138 movies will be screened at the 25th Heartland Film Festival taking place October 20 to 30, 2016 across Indianapolis. Since its first event in 1992, the Academy Award®-qualifying Festival has awarded $3 million in prize money to independent filmmakers.
The festival opens on Thursday, October 20 with the “The Book of Love” directed by Bill Purple, with a scheduled appearance by actress Jessica Biel; and closes with “Josephine” directed by Rory Feek.
“Twenty-five years is a special milestone, and we are thrilled to celebrate with an unprecedented slate of movies, red carpet premieres, and special appearances,” said Craig Prater, president of Heartland Film. “A record 2,535 films were submitted from 92 countries, and we have crafted a fantastic lineup of 138 movies that not only embody the founding spirit of Heartland, but also show what we have grown to become over the past two-and-a-half decades. This anniversary is truly a testament to the ongoing passion and support of our sponsors, moviegoers, board members, volunteers, and staff. ”
KEY EVENTS AND DATES
Opening Night Screening and After Party – “The Book of Love”
Thursday, Oct. 20 – Scottish Rite Cathedral, 7 p.m.
Narrative feature directed by Bill Purple. Scheduled appearances by Actress Jessica Biel, Producer Michelle Purple, and Actor Richard Robichaux. After party to feature live music from Jon McLaughlin. Sponsored by the David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.
25th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, Oct. 21 – Premiere Pavilion at AMC Castleton Square 14, 5:30 p.m. VIP, 6:30 p.m.
Celebrating the 25-year legacy of Heartland Film. Actor Brian Dennehy scheduled to appear to receive the Pioneering Spirit: Lifetime Achievement Award from Heartland Film.
Saturday, Oct. 29 – Premiere Pavilion at AMC Castleton Square 14, 7 p.m.
Heartland Film Festival will unveil all its winners and bestow $129,000 in cash prizes to independent filmmakers with music by Tonos Triad. Sponsored by the David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.
Sunday, Oct. 30 – Sheraton Indianapolis at Keystone at the Crossing, 11 a.m.
Discover the inspiration behind some of your favorite Heartland Film Festival movies by joining the filmmakers for an informal brunch. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with storytellers and to hear different perspectives on all aspects of the filmmaking process.
Closing Night Screening and After Party – “Josephine”
Sunday, Oct. 30 – AMC Castleton Square 14, 7 p.m.
Narrative feature directed by Rory Feek. Scheduled appearances by Director/Writer Rory Feek, Actor Boris McGiver, Producer Aaron Carnaha, Musician Heidi Feek, and Musician Dillon Hodges. Sponsored by the David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.
U.S. AND WORLD PREMIERE TITLES
“High School 9-1-1” – Friday, Oct. 21, 8:30 p.m.
World Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by Tim Warren
Director Tim Warren, Producer Kelli Joan Bennett, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Winter Thaw” – Saturday, Oct. 22, 3:30 p.m.
World Premiere, Narrative Feature – Directed by Adam Thomas Anderegg
Actor John Rhys-Davies, Director Adam Thomas Anderegg, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“The JJ Project” – Saturday, Oct. 22, 5:45 p.m.
World Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by Matt Starr
Featured Subject JJ Hunt, Director Matt Starr, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“When War Comes Home” – Sunday, Oct. 23, 12:45 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by Michael King
Director Michael King, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Reengineeering Sam” – Sunday, Oct. 23, 3:15 p.m.
World Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by Brian Malone
Featured Subject Sam Schmidt, Director Brian Malone, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“New Life” – Sunday, Oct. 23, 6 p.m., Sponsored by Lilly
World Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by Drew Waters
Director Drew Waters, Actress Erica Bethea, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Facing Darkness” – Sunday, Oct. 23, 8:30 p.m.
World Premiere, Special Presentation, Documentary Feature – Directed by Arthur Rasco
Featured Subject Dr. Kent Brantly, Director Arthur Rasco, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“The Healer” – Monday, Oct. 24, 5:30 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Narrative Feature – Directed by Paco Arango
Director Paco Arango, Actress Kaitlyn Bernard, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Men in the Arena” – Monday, Oct. 24, 7:45 p.m.
World Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by J.R. Biersmith
Director J.R. Biersmith, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway” – Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7:15 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Narrative Feature – Directed by Chris Craddock
Director Chris Craddock, Actor Alan Thicke, Actor Quinton Aaron, Actress Leah Doz, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Matsanjeni (The Bones) – A Thirst Project VR Film” – Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Thursday, Oct. 27
Documentary Short, Special Presentation, World Premiere – Directed by Zach Richter, Sam Smith and Corey Petrick
Virtual reality experience with recurring screenings throughout both days at AMC Castleton Square 14. Executive Producer Seth Maxwell, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Bugs on the Menu” – Wednesday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Documentary Feature – Directed by Ian Toews
Director Ian Toews, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“From the Ashes: The University of Evansville Purple Aces” – Thursday, Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m.
World Premiere, Documentary Feature, Indiana Spotlight – Directed by Joe Atkinson
Director Joe Atkinson, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Attucks: The School That Opened a City” – Documentary Feature
Thursday, Oct. 27, 3 p.m.
