diary to help John win her heart. The secrets that Patrick shares first strengthen, then undermine, the love and trust between John and Abbey. In the end she realizes that they are both Works in Progress.

Head over to Amazon and snag your copy today!

The Way is a deserving Truly Moving Picture Award winner!

There is a story behind how The Way came to be the 2011 Heartland Film Festival’s Opening Night Event, and it starts just over a year ago. Last year, right before the 2010 Heartland Film Festival, producer David Alexanian dropped a copy of the film off to Ray Mills, the Festival Artistic Director. David had just come from the Toronto International Film Festival, and was hoping we could squeeze it into our line-up. It was impossible for us to adjust our schedule at that time, but it ended up working out in the end!

We had the TMPA jury screen the film, so that when it was picked up for distribution we could give it the attention it deserved. The jury loved the film. They appreciated the rolling landscapes and the meditative pace, but especially the story of a father yearning to reconnect with his estranged son in a powerful way. Bolstered by strong performances and a fitting soundtrack, they felt that it perfectly matched the requirements of a Truly Moving Picture Award winner.

Then came the wait. As their distribution timeline became clearer, it started looking like we might be able to really love on the film in a big way. As Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez and David Alexanian plotted their bus tour across the country, it all gelled perfectly and we had the chance to highlight the TMPA winner at our Opening Night Event!

Indy friends – If you weren’t able to attend one of the two sold-out showings during the Festival, be sure to catch it at either the AMC Castleton Square 14 theater or the AMC Showplace 17 theater on the south side. Coincidence that it’s playing at both of our Festival theaters? I think not!

Crime After Crime to make television debut on OWN!

Winner of the 2011 Best Documentary Feature and the Audience Choice Award, Crime After Crime is making its world wide television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) next Thursday November 3 at 9 PM/8 PM Central!

The film, produced and directed by Yoav Potash, is the exclusive documentary on the dramatic legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, a woman imprisoned for over a quarter century due to her connection to the murder of the man who abused her. She finds her only hope for freedom when two rookie attorneys with no background in criminal law step forward to take her case.

The film aims to not only move audiences but also to spark change. When the film was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January, California was the lone state with a law allowing incarcerated survivors of abuse to petition for their freedom. Now organizers in at least five other states are using the film to advocate for similar reforms, with New Yorks proposed Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act leading the pack.

Crime After Crime is channeling this movement through Debbies Campaign, a nonprofit project to help prevent domestic violence and wrongful incarceration. As part of Debbies Campaign, the filmmaker and OWN have prepared a Home Viewing & Community Action Guide, encouraging families, houses of worship, domestic violence organizations, and many other community groups to view the film together.

For more information visit the Crime After Crime Official Site and the OWN Official Site.

Crystal Heart Award Winner headed to theaters!

After a solid run at the 2011 Heartland Film Festival, The Hammer hits theaters Thursday October 27!  This Crystal Heart Award winner won over Festival goers with the story of Matt Hamill, the first deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Championship. Raised among those with the ability to hear, Matt later finds himself no less an outsider amidst the Deaf Community. Through sheer determination, he uses his perceived disability as an asset to beat the odds.

With screenings all over the country, there’s bound to be a location near you. Head to The Hammer Official Website for screening locations.

Highlights from the 2011 Heartland Film Festival

Now that the dust has settled a little, we have some time to think back and reflect on the past 10 days. So many memories were created and we have a lot to celebrate as we move forward into our 21st year:

•    127 filmmakers and special guests were on hand for this year’s festival.  Many of them recognized Indianapolis as one of the best film festivals in the world, crediting the talent of the team, Hoosier hospitality and the passion and commitment of everyone involved.

•    Actor Martin Sheen and actor-director son Emilio Estevez were on hand for the Heartland Film Festival debut of their movie The Way.

•    Kurt Kuenne, director of the fan favorite Validation, returned to Heartland with his feature length film, Shuffle. Actor TJ Thyne was at the closing event to interact with moviegoers.

•    Well-known directors, such as Angelo Pizzo (Hoosiers, Rudy) and Corbin Bernsen (Psych), were in attendance throughout the Festival.

•    More than 60 sponsors contributed to the success and growth of the 20th annual Heartland Film Festival.

•    The Festival raised more than $20,000, with philanthropic dollars continuing to come in following the event.

These are just a few of our highlights. What were some of yours?

2011 HFF Audience Choice Award Winners: The people have spoken!

After a tight race for the past 10 days, we finally have our Audience Choice Award winners! Congratulations to all!

Audience Choice Award – Narrative Feature

Red Dog

It’s night in the Western Australian outback, a dying dog lies in the backroom of the town’s only pub. Slowly, as word spreads, the local community gathers at the pub. Part vigil, part wake, part celebration, they swap stories of Red Dog’s epic life, travels and his rise to fame.

