Film: Heartland Film Festival: Truly Moving Pictures 2009

Heartland Film Festival 2009

Photo: Greg Wilson and Emily Moss Wilson at Heartland. 

HFF Index 2009:

Family Mystery: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel

The Perfect Game

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

Four Films- reviews by Madelyn Ritrosky: Life is a Banquet, The Mighty Macs, Broken Hill, Pearl

Jared’s Reviews: Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, My Dog, The Perfect Game, Broken Hill, Grande Drip, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel

Grande Drip’s Tasty FixInterview with Producer Emily Moss Wilson

Official Heartland Film Festival Web site: www.HeartlandFilmFestival.org

HEARTLAND NAMES TOP TEN “TRULY MOVING PICTURES” FOR 2009

“The Blind Side” and “Invictus” Claim Top Spots on List of Year’s Most Meaningful Films

In conjunction with the start of awards season, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures is honoring the films that it has deemed the Top 10 “Truly Moving Pictures” of 2009. These “top ten” films were chosen from the total 22 films that were bestowed with the Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award in 2009. The award was created by Heartland Truly Moving Pictures as a way to honor theatrically released films that meet Heartland’s mission of emphasizing the best of the human spirit. Continue reading about each of the ten "Truly Moving Pictures" for 2009.

HEARTLAND FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2009 AWARD WINNERS

Welcome Receives $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Dramatic Feature, P-Star Rising Receives $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and Bicycle (Jitensha) Receives the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film

The 18th annual Heartland Film Festival came to a close with a screening of The Horse Boy and the naming of the 2009 Audience Choice Award winners. The Dramatic Feature Audience Choice Award winner was a tie between the Official Selection films, Like Dandelion Dust, by director Jon Gunn, and A Shine of Rainbows, by Director Vic Sarin. The Documentary Feature Audience Choice Award winner was After the Storm, by director Hilla Medalia. The Short Film Award winner was Grande Drip, by director Angelo Restaino.

The Heartland Film Festivalâ celebrated and honored some of the world’s most talented and inspiring independent filmmakers during the 18th annual Crystal Heart Awards Gala at The Murat Centre last night. Awards and $200,000 in cash prizes were presented to 17 films. Heartland announced Welcome by Director Philippe Lioret as the $100,000 Grand Prize Award Winner for Best Dramatic Feature; P-Star Rising by Director Gabriel Noble as the winner of the $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and Bicycle (Jitensha) by Director Dean Yamada as the winner of the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.
 
Award-winning Extra correspondent and Indianapolis-native Carlos Diaz emceed the glamorous awards ceremony. Special guests Greg Paul (Trustee of The Stewart Foundation and President of Castle Rock Entertainment) and Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Waking Sleeping Beauty) presented awards. Co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, Dr. Ed Catmull, was honored with the Pioneering Spirit Award for his creative spirit in filmmaking and his contribution to Heartland’s mission.
 
“Really this award is over due,” said Jeffrey L. Sparks, President and CEO of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. “Every feature film from Pixar has received a Truly Moving Picture Award from Heartland. No other studio has that kind of record with us. Dr. Catmull and the entire Pixar team are true pioneers in the world of filmmaking. Their films continue to inspire and entertain everyone who sees them, and we’re thrilled to honor him with this award.” 
 
During the program, Heartland honored 17 dramatic and documentary short and feature-length films. Two student films received Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards and 15 films were honored with Crystal Heart Awards. These films were selected from more than 600 international film submissions for best meeting Heartland’s mission and demonstrating excellence in filmmaking.
 
The filmmakers honored with Crystal Heart Awards were: After the Storm – Producer/Director Hilla Medalia; Bicycle (Jitensha) – Director Dean Yamada; Big John – Producer Dag Hoel and Director Håvard Bustnes; The Eagle Hunter’s Son – Director Renè Bo Hansen; Entre Nos – Directors/Writers Gloria La Morte and Paola Mendoza; The Final Inch – Producer/Director Irene Taylor Brodsky; For My Father – Producer Zvi Spielmann; Marbles With Thoreau – Producer/Director/Writer Melody George; P-Star Rising – Director Gabriel Noble; Rough Aunties – Executive Producer Debra Zimmerman; Sergio – Producer/Director Greg Barker; Seven Minutes in Heaven – Director/Writer Omri Givon; Side by Side – Director Christian Sønderby Jepsen; Small Collection – Producer/Director/Writer Jeremiah Crowell and Welcome – Director Philippe Lioret. The filmmakers honored with the Jimmy Steward Memorial Crystal Heart Award were Acholiland – Producer Daniel Harrich and Kavi – Producer/Director/Writer Gregg Helvey.
 
