Entertainment Magazine: Film: Heartland Film Festival: 2011

The 2011 Heartland International Film Festival

Red Dog, We Love You

The award-winning feature film Red Dog is based on a true story. At the 2011 Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, every single screening was a full house, sold out even before showtime.  In fact, we as press ended up buying tickets so we could be sure of getting in our screening.  Living up to what this can suggest about a movie, Red Dog is indeed touching and funny and was obviously very popular with festival patrons.  It went on to win the Audience Award at the end of the festival for favorite feature film. Continue reading about Red Dog.

Support of Indianapolis Business Community Helps Heartland Film Festival Bring Inspiring Films to Indianapolis

More than 60 sponsors contributed to the success and growth of the 20th annual Heartland Film Festival. The Festival kicked off last night with it’s opening film, The Way. The Festival’s sponsors are vital in allowing Heartland to continue to celebrate and honor beautifully made films that emphasize the best of the human spirit and to recognize the filmmakers that made them.
As a non?profit organization, Heartland receives support from corporate sponsors as well as from private foundations, non?profit associations, government agencies and individual donors. These contributions help underwrite screenings of films during the annual film festival, as well as the annual Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony, where Heartland presents more than $150,000 in cash prizes to winning filmmakers.
“These sponsors not only provide the financial support necessary to encourage and enrich the independent film community, but they allow filmmakers to share their powerful stories of inspiration and hope, which is just phenomenal.” said Grace Crowell, Director of Advancement for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. “Through the generosity of our sponsors we’re able to organize and execute this event and honor these independent filmmakers.”

Heartland Film Festival Announces 2011 Award Winners

Red Dog receives $100,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature, Crime After Crime receives $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and Thief receives the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.

The Heartland Film Festival celebrated and honored some of the world’s most talented and inspiring independent filmmakers during the 20th annual Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the Old National Centre last night. Awards and $150,000 in cash prizes were presented to 17 films.

Heartland announced Red Dog by Nelson Woss as the $100,000 Grand Prize Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature; Crime After Crime by Yoav Potash as the winner of the $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature and Thief by Julian Higgins as the winner of the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film.
The glamorous black?tie event was emceed by Indiana native Catt Sadler, E! Entertainment Television. Special guests in attendance included Rudy Ruettiger ("Rudy"), with the "Rudy" filmmakers Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, both of whom were presenters. Corbin Bernsen is a returning filmmaker who presented an award.
“Each year we have the incredible opportunity at Heartland to celebrate independent filmmakers and recognize them for their significant contribution to the mission of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures,” said Jeffrey L. Sparks, president and CEO of Heartland Tuly Moving Pictures. “It’s our great honor to award the top films for creating beautifully made films that demonstrate excellence in filmmaking and best aligning with Heartland’s mission.”
During the program, Heartland honored 17 feature?length and short films. Two student films received Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards and 15 films were honored with Crystal Heart Awards. These films were selected from a record 858 independent film submissions for best meeting Heartland’s mission and demonstrating excellence in filmmaking.

The five narrative feature Award-winning films that vied for the $100,000 Grand Prize were Inuk, Kinyarwanda, Red Dog, Romantics Anonymous and The Hammer. The winner was: Red Dog

Five documentary feature Award winners competed for the Festival’s $25,000 prize for Best Documentary Feature. These films were: Crime After Crime, Elevate, Facing Forward, Fambul Tok and Where Soldiers Come From. The winner was: Crime After Crime

In addition to narrative and documentary feature competitions, Heartland presented the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short to Thief, one of the seven Award-winning short films. The films in this category included: A Finger Two Dots Then Me, Abuelas (Grandmothers), Crescendo, From The Ground Up, The Candy Shop, Den Første Anders (The First Anders) and Thief

For the second year, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures recognized high school age filmmakers through its Heartland Institute program. Aspiring high school filmmakers were encouraged to create a 10-minute film that embodied the 2011 theme: COURAGE. The Grand Prize Award along with a cash prize of $2,500 was presented to Director Miguel Lopez of California for his film, Sacrifices of My Father.