Director Ted Green, cast and crew scheduled to attend. Sponsored by the Lumina Foundation.
“Facing Darkness” – Documentary Feature, World Premiere
Sunday, Oct. 23, 8:30 p.m.
Directed by Arthur Rasco. Featured Subject Dr. Kent Brantly, Director Arthur Rasco, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“Lion” – Narrative Feature, Truly Moving Picture Award Winner
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8:15 p.m.
Directed by Garth Davis, starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman. A special presentation by The Weinstein Company.
“Matsanjeni (The Bones) – A Thirst Project VR Film” – Documentary Short, World Premiere
Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Thursday, Oct. 27
Directed by Zach Richter, Sam Smith and Corey Petrick. Virtual reality experience with recurring screenings throughout both days at AMC Castleton Square 14. Executive Producer Seth Maxwell, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
“The Ultimate Legacy” – Narrative Feature
Saturday, Oct. 22, 10:45 p.m.
Directed by Joanne Hock. Actor Brian Dennehy and Writer/Executive Producer Rick Eldridge scheduled to attend.
“USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” – Documentary Feature
Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
Directed by Sara Vladic. Sponsored by PNC. Director Sara Vladic, cast and crew scheduled to attend.
25th ANNIVERSARY RETROSPECTIVE PROGRAM
For the past 25 years, the Heartland Film Festival has been inspiring filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. For its silver anniversary, encore screenings of past Festival favorites are being brought back to the big screen. Titles include:
“Rudy” (1993) – Directed by David Anspaugh
Writer Angelo Pizzo, Director David Anspaugh, and “Rudy” Ruettiger scheduled to attend.
“The Ultimate Gift” (2006) – Directed by Michael O. Sajbel
Actor Brian Dennehy and Producer Rick Eldridge scheduled to attend.
“Lars and the Real Girl” (2007) – Directed by Craig Gillespie
“Second Hand Wedding” (2008) – Directed by Paul Murphy
“Red Dog” (2011) – Directed by Kriv Stenders
“Rising from Ashes” (2012) – Directed by T.C. Johnstone
“No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie” (2013) – Directed by Troy Kotsur
“Where Hope Grows” (2014) – Directed by Chris Dowling
AWARD CATEGORIES AND FINALISTS
Narrative Feature Finalists
“Blanka” – Directed by Kohki Hasei
“Home Care” – Directed by Slávek Horák
“Occupy, Texas” – Directed by Jeff Barry
“Pushing Dead” – Directed by Tom E. Brown
“Wild Prairie Rose” – Directed by Deborah LaVine
Documentary Feature Finalists
“The Islands and the Whales” – Directed by Mike Day
“Night School” – Directed by Andrew Cohn
“The Settlers” – Directed by Shimon Dotan
“Sonita” – Directed by Ghaem Maghami
“They Call Us Monsters” – Directed by Ben Lear
Narrative Short Finalists
“A Man Like a Tree” – Directed by Sylvia Borges
“La femme et le TGV” – Directed by Timo von Gunten
“Love is a Sting” – Directed by Vincent Gallagher
“Out of the Village” – Directed by Jonathan Stein
“The Ravens” – Directed by Jennifer Perrott
Documentary Short Finalists
“Mama Rwanda” – Directed by Laura Waters Hinson
“Mining Poems or Odes” – Directed by Callum Rice
“The Reinvention of Normal” – Directed by Liam Saint-Pierre
“Rotatio” – Directed by Shannon Mackenzie and Ian McClerin
“Zain’s Summer: From Refugee to American Boy” – Directed by Joshua Seftel
Animated Short Finalists
“Alike” – Directed by Daniel Martinez Lara, Rafa Cano Méndez
“Borrowed Time” – Directed by Andrew Coats, Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Scent of Geranium” – Directed by Naghmeh Farzaneh
“Violet” – Directed by Maurice Joyce
“Way of Giants” – Directed by Alois Di Leo
The Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award
The inaugural Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award will honor a single winner, selected from the Festival’s feature-length narrative and documentary titles. The winning film will best embody the ongoing legacy of actor and national hero Jimmy Stewart and will demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit through determination and the defiance of odds, humble vulnerability, and courage in the face of adversity. Made possible by a partnership with The Stewart Family.
Summer White Lynch Memorial Award – High School Film Competition Grand Prize
($2,000 total award, underwritten by Gary D. & Marlene Cohen)
Finalists include winners of the Narrative, Documentary, and Indiana categories of the High School Film Competition:
“The Optimist” (Narrative Winner) – Directed by John Mervin
“Fragile (A Portrait of Gil Batle)” (Documentary Winner) – Directed by Nilo Batle
“Masha’Allah” (Indiana Winner) – Directed by Molly Simmons
Indiana Spotlight Award ($5,000 total award)
U.S. or World Premiere titles in the Indiana Spotlight category qualify for the Indiana Spotlight award.
Best Premiere Awards ($5,000 awards)
One Narrative Feature and one Documentary Feature holding its U.S. or World Premiere will be eligible for Best Premiere Award consideration.
Audience Choice Awards
There will be one Audience Choice Award winner for the Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short categories.