Additional highlights included Heartland recognizing recipients of the prestigious Truly Moving Picture Award, which is bestowed upon theatrically released films that uphold the values of Heartland. Also, three-time GRAMMY® Award-winner and producer of the Official Selection documentary feature, Kabul 24, Michael W. Smith was in attendance. Smith performed a song from his instrumental album and a brief medley of favorite movie scores. 
 
Additional special guests at this year’s Crystal Heart Awards Gala included: After the Storm – Executive Producer Ed Priddy and Executive Producer/Featured Individual James Lecesne; Big John – Featured Individual Ole Klemetsen; The Final Inch – Associate Producer Sophie Harris; Kavi – Editor Chris Witt; Marbles With Thoreau – Editor Robin George; P-Star Rising – Featured Individuals Jesse and Priscilla P-Star Diaz; The Perfect Game – Star Ryan Ochoa; Rough Aunties – Featured Individuals Eureka Olivier and Ladyfair Sdudla Sibiya; Seven Minutes in Heaven – Star Eldad Prives and Small Collection – Star Chris Stack.
 
Also, filmmakers and stars from the following Official Selection films were in attendance: A Shine of Rainbows, Americana, Another Harvest Moon, Beauty, Being Bucky, Facing Extinction: Christians in Iraq, Fifty Cents, JesusFreaks, Kabul 24, Like Dandelion Dust, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, The Mighty Macs, My Name is Jerry, Pearl, Quest for Honor and She’s a Fox.
 
In addition to the total $200,000 awarded, winning filmmakers received a Crystal Heart Award designed by Mark Aronstam and Aronstam Fine Jewelers. The $100,000 Grand Prize Award for Best Dramatic Feature was underwritten by The Joshua Max Simon Charitable Foundation, the $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature was underwritten by Godby Family of Services and the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film was underwritten by KeyBank. To date, Heartland has awarded more than $2.2 million to support filmmakers in their quest to create uplifting and inspiring films.
  
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, a non-profit organization, seeks to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by expressing hope and emphasizing the best of the human spirit. Its flagship event, the Heartland Film Festival®, launched in 1991 and runs each October in Indianapolis, screening independent films from around the world. Each year, the Festival awards $200,000 in cash prizes and presents its Crystal Heart Awards to the top-judged submissions. Heartland has awarded more than $2.2 million to support filmmakers during the last 18 years. The organization’s Truly Moving Picture Award was created to honor films released theatrically that align with Heartland’s mission. By bestowing a watermark to honored films, the award allows studios and distributors to inform audiences of a film’s uplifting message and appeal. Heartland is also dedicated to its relationship with the National Collaboration for Youth and its expanding F.I.L.M., “Finding Inspiration in Literature & Movies,” Project.  For more information, visit TrulyMovingPictures.org. (INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 18, 2008)

The Heartland Film Festival for 2009

The 18th annual Heartland Film Festival Truely Moving Picutres was held October 15 - 23, 2009.

Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, a non-profit organization, seeks to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by expressing hope and emphasizing the best of the human spirit. Its flagship event, the Heartland Film Festival, launched in 1991 and runs each October in Indianapolis, screening independent films from around the world.

The organization’s flagship event, the Heartland Film Festival, invites independent filmmakers from around the world to submit feature length and short films in dramatic, documentary and animation categories. The Festival awards $200,000 in cash prizes and presents its Crystal Heart Awards to the top-judged submissions.

This includes a $100,000 Grand Prize Award for Best Dramatic Feature, a $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and a $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.

October offers moviegoers a rare glimpse at these independent films and special events for film enthusiasts of all ages, including a black tie awards gala, a special family movie event, an education seminar featuring industry experts and much more. Festival attendance has increased the past six years with a record of more than 21,000 attendees in 2006.

2009 HFF films and Special Events

Record number of films for the 18th annual Festival

The complete lineup of films and special events for the 2009 Heartland Film Festival was announced by Heartland Truly Moving Pictures President and CEO, Jeffrey L. Sparks during the annual Announcement Celebration. The 18th annual Heartland Film Festival will take place October 15-24, 2009 and will bring a record 87 films from around the world to Indianapolis.

“We were thrilled not only with the number of submissions we received this year, but the caliber of films,” said Sparks. “Quality is always our emphasis, but because of the number of powerful films submitted we opted to increase our programming substantially.”

Fifteen Crystal Heart Award winners and two student films distinguished as Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award winners have been selected for best meeting Heartland’s mission out of the more than 600 submissions. Heartland will award $200,000 in cash prizes to this year’s winners, including the $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Dramatic Feature, a $25,000 prize for Best Documentary Feature, and the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.

The five Crystal Heart Award-winning films that will vie for the $100,000 Grand Prize are The Eagle Hunter’s Son, Entre Nos, For My Father, Seven Minutes in Heaven and Welcome.

Five Crystal Heart Award winners will compete for the Festival’s $25,000 prize for Best Documentary Feature. These films are: After the Storm, Big John, P-Star Rising, Rough Aunties and Sergio.

