The Heartland International Film Festival announced the Filmmaker Award winners for the festival’s 28th edition during an awards brunch at the Montage Oct. 19 in Indianapolis. The Indiana Spotlight Audience Choice Award, and $1,000, went to Carmel resident Ashton Gleckman for his Holocaust documentary, “We Shall Not Die Now.”
The Indiana Spotlight Award, and $2,000, went to Prarthana Mohan’s “The MisEducation of Bindu.”
The grand prize for Best Narrative Feature and a cash prize of $15,000 went to Bora Kim’s “House of Hummingbird.” Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ “For Sama” took home two awards, including the $15,000 grand prize for Best Documentary Feature, as well as the Richard D. Propes Social Impact Documentary Award and the $2,000 that came with the award. Each of the finalists in the Narrative and Documentary competition categories received a $1,000 cash prize.
Among the other awards, Brett Fallentine’s documentary about the horse riding community in South Central LA, “Fire on the Hill,” received the film festival’s Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award and $5,000. Three of the film’s subjects attended the ceremony with Fallentine, and as they accepted the award, one of the subjects, Ghuan Featherstone, said, “This film is about perceptions and changing those perceptions. Here we are in the Midwest and our lives relate to you.”
Matt Ratner was the festival’s other two-time winner, as his film, “Standing Up, Falling Down,” received the festival’s Humor and Humanity Award and $1,000. He also received the International Federation of Film Critics’ nod for Best Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Film.
“This was a banner year for us, programming-wise, as we were able to screen so many of our top choices from the film festival circuit, films that are in major consideration for the Oscars and top critics awards right now,” Heartland Film Artistic Director and Carmel resident Greg Serving stated. “Audiences are filling our theaters because they have realized that the Heartland International Film Festival is quickly becoming a true awards tastemaker film festival. With that combined enthusiasm we enjoyed from both our film fans and our filmmakers, it’s great to then cap it by rewarding the wonderful films and filmmakers that won this year. They really deserved it.”