House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA) directed and written by Bora Kim.
House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA) directed and written by Bora Kim.

Bora Kim’s HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD took home the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature (and a cash prize of $15,000) at the 28th Heartland International Film Festival. Seung-Yun Lee who stars in the film was on hand to accept the award.

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ FOR SAMA won two awards, including the $15,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature, as well as the Richard D. Propes Social Impact Documentary Award and the $2000 that came with that award. Watts accepted the awards on behalf of the film.

Among the other awards, Brett Fallentine’s documentary about the horse riding community in South Central L.A., FIRE ON THE HILL received the film festival’s Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award and $5000. Three of the film’s subjects attended the ceremony with Fallentine, and as they accepted the award, one of the subjects, Ghuan Featherstone, said, “This film is about perceptions and changing those perceptions. Here we are in the Midwest and our lives relate to you.”

Matt Ratner was the festival’s other two-time winner, as his film, STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN received the festival’s Humor and Humanity Award and $1000, and he received the FIPRESCI nod for Best Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Film. As he accepted his second award, Ratner, said, “Places like Heartland are so meaningful. There is a space in a crowded marketplace for films about people struggling with their humanity.”

“From South Central LA cowboys to South Korea, our award winners truly demonstrated the international scope of Heartland,” said Craig Prater, Heartland Film President, following the awards presentation.

Earlier this year Heartland Film signed the 5050×2020 Parity Pledge guaranteeing that at least half of its festival programming will be directed by women by its 2020 Indy Shorts and HIFF events. In total, 43% of this year’s official selection lineup was were directed or co-directed by women and 63% of the overall $60,000 prize purse ($38,000) went to titles directed or co-directed by female filmmakers, led by Kim’s HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD and al-Kateab and Watts’ FOR SAMA.

HIFF’s Best Premiere Awards (along with the corresponding cash prizes of $2000) were presented to Julie Sokolow’s BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY (Best Premiere Documentary) and Nora Fingscheidt’s SYSTEMSPRENGER (SYSTEM CRASHER) (Best Premiere Narrative). The film festival’s Best International Feature Film Oscar® Contender (which came with a $2000 cash prize) went to Pedro Almodóvar’s PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y gloria).

In addition to the Social Impact Documentary Award, Indiana film critic Richard D. Propes was on hand to also present the other award in his name, the Richard D. Propes Social Impact Narrative Feature Award (and $2000), which went to Flavio Alves’ THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND. The Indiana Spotlight Award (and $2000) went to Prarthana Mohan’s THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU, with the Indiana Spotlight Audience Choice Award (and $1000) going to Ashton Gleckman’s WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW.

Destin Daniel Cretton’s JUST MERCY received two Audience Choice Awards for both Special Presentation, as well as Overall. Robert Tinnell’s FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES received the nod (and a $1000 cash prize for Narrative Feature, and Jacob Hamilton’s JUMP SHOT received the nod (and $1000 cash prize) for Documentary Feature. 19-year-old Ashton Gleckman’s debut WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW won the Audience Choice Award (and $1000) in the Indiana Spotlight category.

Alex Holmes’ MAIDEN was the Audience Choice in the Awards Season Spotlight category, and Greece’s Official Academy Award entry, WHEN TOMATOES MET WAGNER, directed by Marianna Economou got the nod in the Best International Feature Film OSCARⓇ Contenders section. Michael Herbig’s BALLOON won the Audience Choice Award for HIFF’s Cultural Journey: Germany sidebar.

2019 Heartland International Film Festival Award Winners

Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature – $15,000
HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD
Director: Bora Kim

Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature – $15,000
FOR SAMA
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Richard D. Propes Social Impact Award Narrative Feature – $2000
THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND
Director: Flavio Alves

Richard D. Propes Social Impact Award Documentary Feature – $2000
FOR SAMA
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

The Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award Winner – $5000
FIRE ON THE HILL
Director: Brett Fallentine

Indiana Spotlight Award – $2000
THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU
Director: Prarthana Mohan

Humor and Humanity Award – $1000
STANDING UP, FALLLING DOWN
Director: Matt Ratner

Best Premiere Award Documentary – $2000
BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY
Director: Julie Sokolow

Best Premiere Award Narrative – $2000
SYSTEMSPRENGER (SYSTEM CRASHER)
Director: Nora Fingscheidt

Best International Feature Film Oscar® Contender – $2000
PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar

FIPRESCI Best Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Film (no cash prize)
STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN
Director: Matt Ratner

Overall Audience Choice Award Winner
JUST MERCY
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Audience Choice – Special Presentation
JUST MERCY
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Audience Choice – Narrative Feature ($1000 cash prize)
FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES
Director: Robert Tinnell

Audience Choice – Documentary Feature ($1000 cash prize)
JUMP SHOT
Director: Jacob Hamilton

Audience Choice – Indiana Spotlight ($1000 cash prize)
WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW
Director: Ashton Gleckman

Audience Choice – Awards Season Spotlight
MAIDEN
Director: Alex Holmes

Audience Choice – Best International Feature Film OSCARⓇ Contenders
WHEN TOMATOES MET WAGNER
Country: Greece
Director: Marianna Economou

Audience Choice – Cultural Journey: Germany
BALLOON
Director: Michael Herbig

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