In addition to the feature and documentary competitions, Heartland will present the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short to one of five Crystal Heart Award winners and two Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award winners. Crystal Heart Award winners in this category include: Bicycle (Jitensha), The Final Inch, Marbles With Thoreau, Side by Side and Small Collection. Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award winners are: Acholiland and Kavi.

All cash prizes and awards will be presented at Heartland’s annual Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 17 at The Murat Centre in downtown Indianapolis. Opening Night of film screenings will take place Friday, Oct. 16 at AMC Castleton Square 14 on the northside, where all Crystal Heart Award-winning films will be shown. Regular screenings will take place Saturday, Oct.17 through Saturday, Oct. 24 at AMC Castleton Square 14 and AMC Greenwood Park 14 on the southside.

In addition to the Crystal Heart Award-winning films, Heartland will also screen Official Selection films. These films are not in competition for the cash prizes, but are eligible for the Audience Choice Awards. These films will be screened Saturday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 24.

Well surpassing last year’s record of 37 Official Selection films, this year Heartland will screen a whopping 64 films. Official Selection films included under the Dramatic Features category are: Another Harvest Moon, Barking Water, Broken Hill, Esprial, Etienne!, Like Dandelion Dust, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, The Mighty Macs, My Name is Jerry, Pearl, A Shine of Rainbows, Spooner, Storm and That Evening Sun.

Official Selection films under the Documentary Features category are: Americana, Being Bucky, D Tour, Forgetting Dad, Holy Land Hardball, JesusFreaks, Kabul 24, Life is a Banquet: The Rosalind Russell Story, Motherland, My Dog, One Peace at a Time, Quest for Honor, Soundtrack for a Revolution, Sync or Swim and Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon.

Finally, Official Selection films within the Shorts category are: 12 Stones, The Archive, Beauty, The Best Part of My Day, The Big Table, Birthday, Bread Alone, Breaking the Chain, Charlie Thistle, Chicken Cowboy, Facing Extinction: Christians in Iraq, Fifty Cents, Free Wall, Gideon the Great: The Flying Ace, Gone Fishing, Grande Drip, Half Kenneth, Hope, Insalata Caprese, The Light of Family Burnam, Mind the Gap, Night Bus, Obedience, Paul and His Wall, Plastic, Ragman, Scarecrow, She’s a Fox, Strike, The Sundowners, That’s Magic!, Turnipseed, An Unfinished Romance, Up in the Air and Weathered.

New this year, Heartland is showcasing a few of its Truly Moving Picture Award winners before they hit theaters later this year. These featured special screenings include: Bright Star, Precious: Base on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire and Waking Sleeping Beauty.

In addition to the films that will screen during the Festival, six special events will provide outlets for film-lovers of all ages. The 10-day Festival will open on Thursday, Oct. 15 with the screening of Hachi: A Dog’s Tale at The Murat Centre.

Additional events include the annual Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 17 where attendees can experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood at The Murat Centre downtown; an opportunity to meet with award-winning filmmakers at the Filmmakers’ Brunch on Sunday, Oct. 18; and the Family Movie Event on Sunday, Oct. 18 featuring The Perfect Game at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. Film enthusiasts can attend the Heartland Film Institute Seminar on Monday, Oct. 19 where they will hear a keynote address by Don Hahn, the director of Waking Sleeping Beauty, a panel discussion with Crystal Heart Award-winning filmmakers, a roundtable discussion lunch with industry professionals, and a closing session with the filmmakers of Entre Nos.

The Heartland Film Festival will come to a close on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center with the emotional documentary, The Horse Boy, and the announcement of the 2009 Audience Choice Award winners.

“We’re excited about the number of opportunities film lovers have to experience the Festival this year,” said Sparks. “Between the extended schedule, increased programming and returning special events, the 2009 Heartland Film Festival is overflowing with options, while still being easy to navigate with easy access to the schedule and tickets. If someone has never attended the Festival before, this is definitely the year to give it a try.”

The complete 2009 Heartland Film Festival lineup and information can be found online at HeartlandFilmFestival.org. Regular screening tickets are available for purchase online through the Festival’s Web site, at Ticket Stops located at designated Marsh Supermarkets, through the Festival’s toll-free ticket line at 1.866.HFF.1010, or at the theaters during the Festival. Single tickets are $7 each when purchased in advance online, at the Marsh Supermarket Ticket Stops or through the ticket line. Tickets purchased at the theaters are $8 each. Attendees may also purchase 10 tickets at a discounted rate of $60, providing all tickets are purchased at the same time.

Tickets for all specials events, excluding the Opening Night Event and Gallery Seating for the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony, are available through Heartland’s ticket line and Web site. Opening Night Event and Gallery Seating for the Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony are available at The Murat Centre box office or LiveNation.com. Prices vary by event.

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