Festival Stuck
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Thaddaeus Scheel is a filmmaker who made a movie about the unforeseen difficulties of starting a family. Stuck is a great movie about a group of families who face bureaucratic impossibilities as they try to bring home their adopted children. Thaddaeus was very gracious to talk to us about where it was the hardest places to film and what it meant to emotionally connect with these families.

Festival Erasing Hate
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Bryon Widner used to be a skinhead white supremacist. He filled his face with hateful tattoos that representing his violent actions and cruelty towards others. After years of being in that group, Bryon left and started a family. Trying to leave that life behind, he starts the process of removing his face tattoos. Director Bill Brummel documented this process capturing a really powerful story about redemption with the movie Erasing Hate. We talked to Bill about the bond he created with Bryon and the difficulty of filming lasers.

Festival Spaghetti for Two
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“Spaghetti for Two” is one of the short films this year that has a simple story that is told through an inspired grandiose fashion. A man is looking to have lunch with the limited money he has but he keeps being distracted by his imaginative daydreams. German writer/director Matthias Rosenberger talked with us about what it was like to film those sequences and the storytelling perspective he took to make this movie.

Festival Stories and Legends
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They say it takes a village to raise a child. In this case it takes a school to showcase a city. An instructor at Ball State University has started a project to educate the public about the rich history of Muncie and used its telecommunications program to create a stunning documentary short. “Stories and Legends: Historic Preservation in Muncie, Indiana” was submitted to the Heartland Film Festival and we were able to talk to executive producer Chris Flook and directors Kayla Eiler and Christen Whitney about the origins of this project and how they reexamined a city like Muncie.

Festival Death
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One of our narrative films this year comes from the creative mind of writer/director Martin Gooch. Working in the United Kingdom, he used science-fiction, comedy and heartfelt drama to tell the story of a family trying to adjust to their father’s death. The film is entitled Death and is definitely one that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Festival Dva
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One of our festival award winning short films, “Dva”, is the tense story about two soldiers on opposite sides of the Croatian War stuck in one place against the elements and each other. This position tests them in unimaginable ways as they struggle to survive. We had a chance to interview writer/director Mickey Nedimovic about this incredible short film.

Festival Buzkashi Boys
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As with all of our Festival Award-winning short films, “Buzkashi Boys” ends and all you want to say is “wow.” The film captures a culture rarely seen as two young boys have dreams of athletic stardom in Afghanistan. Their world feels so rich and fascinating because it’s showing us a side to a country we only know about from the news. We were able to talk with writer/director Sam French about his short film and what drew him to film in Kabul.

Festival Free Samples
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Free Samples is easily one of the funniest films playing in this year’s festival. It’s the story of Jillian, who is stuck performing a thankless humiliating job while running into some of the weirdos of Los Angeles and avoiding what’s really bothering her. We were able to talk to the director of this great film, Jay Gammill to figure out what it was like filming with the ice cream truck and what makes Jillian tick.

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