updated: 10/29/2009 1:09:12 PM
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures says attendance for the 18th annual Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis grew by 11 percent compared to last year. More than 19,500 movie enthusiasts attended a record 87 films from around the world during the 10 day event. The $100,000 Grand Prize Award for Best Dramatic Feature was presented to "Welcome" by French Director Philippe Lioret.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 29, 2009) - The 18th annual Heartland Film Festival concluded on the evening of Oct. 24 with the announcement of the 2009 Audience Choice Award winners and a screening of The Horse Boy at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center sponsored by Aveda Fredric’s Institute. Director Michel Orion Scott was on hand for the special event and participated in a question-and-answer following the film.
Chosen from more than 24,000 ballots cast by audience members, the Audience Choice Awards were given to those films that were most enjoyed by Festival attendees. All Crystal Heart Award-winning films and Official Selection films were eligible for the award in their respective categories.
The 2009 winners are:
Audience Choice Award for Dramatic Feature: This year it was a tie between Official Selection films, Like Dandelion Dust, directed by Jon Gunn, and A Shine of Rainbows, directed by Vic Sarin.
Audience Choice Award for Documentary Feature: Crystal Heart Award-winner After the Storm directed by Hilla Medalia.
Audience Choice Award for Short Film: Official Selection Grande Drip directed by Angelo Restaino and produced by Greg Wilson, a Hoosier-native and graduate of Perry Meridian High School and Taylor University.
This year’s Festival filmgoers saw a record 87 films that bring out the best in the human spirit, as well as met the filmmakers that made them. Screening attendance for the 2009 Festival grew by 11% from last year, resulting in 15 sold out screenings and a total screening attendance of 19,561.
“We were thrilled that by adding a second weekend of screenings, more people could experience all that Heartland has to offer,” said Jeffrey L. Sparks, President and CEO of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. “It was especially important this year as we screened a record number of films. With the Festival continuing to grow, it was one of our goals this year to emphasize flexibility and ease of use for Festivalgoers – to provide an escape for attendees. And I am happy to say we accomplished our goal.”
The 2009 Festival opened with the screening of Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, sponsored by the Lacy Foundation and LDI, Ltd., at The Murat Centre on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 15. Producer Vicki Shigekuni Wong was in attendance to participate in a question-and-answer session and accept a Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award for the film.
Film screenings kicked off the following evening as 17 Crystal Heart Award-winning films opened at AMC Castleton Square 14. These and the Official Selection films of the 2009 Festival were selected from more than 600 international independent film submissions for best meeting Heartland’s mission and demonstrating excellence in filmmaking.
The Festival’s annual Crystal Heart Awards Gala, held at The Murat Centre, was emceed by award-winning Extra correspondent and Indianapolis-native, Carlos Diaz. During the program Heartland honored 17 dramatic and documentary short and feature-length films with Crystal Heart Awards and $200,000 in cash prizes. 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.
The $100,000 Grand Prize Award for Best Dramatic Feature was presented to Welcome by French Director Philippe Lioret. Heartland’s grand prize award was underwritten by The Joshua Max Simon Charitable Foundation.
The $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature was given to Director Gabriel Noble for P-Star Rising. The award was underwritten by Godby Family of Services.
The $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film was presented to Director Dean Yamada for Bicycle (Jitensha). The Vision Award 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.
Special tribute was paid to Dr. Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Catmull was honored with the Pioneering Spirit Award for his creative spirit in filmmaking, his contribution to Heartland’s mission and Pixar’s unprecedented record with Heartland as every feature film from the studio has received a Truly Moving Picture Award.
Filmmakers honored with Crystal Heart Awards and cash prizes 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 Jimmy Steward Memorial Crystal Heart Awards for best student films included: Acholiland – Producer Daniel Harrich and Kavi – Producer/Director/Writer Gregg Helvey.
Additional Festival activities included an informal “meet and greet” brunch, sponsored by OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc., where film enthusiasts discovered firsthand the inspiration behind this year’s Crystal Heart Award-winning films. During the Family Movie Event, sponsored by Printing Partners, kids and parents alike celebrated America’s favorite pastime with the screening of The Perfect Game, followed by a party and baseball activities. One of the young stars of the film, Ryan Ochoa, was in attendance. Perennial favorite, the Heartland Film Institute Seminar, offered film students and filmmakers a crash course in independent filmmaking with “Insights into being an Independent Filmmaker.” Program highlights included an opening keynote address by Don Hahn, producer/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 event was sponsored by Duke Energy, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Inc., Film Indiana, IUPUI Campus Center and WebStream Productions.
New this year, Heartland showcased a few winners of the Truly Moving Picture Award, which is presented to theatrically released film that align with Heartland’s mission. Festival attendees lucky enough to nab tickets were among the first to see these powerful and inspiring films before they hit theaters later this year. These films included Bright Star, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire and Waking Sleeping Beauty.
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.
Source: Heartland Truly Moving Pictures