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Indianapolis - Heartland Film Fest celebrates film with heart and hope

14th Annual Heartland Film Festival honors films that celebrate the best aspects of the human journey. For more than a decade, the goal of Heartland has remained the same: to make a positive impact on American culture through film and to encourage moviegoers to see life differently.
Heartland Film Festival, a non-profit organization, was established in 1991 to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life. Each October, Heartland screens Truly Moving Pictures from around the world, ranging from dramas to documentaries to animation. Heartland awards more than $100,000 in cash prizes and Crystal Heart Awards to the Festival's top entries, including a $50,000 grand prize for best dramatic feature. The Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award winners for the best student films and the Crystal Heart Award winners share the remaining money. The Crystal Heart Award cash prizes are given in honor of Max Simon by his parents, Melvin and Bren Simon, through the Max Simon Charitable Foundation. In 14 years, Heartland has awarded more than $1.4 million to support filmmakers in their quest to create Truly Moving Pictures.

Actors Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, “Rudy,” “The Goonies;”), Dakota Fanning (“Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story,” “War of the Worlds,” upcoming “Charlotte’s Web”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” upcoming “The Engagement Ring”) and Bill Paxton (“The Greatest Game Ever Played,” “Twister,” “Apollo 13”) are among a star-studded list of guests scheduled to attend the 14th annual Heartland Film Festival®, October 13-21 in Indianapolis. These actors, filmmakers, industry insiders and special guests, connected to Festival films and events, represent the finest in filmmaking talent from around the world.

The 2005 Festival also features an exciting lineup of special events and screenings for film buffs of all ages. It will kick off October 13th in Hollywood style with an Opening Night premiere of DreamWorks’ “Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story” with Actor Dakota Fanning and Director/Screenwriter John Gatins (“Coach Carter”) scheduled to arrive on the red carpet and will close on October 21st with a special screening of “Duma” with Director Carroll Ballard (“The Black Stallion,” “Fly Away Home”). The Festival will also present a black tie Crystal Heart Awards Ceremony emceed by Judge Reinhold (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Beverly Hills Cop I, II & III”) with presenter Sean Astin and award recipients Patricia Heaton, Bill Paxton, and Producers Mike Tollin (“Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story,” “Coach Carter”) and Brian Robbins (“Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story,” “Coach Carter”); a special advance screening of “The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania” by David Hunt (“Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius,” Eyes Wide Shut”), Patricia Heaton and Sarah Rush (“Catch Me if You Can,” “Max Keeble’s Big Move”); an insightful education seminar with industry-renowned Director Ken Kwapis (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “The Office”); and much more.

Additional celebrities, filmmakers and industry professionals scheduled to attend the Festival include (but are not limited to): David Anspaugh, director of “The Game of Their Lives” and “Rudy;” Bill Bindley, director and writer of “Madison;” Betsy Blankenbaker, “Something to Cheer About;” EMI Sparrow Records artist Bethany Dillon whose sings “Dreamer,” the end credit song in “Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story;” Adam Hicks, star of “The 12 Dogs of Christmas” “Titus” and the upcoming “How to Eat Fried Worms;” Bridget Johnson, producer of “Ice Princess,” “Riding in Cars with Boys,” “As Good as It Gets” and “Jerry Maguire;” Ken Kwapis, director of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “The Office,” “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Malcolm in the Middle;” Ken Kragen, producer of “The 12 Dogs of Christmas,” “The Smothers Brother Comedy Hour,” “We are the World” and “Hands Across America;” Kieth Merrill, director of “The 12 Dogs of Christmas” and “Olympic Glory;” Alisha Mullally, star of “The 12 Dogs of Christmas” and upcoming “Bee Season;” Angelo Pizzo, producer and writer of “The Game of Their Lives,” “Rudy” and “Hoosiers;” Oscar Robertson, producer of “Something to Cheer About,” NBA legend and one of the greatest basketball players ever; Ben Strout, “Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia;” Jonathon Young, star of “A Bear Named Winnie” and the upcoming “The Fog.”

In addition to the celebrities and industry representatives who will be attending, Heartland will also feature award-winning filmmakers from around the world who will be in Indianapolis accepting Crystal Heart Awards for their Truly Moving PicturesSM including:

Candice Bayer and Wolfgang Bayer, “Earthling;” Don Bernier, “In a Nutshell: A Portrait of Elizabeth Tashjian;” Andy Collen and Amy Blumenstein-Collen, “Winter/En Hiver;” Jeff Courter, “Thin Ice;” Hugues Dalton, “Lift;” Norton Dill, “Kathryn: The Story of a Teller;” Bill Ewing, “End of the Spear;” Jeff Garton, “Lift;” Brent Gudgel, “Dear Francis,”; Jaron Henrie-McCrea, “Knock Knock;” Michael Husain, “The Innocent;” Joey Honsa, star of “Pearl Diver;” Amy Jean Johnson, star of “Pearl Diver;” Owen Carey Jones, “A Mind of Her Own;” Sidney King, “Pearl Diver;” David Mahanes, “Dear Francis,”; David Meyers, “Wood Diary;” Laura Neri, “A Kiss On the Nose;” Andy Nguyen, “A Silent Night;” Laura Paglin, “Shadow of the Swan;” Hank Rogerson, “Shakespeare Behind Bars;” Louie Leonardo, star of “End of the Spear;” Michael Sporn, “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers;” Tim Sutherland, “Thin Ice;” Nicky Talacko, “A Mind of Her Own;” Oscar Torres, “Innocent Voices;” Simon Vaughan, “A Bear Named Winnie;” and Gary Wheeler, “Midnight Clear.”

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