Audience Choice Award – Documentary Feature

Crime After Crime

Crime After Crime
tells the dramatic story of the legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence. Over 26 years in prison could not crush the spirit of this determined African-American woman, despite the wrongs she suffered, first at the hands of a duplicitous boyfriend who beat her and forced her into prostitution, and later by prosecutors who used the threat of the death penalty to corner her into a life behind bars for her connection to the murder of her abuser.

Audience Choice Award – Short

Sun City Picture House

Sun City Picture House is the story of Rapheal Louigene a young Haitian man who loves movies. After watching the last of the old colonial movie theaters destroyed in the earthquake he enlists the help of a priest and two young aid workers to build Haiti’s only movie theater on a hill above a tent city.

Festival Education Opportunities

The great thing about filmmakers is how incredibly enthusiastic they are about sharing their knowledge with others. Luckily we are able to harness their insights and creativity each year during the Heartland Film Festival and make sure our audiences get some valuable time with these individuals.

We are excited to announce our education opportunities during the 2011 Festival. They are not to be missed so be sure to reserve your free tickets today!

Watch Carefully! A panel of experts discusses the finer points of moviegoing.

Indianapolis Marion County Public Library
Clowes Auditorium

Wednesday, October 12
7:00 PM, Free

Join 2011 Crystal Heart Award-winning filmmakers David Holechek and Afarin Eghbal along with 2011 Heartland Film Festival Shorts Programmer Julie Landrum and WFYI Critic Matt Socey as they break down a series of clips, demonstrating the many different ways to see a film. After attending, who knows how many different perspectives you’ll be able to enjoy the 2011 Heartland Film Festival?

Discussions with Filmmakers, A Focus on Shorts Filmmaking

AMC Showplace 17
Monday, October 17
7:30 PM, Free

Short films are amazing for many reasons, but they don’t always get the platform for recognition that feature length films receive. We gathered a panel of filmmakers with experience in making short films so that our audiences can learn how they tell the stories that they tell so well.

Join Zaid Abu Hamdan, Director of 2011 Official Selection Bahiya & Mahmoud; Brad Barber, Director, Producer and Cinematographer of 2011 Official Selection Drum Beats; and David Ward, Editor, 2011 Official Selection The Man Who Never Cried as they share the art of making short films.

Discussions with Filmmakers, A Focus on Filmmaking in Indiana

AMC Castleton Square 14
Wednesday, October 19
7:00 PM, Free

At the Heartland Film Festival we honor films from all over the world, but we can’t deny the special place that Indiana films have in our heart. That’s why we are embracing our Indiana filmmakers and giving them a platform to discuss what they do and how they do it.

Learn from Indiana filmmakers Greg Oppman, Director, Sreenwriter, Cast and Producer of 2011 Official Selection Girlie Jar; Paul Symons, Director, Screenwriter, Producer of 2011 Official Selections Vibrations and Two Life; and Vincent Manganello, Director of 2011 Official Selection Take Two about what Indiana means to their filmmaking careers.

Our education opportunities are set. Our filmmakers are excited. We can’t wait to get our audiences and filmmakers talking about the importance of filmmaking and the power of film!

2011 Heartland Film Festival: Calling All History Buffs!

The Past Comes Alive Through Film
A People Uncounted
A People Uncounted
Official Selection / Documentary Feature / Director: Aaron Yeger

This documentary tells the true story of the Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies—a people who have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture. Read more about A People Uncounted.

Buy tickets for A People Uncounted


For Robbing the Dead

For Robbing the Dead
Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: Thomas Russell

In frontier Utah, a grieving sheriff is confronted with a grisly crime – an immigrant Frenchman has been robbing the dead of their clothing. Read more about For Robbing the Dead.

Buy tickets for For Robbing the Dead


The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History
Official Selection / Documentary Feature / Directors: Chad Freidrichs

Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers. Read more about The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History.

Buy tickets for The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History



Crystal Heart Award Winner / Narrative Feature / Director: Alrick Brown

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, as the country became a slaughterhouse, mosques became places of refuge where Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis came together to protect each other. Read more about Kinyarwanda.

Buy tickets for Kinyarwanda
Kinyarwanda sponsored by: Covenant Productions WQME


The Redemption of General Butt Naked

The Redemption of General Butt Naked
Official Selection / Documentary Feature / Directors: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion

The Redemption of General Butt Naked tells the story of Joshua Milton Blahyi – aka General Butt Naked – a brutal warlord who murdered thousands during Liberia’s horrific 14-year civil war. Today, the General has renounced his violent past and reinvented himself as Evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi. Read more about The Redemption of General Butt Naked.

Buy tickets for The Redemption of General Butt Naked

2011 Heartland Film Festival: Calling All Sports Fans!

From basketball to cycling, enjoy these sports films from around the world.
Crystal Heart Award Winner / Documentary Feature / Director: Anne Buford

Filmed over four years, from the dilapidated cement courts of Senegal to upscale American prep schools, Elevate documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenagers. Read more about Elevate.

