Ironheart Productions Announces 'HEART: Flatline to Finish Line' as First Runner Up in WESTDOC’s Prestigious Pitchfest Competition

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One vote separated ‘HEART: Flatline to Finish Line’ and ‘Spirit/Will/Loss’ from winning the West Coast Documentary and Reality Conference’s Pitchfest on September 12 in Culver City, Calif.

Seattle based, Ironheart Productions’ feature-length documentary film, HEART: Flatline to Finish Line, had the audience in tears on Wednesday as Director, David Watkins and Co-Producer, Ellen Charnley took to the stage and told studio executives the story of taking cardiac patients (including themselves) who have knocked on death’s door to the finish line of the Ironman Triathlon.

“This movie is about ‘strength’,” said Watkins. “Not defining it by how far one pushes their limits before they break, but redefining strength to be how far someone can go after they’ve already been broken.”

Along with a theater filled with industry professionals at Culver City’s Pacific Theater 12, Pitchfest had an American Idol style panel that comprised of top industry executives and decision makers from networks such as Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and A&E.

“We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback received and feel stronger than ever that our story needs to be told,” said Charnley. “In many ways, we’ve already won. Getting validation that what we are doing touches so many lives, and brings inspiration to others gives us the confidence to make our film one that is sure to be a classic.”

The international pool of Pitchfest applicants, competing for the largest winner’s check in the pitch competition’s three-year history, had short-listed 12 of the most promising documentaries and reality-based programs as finalists. Each was given a set time to show a trailer of their project and pitch to the panel and audience about their film. "The first and second place finishers were both great and deserved recognition, and I think it's astonishing that the difference was only one vote,” said Chuck Braverman, Co-Founder of WESTDOC and Academy Award-nominated Producer/Director. “This is unprecedented.” He later spoke with Watkins and Charnley and expressed his congratulations and predicted their film to have great success.

“We’re extremely proud of the track record that our previous PitchFest competitions have produced, especially since both the 2009 and 2010 winners have blossomed into feature-length documentary films running in theaters right now and throughout the summer,” adds Richard Propper, Distribution Executive and Managing Partner of WESTDOC.

The winner, ‘Spirit/Will/Loss’, a film by Erinnisse Heuer, follows a number of artists who went through a life-altering experience (e.g. chronic disease, loss of eyesight, paralysis, brain damage...) and yet despite all odds they kept on creating, kept on going. Heuer, is a seasoned editor in television and film, and has credits with TLC, History Channel, Oxygen, Food Network and Travel Channel. “We are thrilled for Erinnisse and are honored to be considered in the same league with her,” said Watkins. “Both films capture overcoming adversity and living life to its fullest potential”. Erinnisse walked away with a $10,000 check from The Gilbert Group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management-Bank of America, as well as other sponsor prizes.

Watkins and Charnley didn’t walk away empty handed. Lonnie Sill, Director of Film/TV Music for FirstCom Music awarded them a one year All Media License. With 170,000 tracks of easy to license, high-quality music for film and television, clients like Ironheart Productions can have bragging rights on over 2,700 albums’ worth of the world’s finest music.

“Now, we are focused on completing this movie,” Charnley said, “and need the continued support of our fans and community.” To finish their project, they need to raise an additional $130,000. “This will take us through editing and post-production, said Donald Bowman, Co-Producer. “We are now set up as a non-profit charitable organization through fiscal sponsorship with the International Documentary Association (IDA). This allows donors to make a tax-deductible donation and help support getting our story out to the masses,” he continued.

If you would like to support the project, please contact Donald Bowman at the email/phone number listed below.

ABOUT HEART: FLATLINE TO FINISH LINE What happens when you take complicated cardiac patients who have faced death head on, and put them at the starting line of the world’s toughest endurance race? They know rock bottom. They’ve been beaten down, chewed up and spit out. Their bodies have ached from doctors ripping open their chest. Their scars are a constant reminder that they were once weak and frail. These individuals have something to prove. To their family, their community, their doctors, and most importantly to themselves. Follow David Watkins as he brings together individuals that clearly break the mold in what defines athletes. They will spend a year training and preparing to meet pain and suffering like never before. The cast is diverse, coming from all corners of the country and all lifestyles. Eight athletes. One goal. Making it to the finish line of Ironman, a 140.6 mile endurance race that will test their minds, bodies and most importantly, their hearts. They prove that, with a strong mind, and a healthy amount of determination, you can accomplish the impossible. Learn what it means to have heart… an IronHeart.

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Leanne Johnson
Ironheart Productions
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