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Americanish directed by Iman Zawahry
Americanish directed by Iman Zawahry

“Americanish” from director Iman Zawahry snagged the $20,000 Narrative Feature Grand Prize and “All These Sons” from Academy Award® nominee Bing Liu (“Minding the Gap” 2018) and Joshua Altman was awarded the $20,000 Documentary Feature Grand Prize at the 30th Heartland International Film Festival.

“Stay Prayed Up” from directors D.L. Anderson and Matt Durning received the $5,000 Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award awarded to a one film in the HIFF lineup that best demonstrates the triumph of the human spirit through determination and the defiance of odds, humble vulnerability, and courage in the face of adversity.

The 30th Heartland International Film Festival is showcasing 143 films including 11 World Premieres, 8 U.S. Premieres, and 14 Event Titles. Screenings will continue through Sunday, October 17, at Living Room Theaters, Kan-Kan Cinema & Brasserie, and Newfields. The majority of award-winning films still have in-person and virtual screening opportunities over the weekend.

“I would like to express my complete gratitude to all the filmmakers who have created the incredible lineup of films in our 30th Anniversary of the Heartland International Film Festival,” said Heartland Film President Michael Ault. “Congratulations to all the winning films; I wish we could give awards to every filmmaker as I know it takes endless hours and hard work to create the amazing films screened at our festival. Thank you to all the filmmakers for sharing your stories and inspiring our community.”

2021 HEARTLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS

Narrative Feature Grand Prize ($20,000 Grand Prize)

“Americanish,” Directed by Iman Zawahry (United States)
In Jackson Heights, Queens, career-driven sisters Maryam and Sam and their newly-immigrated cousin Ameera must navigate the consistent and sometimes conflicting demands of romance, culture, work, and family.

Documentary Feature Grand Prize ($20,000 Grand Prize)

“All These Sons” directed by Bing Liu and Joshua Altman
“All These Sons” directed by Bing Liu and Joshua Altman

“All These Sons,” Directed by Joshua Altman and Bing Liu (United States)
On Chicago’s South and West sides, gun violence is destroying countless lives. Two men dedicate their lives educating, empowering, and healing young Black men at high risk for being victims or perpetrators of shootings.

FIPRESCI Best US Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Feature

“Mass,” Directed by Fran Kranz, Bleecker Street (United States)
Years after an unspeakable tragedy tore their lives apart, two sets of parents (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) agree to talk privately in an attempt to move forward.

Indiana Spotlight Award ($2,000 Cash Prize)

“The Addict’s Wake,” Directed by Michael Husain (United States) World Premiere
After a crippling series of overdose deaths, rural Brown County, Indiana decides to “Do Something” differently to fight addiction. The film is a powerful story of hope and recovery for individuals in use, their families, and the community as a whole.

Heartland Horror Award ($2,000 Cash Prize)

“What Josiah Saw,” Directed by Vincent Grashaw (United States)
A family with buried secrets reunite at a farmhouse after two decades to pay for their past sins. Starring Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl, Scott Haze, Kelli Garner, and Tony Hale.

Richard D. Propes Social Impact Narrative Award ($2,000 Cash Prize)

“Women is Losers,” Directed by Lissette Feliciano (United States)
In 1960s San Francisco, Catholic school girl Celina Guerrera survives a difficult home life by following the rules, until an indiscretion creates a series of devastating consequences. As Celina faces the compounded obstacles of being young and alone, she sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future that sets new precedents for the time. ;

Richard D. Propes Social Impact Documentary Award ($2,000 Cash Prizes) ;

“Procession,” Directed by Robert Greene, Netflix (United States)
A group of survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests battles for justice and collaborates to create fictional scenes depicting rituals of power in the church.

Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award ($5,000 Cash Prize)

“Stay Prayed Up,” Directed by D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning (United States)
Making music and making a life are one in the same in this inspiring documentary about a legendary North Carolina gospel group and their 82-year-old matron whose powerful testimony is matched only by her mighty voice.

Humor and Humanity Award ($2,000 Cash Prize)

“See You Next Christmas,” Directed by Christine Weatherup (United States)
When chronically single Natalie and Logan continue to run into each other at their friends’ annual holiday party year after year, they begin to wonder if maybe they’re meant to be together…

Best Narrative Premiere Award ($2,000 Cash Prize)

“The Falconer,” Directed by Adam Sjoberg, Seanne Winslow (United States) World Premiere
Inspired by true events, “The Falconer” is about two best friends, one Middle Eastern and one Western, who conspire to steal animals from the zoo and sell them on the black market to pay for the Omani boy’s sister’s divorce from an abusive marriage.

Best Documentary Premiere Award ($2,000 Cash Prize)

“One Pint at a Time,” Directed by Aaron Hosé (United States) World Premiere
Eager to shift the historical perception of who makes and drinks beer, Black brewers and beer brand owners across the United States are reclaiming their place with the nation’s multi-billion-dollar craft beer industry, where they currently share less than 1% of annual revenues.

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