Heartland awarded more than $150,000 in cash prizes and winning filmmakers received a Crystal Heart Award designed by Marc Aronstam and Aronstam Fine Jewelers. The $25,000 Award for Best Documentary Feature was underwritten by Indianapolis Volkswagen Dealers, the $10,000 Vision Award for Best Short Film was underwritten by KeyBank, and the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards were underwritten by The Stewart Foundation. To date, Heartland has awarded more than $2.3 million to support filmmakers in their quest to create uplifting and inspiring films.


“The Help” claims the top spot as this year’s most moving film.

Heartland Truly Moving Pictures released its Top 10 Truly Moving Picture Award-winning films of 2011 today. Disney’s The Help claims the #1 spot, followed closely by Sarah’s Key and Beginners. Dolphin Tale and The Muppets rounded out the list of top films that inspire, educate and engage audiences of all ages.
“Compiling this list is never an easy task for us because we are honored to have so many incredible Truly Moving Picture Award winners to choose from,” said Tim Irwin, Artistic Director.  “It’s always important for us to focus on selecting the films that have artistic integrity and a powerful positive impact on audiences.”
The top Truly Moving Picture Award winner of the year, The Help, starring Emma Stone and Viola Davis, was one of the year’s surprise box office performers, tearing a streak from August through October. The story, which focused on changing people’s perspectives and attitudes, perfectly matched Heartland’s goal of promoting positive change in people’s lives through the unique power of film. The film The Way, starring Martin Sheen and co-starring and directed by Emilio Estevez, also made the Top 10 list. The film was featured as the 2011 Heartland Film Festival’s Opening Night Event in Indianapolis, with Sheen and Estevez in attendance.
The Top 10 Truly Moving Picture Award winners of 2011 include:
1. The Help – Walt Disney Pictures
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960's decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
2. Sarah’s Key – The Weinstein Company
In modern-day Paris, a journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942.

3. Beginners – Focus Features
Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who — following 44 years of marriage — came out of the closet at age 75.
4. Win Win – Fox Searchlight
A disheartened attorney named Mike Flaherty, who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, stumbles across a star athlete through some questionable business dealings while trying to support his family. Just as it looks like he will get a double payday, the boy’s mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything.
5. The Way – Producers Distribution Agency
A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El Camino de Santiago" from France to Spain.
6. Warrior - Lionsgate
Two brothers face the fight of a lifetime – and the wreckage of their broken family – within the brutal, high-stakes world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting.

7. War Horse – Walt Disney Pictures
Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.
8. Buck - IFC
A real-life “horse-whisperer,” Buck Brannaman eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses – and people – with his understanding, compassion and respect.
9. Dolphin Tale – Warner Bros.
Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital, where she is named Winter. But her fight for survival has just begun, because without a tail Winter’s prognosis is dire.
10. The Muppets – Walt Disney Pictures
With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.
By bestowing the Truly Moving Picture Award seal to honored films, Heartland allows studios and distributors to inform audiences of a film’s transformative power and appeal. In turn, Heartland hopes that audiences who have been meaningfully impacted by these films will then recognize and continue to look for the Truly Moving Picture Award seal to use as a guide in selecting films.
To view the complete list of Heartland’s Truly Moving Picture Award winners, visit www.TrulyMovingPictures.org.

About Heartland Truly Moving Pictures

Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, a non-profit arts organization, seeks to promote positive change in people’s live through the transformative power of film.

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 more than $150,000 in cash prizes and presents its Crystal Heart Awards to the top-judged submissions. Heartland has awarded more than $2.3 million to support filmmakers during the last 19 years. The organization’s Truly Moving Picture Award was created to honor films released theatrically that align with Heartland’s mission.

By bestowing this award seal to honored films, the award allows studios and distributors to inform audiences of a film’s transformative power and appeal. Heartland is also dedicated to cultivating youth, and thus created the Heartland Institute to provide innovative educational and outreach programs that enrich the minds and lives of youth and aspiring filmmakers. For more information, visit TrulyMovingPictures.org.

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