Buy tickets for Score! A Hockey Musical
Elevate is sponsored by: Markey's Rental & Staging One America


The Hammer

The Hammer
Crystal Heart Award Winner / Narrative Feature / Director: Oren Kaplan

This film is a sports drama depicting the struggles and successes Matt Hamill faces on the way to becoming a wrestling champion. Read more about The Hammer.

Buy tickets for Janie Jones
The Hammer is sponsored by: Exact Target WTTS


Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt

Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt
Official Selection / Documentary Feature / Directors: Curt Wallin

This documentary tells the story of an unsung hero and self-made man, David Abbott Jenkins, who, with almost superhuman stamina and boyish charm, set out to single-handedly break every existing land speed record on his beloved Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. Read more about Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt.

Buy tickets for Boys of Bonneville: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt


Africa United

Africa United
Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: Debs Paterson

Three Rwandan children set off to Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, to audition for the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup. Read more about My Last Day Without You.

Buy tickets for Africa United



Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: John Lawrence

While bike messenger Phillipe Nash dreams of racing bikes, he also has a hard time committing to anything in his life, let alone a sport that demands pain, suffering and hours of training. When Nash loses his job and his apartment on the same day that he unexpectedly confronts his ex-girlfriend, he turns to his childhood friend, Jack. Jack knows that Nash needs a kick in the pants to pick up his life. Jack and the ex-girlfriend, Kate, both challenge Nash to commit to bike racing. More about Peloton.

Buy tickets for Peloton

2011 Heartland Film Festival: 5 Films for Music Lovers!

Score! A Hockey Musical
Score! A Hockey Musical
Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: Michael McGowan

Seventeen-year old Farley has the stick-handling skills to be the next Sidney Crosby, not that Farley has any idea who Crosby is! He`s led a sheltered life, homeschooled by parents whose idea of homework is trips to an art gallery or ashram. Much to the dismay of his parents, Farley is signed to a junior hockey league, where he achieves instant stardom, throwing him into a world of hype. Read more about Score! A Hockey Musical.

Janie Jones
Janie Jones

Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: David Rosenthal

A faded rock star is forced to take responsibility for the daughter he never knew he had in Janie Jones. Read more about Janie Jones.

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Official Selection / Documentary Feature / Directors: Gloria Bremer, Maria Luisa Gambale

This documentary follows Senegalese rapper Sister Fa’s journey from female hip hop pioneer in Dakar to committed activist. Despite fear of being rejected, Fatou dives into eloquent interactions with students and female elders. Her story is an inspiring example of grassroots activism based on respect and hope. Read more about Sarabah.

Buy tickets for Sarabah
My Last Day Without You

Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: Stefan Schaefer

When a young business executive, Niklas, is sent from Frankfurt to New York to shut down a division of his firm, he doesn’t realize his life is about to be turned upside-down. Seemingly by chance, he meets and falls for Leticia, a beautiful African-American secretary and aspiring singer. Read more about My Last Day Without You.

Buy tickets for My Last Day Without You
A Buddy Story

Official Selection / Narrative Feature / Director: Marc Erlbaum

A charming and poignant film about a singer-songwriter’s journey in finding himself and finding a friend along the way. More about A Buddy Story.

Buy tickets for A Buddy Story

Call for Entries is Open for the 2011 Heartland Film Festival!

Heartland is now officially accepting independently-produced feature length, short and student films for the 20th annual Heartland Film Festival, which will take place Oct. 13-22, 2011! With more than 830 entries from 48 countries last year, we expect to once again attract hundreds of the world’s top films from emerging and established independent filmmakers.

Now in our 20th year of recognizing and celebrating independent filmmakers, we once again seek out films that promote positive change and exemplify achievement of excellence in filmmaking. We look forward to receiving the multitude of diverse and creative submissions and seeing the 20th annual Festival lineup take shape.

We invite all independent and student filmmakers from around the world to submit films in narrative, documentary and animation categories. All films submitted are considered in competition and will be evaluated for their achievement of excellence in filmmaking and utilizing the transformative power of film to promote positive change in people’s lives. Award winners will be announced publicly on September 13, 2011. Submissions are accepted through

A committee including previous Festival Award recipients will review the submissions and select five narrative/animated features, five documentary features and seven shorts as winners. These outstanding films will be recognized with awards and more than $125,000 in cash prizes. Selected student films will receive awards and cash prizes. Festival top prizes include a $100,000 Grand Prize for Narrative/Animated Feature, $25,000 Grand Prize for Documentary Feature and $10,000 Grand Prize for Short Film. The Grand Prize Awards are announced at the Heartland Film Festival Awards Gala on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

U.S. and international feature length and short films may be submitted by May 1 for early consideration and a reduced submission fee. The regular deadline to submit films for the 2011 Heartland Film Festival is June 15.

Read more about eligibility requirements and submission rules and submit your film!