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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kipp Normand is a local legend around Indianapolis. He is a quaint man who creates wonderful pieces of art from objects that were thrown away or disguarded. Filmmaker Jonathan Frey created a personal short film about this artist, entitled “Kipp Normand” and it is one of the Festival Award-winning short films. We talked with Jonathan about his relationship with Kipp and the art that really speaks to him.
One of the shorts in our “Interesting Individuals” program follows a man named Ali who is trapped in an Australian refugee prison. He keeps himself fit by endlessly running. “Ali 707” is a very charming short film about the strength of the human spirit and we were able to talk with writer/director Hannah Moore about being a first time director and what it was like to film such a physically demanding short.
Many people just need a break, a few days to cool off and readjust your life. That’s what actress Nikki Gold realized on the brink of a career scandal so she stays in a small New Hampshire town longer than she expected in 3 Days of Normal. This film is one of our most delightful narratives we’re playing this year and we’re thrilled we were able to talk with director Ishai Setton about creating the right tone for this type of romantic comedy and how it’s possible to make a town a character in the film.
Recently we chatted with Afarin Eghbal, director of 2011 Jimmy Stewart Crystal Heart award-winning short, Abuelas. We discussed her film’s journey over the last year, and what her involvement with Heartland has meant to her personally and as a filmmaker. It’s such a reward to hear from filmmakers throughout the world who embrace our organization and its impact on film and culture with unbridled enthusiasm.
OSCAR®-winning director Ron Howard was in town this weekend to lead the Brickyard 400 field as the event’s official pace car driver. Heartland President & CEO Jeff Sparks and Board Secretary Laura George (wife of former Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. President and CEO Tony George) met with Ron at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to present the acclaimed filmmaker with a Truly Moving Picture Award.