Heartland Film moves into new home


After COVID-19 restrictions forced them to work from home for more than two years, the staff of Heartland Film has moved into their new home. They cut the ribbon Feb. 15 at the Sterrett Center, 8950 Otis Ave. in Lawrence, during an open house.

Heartland President Michael Ault spoke to a crowd that grew to more than 200 throughout the event.

“This has been such an incredible journey for us to be in this location,” Ault said. “We started talking about this when our lease was about to be up at Fountain Square. Then COVID happened, so in 2021, we put everything in storage and kind of just waited. And then we found this beautiful facility. The journey to The Sterrett Center has been very challenging, but it’s also been very rewarding.”

Also on hand for the ribbon-cutting were Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier; Angelo Pizzo, who directed the films “Hoosiers” and “Rudy,”  and State Sen. Kyle Walker.

Collier declared Feb. 15, 2023, “Heartland Film Day.”

“(Lawrence residents) will enjoy the perks of Heartland Film making Lawrence their home,” Collier said.

The Sterrett Center once served as the Fort Harrison Service Club and housed a combined military and recreational library. In 2019, the city invested $250,000 for improvements to the facility.

Heartland Film is a world-renowned nonprofit film organization that has always called central Indiana its home. It was founded in 1991 and hosts the Heartland Film Festival, the Academy Award-Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and the Truly Moving Picture Award, and events.

Jessica Chapman, Heartland’s director of marketing, said the Sterrett Center’s proximity to the Theater at the Fort will allow it to partner for some events, like the new Merry Movie Nights scheduled for December.

“This will be a fun time where we show Christmas movies, but also let the kids make Christmas cookies and do other holiday activities,” Chapman said.