2014 Heartland Film Festival Announces Grand Prize Winners, Awards Over $115,000 to Independent Filmmakers

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“Siddharth” wins $45,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature, “Happiness” wins $45,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature, “Record” wins $5,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short and “Showfolk” wins $5,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short

2014 Heartland Film Festival

It is extraordinary to see filmmakers return to the Heartland Film Festival, especially with such strong films.

This evening the 23rd annual Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 16-25, 2014) has announced its Grand Prize Award Winners at its Awards Ceremony at Old National Centre. The event was presented by The David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.

This year, the Heartland Film Festival gives its moviegoers access to more than 140 visiting independent filmmakers from all over the world, right in the heart of the Midwest. Heartland showcases 135 entertaining movies that do more than just entertain over 10 days of red carpet premieres and events, parties and hundreds of film screenings across Indianapolis.

“It is extraordinary to see filmmakers return to the Heartland Film Festival, especially with such strong films,” said Tim Irwin, Heartland Film’s artistic director. ”This year it’s exciting to have Richie Mehta, director of ‘Siddharth,' back after he had his first feature film here in 2008. Thomas Balmès has previously received the Truly Moving Picture Award for ‘Babies’ in 2010, and his film ‘Happiness’ is another fantastic cinematic achievement.”

The Heartland Film Festival has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films category. This means that the winner of the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short Film ("Record," directed by David Lyons) will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Winners and nominees include:

$45,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature

  • WINNER: “Siddharth,” directed by Richie Mehta (India, Canada)
  • “Cicada,” directed by Dean Yamada (Japan)
  • “Drunktown’s Finest,” directed by Sydney Freeland (USA)
  • “The Referee,” directed by Paolo Zucca (Italy, Argentina)
  • “Uzumasa Limelight,” directed by Ken Ochiai (Japan)

$45,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature

  • WINNER: “Happiness,” directed by Thomas Balmès
  • “Gabor,” directed by Sebastián Alfie (Spain)
  • “Light Fly, Fly High,” directed by Beathe Hofseth, Susann Østigaard (Norway)
  • “Marmato,” directed by Mark Grieco (Columbia, USA)
  • “We Are the Giant,” directed by Greg Barker (Bahrain, Lybia, Syria, USA)

$5,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short
Underwritten by Heartland Film Endowment’s Sparks Vision Award

  • WINNER: “Record,” directed by David Lyons (Australia)
  • “Grand Canal,” directed by Johnny Ma (China)
  • “Houses with Small Windows,” directed by Bülent Öztürk (Belgium)
  • “Keys of Heaven,” directed by Hamy Ramezan (Finland)
  • “Yearbook,” directed by Bernardo Britto (USA)

$5,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short
Underwritten by Heartland Film Endowment’s Sparks Vision Award

  • WINNER: “Showfolk,” directed by Ned McNeilage (USA)
  • “German Shepherd,” directed by Nils Bergendal (Sweden)
  • “Our Curse,” directed by Tomasz Śliwiński (Poland)
  • “Ghosts on the Mountain,” directed by Jared Jakins, Carly Jakins (USA)
  • “White Earth,” directed by J. Christian Jensen (USA)

$2,000 prizes for the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards

  • “Grand Canal,” directed by Johnny Ma (China)
  • “Our Curse,” directed by Tomasz Śliwiński (Poland)

$2,500 Grand Prize Winner of the High School Film Competition

  • “Chris,” directed by Zachary Oschin (USA)

Visit heartlandfilmfestival.org to view the complete 2014 film lineup, schedule and to purchase tickets. 

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About Heartland Film, Inc.
Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film is a curator and supporter of purposeful filmmaking, honoring a wide variety of cinema and awarding storytellers from all over the world. The films Heartland Film selects and exhibits – whether they inspire and uplift, educate and inform, or have the ability to shift audiences’ perspectives on the world – all have one thing in common: they are entertaining films that do more than just entertain. Every October, the Heartland Film Festival gives its moviegoers access to more than 100 visiting independent filmmakers from all over the world, right in the heart of the Midwest. Heartland Film Festival showcases more than 130 entertaining movies that do much more than just entertain over 10 days of red carpet premieres and events, parties and hundreds of film screenings across Indianapolis. The Heartland Film Festival has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films category. Each year, the Heartland Film Festival awards more than $115,000 in cash prizes and presents its Festival Awards to top-judged submissions. Heartland Film has awarded more than $2.6 million to support indie filmmakers over the last 23 years. Beyond the Heartland Film Festival, Heartland Film honors theatrically-released films that align with its mission via the Truly Moving Picture Award, inspires the next generation of filmmakers via the Heartland Film Institute, and exhibits films across Indiana all year long via the Heartland Film Roadshow. To learn more, visit heartlandfilm.org.

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