Heartland Film Festival Changes Name and Expands Mandate
Indianapolis, IN To better reflect its mission to recognize films with impactful and uplifting messages, the Heartland Film Festival ® has created a newly minted parent organization Heartland Truly Moving Pictures TM.
The name change, announced by President and CEO Jeffrey L. Sparks, highlights the organization’s industry award and watermark, the Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award, while at the same time re-defining its commitment to filmmakers, studios and distributors whose projects address challenging subjects yet provide meaningful storylines and resolution.
The organization will also expand its Festival programming, year-round marketing efforts and events, and its rapidly growing “Finding Inspiration in Literature and Movies” project (F.I.L.M.) in association with the National Collaboration for Youth.
“Our collective vision, with our board and executives, is to share the power of moving pictures from around the world with all audiences. We are excited to announce this change and believe it will help us continue to grow and expand our mission. We maintain our dedication to seek out films and filmmakers who unlock the potential of the human spirit and that exemplify excellence in filmmaking,” stated Sparks.
Under the newly named organization, Sparks will be significantly supported in day-to-day management and marketing by former music and sports manager David Slaughter, who joined Heartland last year as Vice President and COO. In addition, Peggy Monson, who joined Heartland in 2005, continues her leadership role as Vice President for Advancement, focusing on regional and national fundraising and sponsorship efforts for Heartland.
Heartland has expanded far beyond its regional founding in 1991. During the last 20 months, Heartland has seen significant growth through a capacity-building grant by the Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation, Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Endowment’s involvement has provided greater depth in marketing the Heartland brand and expanding the reach of the Festival and its programming.
In 2007, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures will reach more people than ever before through the Heartland Film Festival, the Truly Moving Picture Award, the Crystal Heart Award, special events, educational initiatives and national partnerships.
· The flagship Heartland Film Festival runs each October in Indianapolis and showcases independent films from around the world. The Festival awards $200,000 in cash prizes and presents its Crystal Heart Awards to the Festival’s top-judged submissions. This includes a $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Dramatic Feature, a $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and a $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.
· The Truly Moving Picture Award is bestowed on approximately 15-20 theatrically released films a year. It honors films that meaningfully impact audiences with a level of social consciousness that many viewers are actively seeking in their moviegoing experience. Heartland hopes the award, through its branded logo, will become a standard that filmmakers and studios wish to aspire to and, upon receipt, will use in their marketing efforts.
· Heartland has teamed with the National Collaboration for Youth (NCY) in a collaborative project called F.I.L.M., “Finding Inspiration in Literature and Movies.” The literacy and film program encourages youth associated with NCY organizations around the country to screen the program’s featured films, read the books/scripts associated with the movies, utilize the activity guides and partake in related service projects. Heartland and NCY hope that by participating in F.I.L.M, youth will gain an appreciation for literature and film and will be inspired to realize their full capabilities.
In further news, the organization has officially opened its annual Call for Film Entries for the 2007 Heartland Film Festival, which will take place October 18-26 in Indianapolis. The Festival seeks independently produced feature-length, short and student films for its 16th annual competition.
Heartland will screen select films and present awards and $200,000 in cash prizes, including a $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Dramatic Feature, a $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and a $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film. Selected student films will receive Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards and cash prizes. Filmmakers are invited to submit films in dramatic, documentary and animation categories. A committee of previous Crystal Heart Award recipients will review submissions and select five dramatic features, five documentary features, and seven short films, including student films, as winners. Submission forms can be completed online at www.HeartlandFilmFestival.org or www.withoutabox.com. The deadline to submit films for the 2007 Heartland Film Festival is June 1, with deadline fees of $55 for features, $20 for shorts and $20 for student submissions.
About Heartland Truly Moving Pictures
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.
Organization at a Glance
Sixteen years ago, a group of visionaries united to create a unique film festival to honor beautifully made films that emphasize the best of the human spirit and to give filmmakers the things most needed to continue making those films cash prizes and opportunities to showcase their work. The non-profit organization has expanded far beyond its regional founding in 1991.
As a result of its growth, a new parent organization Heartland Truly Moving Pictures TM was created in 2007. The change highlighted the organization’s industry award, the Truly Moving Picture Award, while at the same time redefining its commitment to filmmakers, studios and distributors whose projects address challenging subjects, yet provide meaningful storylines and resolution. Heartland also expanded its film festival programming, year-round marketing efforts and events and its rapidly growing “Finding Inspiration in Literature and Movies” project (F.I.L.M.) in association with the National Collaboration for Youth.
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 $1.6 million to support filmmakers during the last 16 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 and Movies,” project.
For more information, visit www.TrulyMovingPictures.org.
Heartland Film Festival
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. The annual nine-day film festival in
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.
Official Heartland Film Festival Web site
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