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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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Heartland Film Festival changes name

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 PicturesTM. 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 provided 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.

The Truly Moving Picture Award, which is bestowed on approximately 15-20 films a year highlights through its branded logo, filmed entertainment that meaningfully impacts audiences with a level of social consciousness that many viewers are actively seeking in their moviegoing experience. The new focus and the award are intended to hopefully become a standard that filmmakers and studios wish to aspire to and, upon receipt, will use in their marketing efforts.

In further news, the organization has officially opened its annual Call for Film Entries for the 2007 Heartland Film Festival. The Festival seeks independently produced feature-length, short and student films for its 16th annual competition, to take place October 18-26 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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 or 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, Indiana, screening independent films from around the world. Every year, the Festival awards $200,000 in cash prizes and presents its Crystal Heart Awards to the Festival’s 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 potential 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.

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